Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, and Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, oversaw the Commissioning Ceremony of 35 new army officers including eight Kildare men and six Maltese cadets at the Defence Forces Training Centre, the Curragh, last Thursday January 26.
The cadets successfully completed a 15 month cadetship, preparing them to take up appointments as junior leaders throughout the army and the Armed Forces of Malta.
The Kildare contingent included Niall McCormack, Ciaran Troy, Billy Scully, Conn Whelan, 2nd Lt; Niall Fleming, Ross Cleary, David Lynch and John Nevin.
The class comprised of one officer who previously served as a Private and 15 university graduates with a range of qualifications including law, electronics, public administration, history and geography. Two of the newly commissioned officers have also obtained Masters' Degrees.
This class was involved in the 2016 State Ceremonial Programme and provided a Guard of Honour for President Micheal D. Higgins on his visit to the Military College when he unveiled the 1916 Commemorative Slates.
Addressing the gathering, the Minister Keohoe said “Each of you has chosen a very challenging and demanding career, but it is one that is also very fulfilling and rewarding. I wish to offer my warmest congratulations to each Cadet for the commitment you are making.”
Referring to the members of the Defence Forces Cadet School, he paid tribute to “the dedication and commitment of all those who have moulded these young Cadets into officers over some fifteen months of training.”
He also acknowledged the families and friends of the members of the 92nd Cadet Class for their essential support and encouragement.
Also in attendance was Chief of Defence of the Armed Forces of Malta, Brigadier Jeffrey Curmi. The strong bonds between Ireland and Malta were also recognised.