Malawi army Commander promotes best soldiers

General Henry Odillo, the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander, has promoted the MDF’s Air Wing year end best soldiers to an immediate rank ahead.

Speaking during the Lilongwe’s Rotor Wing base Year End party on Thursday, Chief of Staff Brigadier Clement Namangale announced that it had pleased General Odillo that those that had emerged best soldiers this year 2013 should with immediate effect be promoted to a next higher rank.

Tembo, left, during a MALBATT (Malawi Battalion US Army sponsored MEDREACH 11, then a Corporal). Picture by SSgt Wilned Chawinga, PIO, MDF HQ.

Tembo, left, during a MALBATT (Malawi Battalion US Army sponsored MEDREACH 11, then a Corporal). Picture by SSgt Wilned Chawinga, PIO, MDF HQ.

“This means that the best soldier at the Zomba Air Base is also promoted with immediate effect,” he announced amid cheering.

L/Cpl Simeon Tembo, who was announced as overall best soldier for the helicopter squadron in all fields of hard work, best drill, best sportsman, and turn-out, was thus immediately a Sergeant.

“It will be prudent that the seniors here bring Tembo to headquarters for formalization of this remarkable promotion,” advised the Brigadier, who also delivered a message of best festive wishes from the Commander-in-Chief of the MDF, President Joyce Banda and also from the Commander.

Tembo is also a French language assistant in the MDF.

Namangale also thanked soldiers’ wives, referring to them as ‘our Commanding Officers’ in the homes for doing their best to make their husbands good soldiers as is expected.

“Effects of the wife in the home may influence either bad or good decisions on the part of soldiers in their work. I therefore wish to thank our COs (wives) for ensuring an excellent working atmosphere in all of us. Let me also take the opportunity to thank civilians and the chiefs around us for understanding the importance of why this security facility is in their community,” he added.

In his speech Wing Commander, Brigadier Namathanga, said he was pleased that this year there were no disturbing reports of soldiers misbehaving.

“This is welcome and inspiring. May I repeat what I said in Zomba that this coming year has been declared a Year of Discipline for the air wing,” he said.

Other recognition made at the party included Best Turn-out soldier, and Best Female Soldier, a Ngwata, who was described as one of the best rifle handlers in the squadron.

The awards given to the best achievers are a way of inspiring other soldiers to work extra harder.

The defence force holds year end parties for all its units with a national held at the Kamuzu Barracks, 2MR, Second Battalion Officers Mess in the Capital City.

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