Rising challenges require competent military leaders, says Brunei Sultan

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - In the pursuit of rapid technological evolution, the possession of highly sophisticated equipment is not enough to guarantee the nation’s security, as highly competent military leaders are also crucial towards countering an increasingly dynamic and complex geo-strategic landscape, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said in a titah yesterday

On the occasion of the Sovereign’s Parade for the 17th intake of the Officer Cadet School (OCS) at the Defence Academy Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), His Majesty who is also the Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of the RBAF, highlighted that the rising challenges call for the nation’s defence institution to constantly generate highly intellectual and competent leaders with brilliant and broad mindsets.

A total of 57 officer cadets were commissioned as RBAF Officers at the ceremony held at the Defence Academy RBAF in Kampong Tanah Jambu yesterday following 52 weeks of intensive training.

Among those commissioned in yesterday’s ceremony were scholars of the RBAF Supreme Commander Scholarship and the RBAF Scholarship, as well as the first Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) student holding a special degree in Hafaz Al-Quran.

Two professionally qualified officers were also feted in the ceremony after undergoing a three-month basic military training. They are currently serving as a dentist at the Dental Centre of the Combat Support Service of the Royal Brunei Land Force and as a military law officer at the Law Unit of the RBAF.

His Majesty added that since its inception a decade ago, the OCS has proven its capability in enhancing the RBAF’s human capital capacity, in line with one of the aspirations laid out in Brunei Vision 2035.

“It makes me proud that the OCS is capable of generating high-calibre military leaders through the exposure of modules and basic skills that are constantly relevant with time. Their accomplishments are also enhanced through systematic mandatory and professional courses,” added the monarch.

“The OCS has also played a pivotal role in contributing to robust defence diplomacy, which is evident by the involvement of international participants in the Defence Academy’s Command and Staff Course (CSC) and the Junior Staff Course (JSC), as well as bilateral exercises with the SAFTI (Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute) Military Institute and the OCS New Zealand Forces, which has been utilised to its full advantage.

“It pleases me to note that this defence diplomacy has also been strengthened with the visit from the Royal Thai Military Academy, as well as joint interaction on military training and skills with the men and women from the Military Academy - Indonesian Army of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI),” said His Majesty, adding that he hoped to see the links with the defence forces’ friends in the region strengthened with interactions from the very top to the lower ranks.

The monarch further added that such bilateral programmes are capable of enhancing the OCS’ standards in assessment, especially in implementing the best practices.

“The sharing of skills, knowledge and experience is vital, because it is a form of investment towards a sustainable and effective human capital. The sharing of modules introduced by our defence forces’ friends are also appreciated, as an added value to existing doctrines or tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP),” said His Majesty.

“As a symbol of progress and development of the RBAF, I am convinced that the OCS can continue to move forward to become a more prestigious and effective military academy, and as a centre of excellence in the regional and international arena."

While congratulating all 57 officer cadets for their successful completion of the training, His Majesty expressed hope to see them as RBAF’s young leaders who are efficient, wise and professional in upholding their responsibilities as leaders in the country’s defence and security institution.