He will be missed by the RFMF and the families
Prime Minister and Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, looked relaxed when he spoke to members of the forces yesterday in Nabua, Suva, yesterday. On February 28 he steps down as Commander and embarks on a political career, carrying with him the expectations of many people that he will find success in championing the cause his Government has chartered for the new Fiji. Under his watch, the RFMF has grown from the political turmoil of 2000 to a robust organisation with a crucial role in national development. Its younger officers are now well trained to be able to handle issues outside of the military. Military engineers have become the unsung heroes, working with various communities to help build roads, bridges, footpaths, homes, schools, nursing stations, health centres, churches and community halls. Military personnel also serve in important positions in Governmnent and their influence is evident in the efficient way projects are being completed. Discipline and no-nonsense focus have driven many projects from start to finish. The completion rate of many of these developments is remarkable given the challenges like unfavourable weather and tight budgets. Fiji’s contribution to the United Nations peacekeeping commitments is widely recognised. It continues to grow. He should look back with satisfaction with his achievements. And he would not have been able to do it without the support of his wife, Mary, and their children. Commodore Bainimarama is a devoted family man. This was reflected in his address to the RFMF members yesterday. He told them to use their money wisely for the benefit of their families. Stressing the importance of family wellbeing he said: “School is restarting and I am hoping that our children are being prepared well to begin school this year. We all know that Government will pay for the school fees. But the parents are responsible for nurturing the children at home.” His simple and down-to-earth approach to life, reinforced by strong family values, makes him an excellent leader. He is going to be missed by the RFMF, and the families of all who serve, when he hands over the reins to his successor.