Dawn ser­vice marks In­fantry Day cel­e­bra­tions

Fiji Sun - - FRONT PAGE - ROSI DOVIVERATA Feed­back: Edited by Naisa Koroi rosi.doviverata@fi­jisun.com.fj

Founded on the boots of in­fantry sol­diers, mem­bers of the Repub­lic of Fiji Mil­i­tary Forces yes­ter­day cel­e­brated In­fantry


It co­in­cided with a Dawn Ser­vice to com­mem­o­rate the late Cor­po­ral Se­fanaia Sukanaival­u. It was on the same day (23 June) 76 years ago when Cor­po­ral Sukanaival­u of the 3rd Bat­tal­ion Fi­jian In­fantry Reg­i­ment sac­ri­ficed his life on a Bougainvil­le bat­tle­field. His sac­ri­fice saved the lives of his men. His courage was recog­nised by the Com­mon­wealth’s high­est mil­i­tary hon­our, the Vic­to­ria Cross.

In­fantry is the big­gest core in the RFMF Com­man­der of the RFMF, Rear Ad­mi­ral Vil­iame Naupoto, said the In­fantry Day cel­e­bra­tions was a mo­ti­va­tion for sol­diers, young and old.

“When you swear an oath to join the mil­i­tary – you ba­si­cally swear away the best part of your life – it’s sworn away to the ser­vice of oth­ers. It’s oth­ers first – self sec­ond, oth­ers first – fam­ily sec­ond,” he said.

RFMF per­son­nel for in­stance sup­ported the Min­istry of Health dur­ing the re­cent COVID-19 re­sponse-con­tact trac­ing ef­forts. This was fol­lowed by re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ef­forts af­ter TC Harold in Ka­davu, South­ern Lau, Vat­ulele and parts of the Western Di­vi­sion.

Rear Ad­mi­ral Naupoto said be­ing a soldier re­quired a change in at­ti­tude and ad­just­ment in the way one lived.

“This kind of cel­e­bra­tion helps set the right kind of at­ti­tude, where it’s al­ways oth­ers be­fore self,” he said.

“Once that at­ti­tude is tuned cor­rectly, where you’re sec­ond to ev­ery­thing else, it be­gins to re­flect in their work – it im­parts loy­alty, obe­di­ence, sac­ri­fice, and all those good virtues that is re­quired of a RFMF per­son­nel.”

Ba­sic re­cruit­ment train­ing for the RFMF is cut around the in­fantry. This also in­cludes the navy and engi­neers.

Yes­ter­day, Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama at­tended the Dawn Ser­vice and laid a wreath in mem­ory of the late Cor­po­ral Sukanaival­u.

He also vis­ited the new RFMF In­ten­sive Care Unit lo­cated next to the RFMF Mil­i­tary Hospi­tal. Re­fur­bish­ments be­gan at the end of March, af­ter Fiji’s first COVID-19 pa­tient was an­nounced. It was com­pleted last month, but never used.

The unit was set up to cater for front­line work­ers who were likely to be­come se­ri­ously ill. There are four ICU beds with ven­ti­la­tors and one dial­y­sis unit.

Oth­ers in at­ten­dance in­cluded Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Bri­gadier-Gen­eral Si­tiveni Qil­iho. The U.S Army At­taché, Ma­jor An­drew Giesey, read the re­qui­escat af­ter a re-en­act­ment of Cor­po­ral Sukanaival­u’s heroic death by RFMF sol­diers.

Photo: RFMF

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama joins former Repub­lic of Fiji Mil­i­tary Forces com­rades dur­ing the Dawn Ser­vice at Queen El­iz­a­beth Bar­racks in Nabua on June 23, 2020, mark­ing the RFMF’s In­fantry Day cel­e­bra­tion.

Photo: OPM

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama dur­ing the Dawn Ser­vice at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Bar­racks in Nabua on June 23, 2020.

Photo: Fiji Navy

Crew mem­bers of RFNS Save­naca on their first op­er­a­tional sur­veil­lance de­ploy­ment in the North­ern and Western wa­ters last week.


Left: Repub­lic of Fiji Mil­i­tary Forces Com­man­der Rear Ad­mi­ral Vil­iame Naupoto and Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama in­side the RFMF’s new In­ten­sive Care Unit at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Bar­racks in Nabua on June 23, 2020.

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