19 August 2021: His Majesty The King graced the Attestation Parade of the 77th group of Recruits to the Royal Bhutan Army at the Military Training Centre in Tencholing, Wangduephodrang. Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen and His Royal Highness Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel accompanied His Majesty The King. The event marks a milestone in the military history of Bhutan, with the first cohort of women recruits being trained in the Royal Bhutan Army. 151 men and 150 women have completed their yearlong training at the MTC and will now be posted to the various wings of the RBA across the country. The Prime Minister and the Chief Operations Officer of the Royal Bhutan Army also attended the event.

To succeed in our endeavours, our Armed Forces must be intelligent, nimble, ever-changing and adaptive, evolving, responsive, and capable: His Majesty

Translation of His Majesty’s Address at the RBA Parade

As we are all gathered here on this auspicious day to celebrate your success, which is the result of your efforts and collective prayers, I am pleased to wish you all Tashi Delek.

The Armed Forces of Bhutan was instituted upon firm foundations by His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, and fortified by my Father, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s efforts and prayers. Since then, our Armed Forces have been strengthened by cadres of women within its ranks. Today is a significant milestone in our history, as the first cohort of women recruits join the Royal Bhutan Army.

We take this opportunity to remember all the men and women who have ever served in the armed forces, and express our gratitude to them as well as to those who are currently in service.

The Armed Forces have always served the country and people with steadfastness, enduring all manner of hardships in the line of duty. The breadth of their service to the nation at all times, and particularly during times of great importance, cannot be described in words.

Since last year, the Armed Forces were tasked with training unprecedented numbers of De-Suups so that our youth could be empowered to serve the nation during the pandemic. It is an achievement of the Armed Forces that close to 18,000 De-Suups have been trained in centers across the country within a short period of time.

The ability of our Armed Forces to always serve the nation with uncompromised dedication derives from the exceptional unity and cohesiveness within our military. It is said that even the strongest vessel cannot cross a mere stream if those on the boat fail to work in harmony. However, with the right coordination, we can navigate oceans.

As we look to the future, our collective goal is to safeguard our sovereignty, and ensure the peace and security of our people and nation for all times to come.

In this endeavour, we have to consider the multiple dimensions of security. This includes legal security, cyber security, financial security, economic security, food security, and critical infrastructure security such as communications, power, etc.

Our Armed Forces as an institution has the sacred responsibility of ensuring the security of our nation and people. Given the enormity of the task ahead, we cannot rely just upon numbers, or military prowess, or even morale. To succeed in our endeavours, our Armed Forces must be intelligent, nimble, ever-changing and adaptive, evolving, responsive, and capable.

In pursuit of our objective to secure the future of Bhutan, our most important national endeavor today is to empower our children for success. The establishment of Gyalsung- the National Service, has been initiated to achieve this objective. Once again, it is the Armed Forces who must shoulder the responsibility for this historic initiative to succeed. Hard work, dedicated service and loyalty to the nation is ingrained in our Armed Forces. Our Armed Forces have always served the country and people above and beyond our greatest expectations.

With mental determination and physical strength, underpinned by discipline and integrity, our Armed Forces personnel will continue to serve the nation in such a manner.

As you look forward to a lifetime of service, you, the young men and women standing here today, must carry forward this proud spirit and tradition and uphold above all, your cohesiveness and dedication to your duty.

For my part, I consider it my responsibility to always give you support, recognition, protection, and care. I have pledged to support you for all times to come. In return, I ask that you serve our nation and people with loyalty and exceptional commitment.

Had it not been for the pandemic, your attestation parade today would be an occasion for your family and friends to come together in celebration. Nevertheless, I am pleased that Jetsun and Jigme Namgyel are present for this special occasion, and that we also have the Prime Minister and the Chief Operations Officer of the RBA here.

This is a proud moment for all of us, a moment that will never be forgotten. As we celebrate this new chapter for the Armed Forces, I wish you Tashi Delek.

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