POMP and fanfare coloured the commissioning of 575 officer cadets who graduated from the Monduli-based Tanzania Military Academy (TMA) during an event graced by President Samia Suluhu Hassan who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
Officer Cadet is a rank held by military cadets during their training to become commissioned officers.
The Commander-In-Chief commissioned 70/22 group regular course and Bachelor of Military Science (BMS) 04/20 intake in Monduli, Arusha yesterday through powers vested onto her through Article 148 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Tanzania and Section 29 (5) of the National Security and Defence Act.
“I hereby commission you to become Second Lieutenants starting today November 18, 2023,” President Samia proclaimed at the ceremony, after which the officers took an oath to defend the country and its constitution.
Ululations filled the air mainly from parents and relatives who had travelled from far and wide to see their children graduate from the military academy.
The officer cadets then paired themselves in a sheer display of military allure, each one, using their gloved hands, removing the mock pips from the colleague and replacing them with the real single gold bath star pips that are given to Second Lieutenants.
All the officers were 482 males and 93 females according to the Commandant of TMA, Brig Gen Jackson Mwaseba who informed the Head of State and the audience at the ceremony.
“The training of group 04/20 commenced on November 2020, with 73 trainees, of which 50 were male and 23 were female. Among them, 11 officers dropped out due to various reasons, including lack of physical fitness, discipline, unsatisfactory behaviour, not reaching academic standards and illness, so only 62 have graduated today and were granted commission,” Brig Gen Mwaseba explained.
Brig Gen Mwaseba further said the 70/22 group regular course commenced in November 2022 with 524 students, 439 men and 85 women. Of those, 77 students dropped out due to various reasons, so those who graduated and were awarded commissions were 447.
Apart from commissioning the former trainees who now become army officers with the rank of Second Lieutenant, President Samia presented awards to the best trainees who had excelled in various disciplines during their cadet military training.
The best overall cadet trainee intake 04/20 from Bachelor of Military Science was Mihinzo Jafary, the best trainee in the field was Salia Mkwele, the best trainee in academic performance was Maria Lyakurwa, and the best female trainee was Grace Ng’ondya.
For the 70/22 regular intake, overall best trainee was Dickson Ngenje, the best trainee in the field was Shukuru Salia, the best trainee in academic performance was Shaban Shaban, and the best female trainee was Nuru Gabo.
Soon after the award ceremony, the parade left the grounds in a slow march that was punctuated by a farewell melody from the TMA brass band. The graduands later formed the traditional Omega symbol to signify the end of the Training.
They later remerged, this time around donned in their graduation gowns for a brief graduation ceremony which was also presided over by the President.
Institute of Accountancy (IAA) in the last seven years, has partnered with TMA in offering a Bachelor’s Degree in Military Science.
A host of ministers, diplomats and senior military officers were in attendance during the colourful ceremony.
Among the officer cadets who were commissioned yesterday, 66 trainees received their training at various military academies in Bangladesh, China, India, Kenya, Malawi, Egypt, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Russia, and later joined their counterparts at the Monduli-based college to be commissioned.
The military college was established in 1969 at Kurasini when it was then known as Officer Cadets’ College before it was later shifted to Monduli in 1976 and renamed Leadership Training College.