Members of the Regular Course 38 of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), on Saturday night converged on Abuja with nostalgia to celebrate 35 years of military career.
They also shared their experiences among themselves.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the anniversary celebration started on Friday, with Juma’at prayers followed by activities of the Unique 38RC Ladies, election of new executive and anniversary dinner on Saturday.
At the dinner, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, who was the special guest of honour, commended members of the 38th RC for their contribution to the progress of the armed forces.
Yahaya, represented by the Chief ofLogistics (Army), Maj.-Gen. Omotomilola Akintade, said that there was the need for the 35th anniversary celebration considering the exploits of members in the nation’s armed forces.
He said the members were currently occupying strategic positions across the three services, adding that a good number of principal staff officers, corps commanders, and commandants among others belonged to the 38th RC.
Yahaya said that the course members were crucial to the ongoing military operations across the country, urging them to continue to do their best in the service to the nation.
He commended the spouses of the senior officers for always being there to support and encourage their husbands to be able to discharge their responsibilities effectively.
According to him, there are quite a number of two star generals from the three services who are members of this course and in the army alone, there are a good number.
“Among the Principal Staff Officers of the Army Headquarters, Chief of Operations, Chief of Transformations and Innovation, Chief of Standard and Evaluation, Chief of Account and Budget and Chief of Administration are all members of the 38th RC.
“We also have many two star generals in the Navy and Air Force and so the association has every reason to thank God for having spent 35 years growth in service.
“You all came into the academy in 1986, your wives were not there but today, you have beautiful wives and children.
“There are also some of you who have departed whose widows are here,” he said.
The newly elected Chairman, 38th RC, Maj.-Gen. Solomon Uduonwa, said that the event was organised to remember and reflect on how far they had come.
Uduonwa said that none of the officers had anything to boast about 35 years ago when they started at the academy, adding that all of them now have wives and children and so much to thank God for.
He commended his predecessor for the sacrifice he made to pioneer the association and made it a formidable one, pledging to build on the progress and do better.
“We are going to take over from where you stopped and will collectively build an association that we will be proud of.
“I have taken another look at our constitution and there are two major objectives there, to foster unity and to look after the welfare of our members, every other thing is additional. We are going to pursue this vigorously.
“Inclusion is going to be our mantra through consultation and dialogue and we are going to work together to build this association beyond our service lives.
“We wants it to be a legacy our children can inherit and say our parents proudly served this country and today we are enjoying the benefits of their sacrifice.
“The welfare of our members is paramount and I have already stated that I will send out people to reach out to those we already know need our help,” he said.
The immediate past Chairman of 38th RC, Maj.Gen. Bolaji Salami, said the association had been able to raise about N50 million to support its members and families of those who had died.
He tasked the new leadership of the association to ensure that they take it to greater heights, adding that an association was only as strong as the people in it.
Salami said that the association deserved a better place in the community of investments with greater visibility on the global map, considering the great minds that formed the membership.
He thanked members for the support accorded him during his tenure and urged them to extend same to the new executive Committee.