Georgetown, GINA, September 16, 2013
After taking the oath as the new Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief- of -Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips made his first public appeal for parents to encourage their children to join the army and serve with dedication.
“Serve not necessarily for 30 years like myself, but serve for at least three years; it’s a wonderful thing to do,” Brigadier Phillips said in an invited comment to the press after taking the oath today, before Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Donald Ramotar.
New Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips taking the Oath of Office
He succeeds Rear Admiral Gary Best who officially ended his six-year tenure in that capacity on September 17, but remains committed to rendering his services in whatever capacity the authorities deems fit.
Best joined Brigadier General Bruce Lovell, other senior army and Government officials and relatives of the new Chief-of-Staff at today’s swearing in ceremony held in the Credentials Room of the Office of the President.
The oath read: “I Mark Philips do hereby solemnly declare that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the people of Guyana, that I will faithfully execute the office of Chief -of- Staff of the Guyana Defence Force without fear of favour, affection or ill will and that in the execution of the functions of that office I will honour uphold and preserve the constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and I do so swear, so help me God.”
Commander -in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Donald Ramotar handing over the official document to Brigadier Mark Phillips, confirming him as the new Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief -of- Staff
President Ramotar said he was anxious to work along with the new Chief-of-Staff with the aim of promoting the best interest of the Guyanese people and is counting on him to fortify the country’s military operations.
“Over the years, the role of the military has not only changed, but expanded in many many ways. We have always had… good relations with the civilian… and military authorities in this country,” President Ramotar said.
He also used the occasion to extend words of gratitude to Rear Admiral Best whose contributions were invaluable and intellectual.
The primary and mandatory function of the army to safeguard the country’s frontiers from foreign attacks has been augmented by its additional involvement in the Joint Services where the goal of promoting peace and security is paramount.
President Donald Ramotar and Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon with new Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips
Brigadier Phillips has already been active in dialogue at the level of the Defence Board, and told the media about his intentions to operationalise the strategic vision of his predecessor to partner with the Surinamese Government.
He is the holder of a University of Guyana Bachelor’s Degree in Public Management and Dominican Republic La Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra Masters Degree in Public Sector Management.
During the period 2008 to 2009 he was head of a Guyana delegation to the Inter-American Defence Board and successfully completed the 50th Advanced Course in Hemispheric Defence and Security at the Inter-American Defence College at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C during the academic year 2010-2011.
Brigadier Phillips is a native of Linden, who attended the Christianburg Primary School, and the Christianburg Wismar Secondary School (Multilateral School), prior to joining the GDF in December 1980.