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Prime minister needs military loyalty

SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, Feb. 5, 2011) – In Fiji, soldiers of the Third Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment (3FIR) have been urged to support the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander and Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama in his leadership duties.

[PIR editor’s note: The third Battalion Infantry Regiment (3FIR) was established in 1982 as a Territorial Force unit which became part of the regular military forces following the 1987 coup. It is the largest of the three battalions and is responsible for providing fresh troops for deployment and maintaining Fiji’s territorial defense specifically.]

Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga delivered the message while addressing more than 200 3FIR officers and men at the handing over of command to the new 3FIR Commanding Officer yesterday.

He said the Prime Minister needed the support of Fiji's own Third Battalion to take the country forward.

"The Government wants us to move forward, in our knowledge and skills, but more importantly as strategic soldiers within the Government setting, Colonel Tikoitoga said. The Commander of the RFMF and the leader of the Government have high hopes for us, that we will assure our commitment, not only to the President of Fiji but to the nation as well. Follow the instructions of the commanding officer and be committed to that uniform you are wearing and set examples to your units and most importantly, making 3FIR to become a better institution."

He told the officers and men that they were not only the fighting arm of the Fiji Military Forces but they were also the pride of the Government of Fiji.

Colonel Tikoitoga reminded the soldiers to remain true to their allegiance to the military.

"You are not wearing that uniform to get wealth or think highly of yourself, he said. The uniform and the banner you are flying are for others. It’s for the citizens of this country because you have promised to serve the President and the people of Fiji."

Colonel Tikoitoga said the work of the Prime Minister would only be easy if he had the support of his people, most importantly the members of the Royal Fiji Military Forces.

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