By Chiemelie Ezeobi
Personnel of the Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) has been tasked to remain dedicated to duty and also uphold the integrity of defending, protecting and building the Nigerian nation.
Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), NAVTRAC, Rear Admiral Stanford Enoch, made this call at the Naval Training Command Regimental dinner held in Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) QUORRA in Apapa, Lagos.
Urging personnel not to betray the trust reposed on them by the command as they have been selected to perform a duty, he said they “must realise that you have been carefully selected as competent workmen and women to mould the finest blocks with which to build a navy to be proud of”.
The special guest of honour, Rear Admiral Peter Adeniyi (Rtd), in his speech urged the officers to be conscious and responsive to their responsibilities and should rededicate themselves to the service.
He reiterated that the regimental dinner was an age old military tradition that was significant in promoting the core values of the service.
He said: “This is in conformity to the mandate of the Chief of the Naval Staff. The regimental dinner is one of the military ceremonies that demonstrate the virtues of the army as an enviable institution.
“This is because in the military there are discipline, team spirit and team work, cooperation, articulation and precision.”
Adeniyi described the command as the foundation where human resources of the Nigerian Navy are prepared to build the organisation, adding that “although there are challenges and limitations but I also know that the Chief of Naval Staff is unrelenting in providing the infrastructure and enabling environment for the youths to work”.
He further added that with commitment, dedication and determination, any of such challenges would be surmounted.
Regimental dinner, which is an age-long military tradition is an opportunity to enforce regimentation and foster comradeship among senior and junior officers.
The process for a regimental dinner begins with the arrival of junior officers arrive before the senior officers. Then the FOC and the special guest of honour (SGOH) for the night arrives before the pre-dinner drinks are served.
The next agenda is then the announcement of dinner and people go in and stand by their seat till the SGOH comes in and sits down. The dinner is served by well dressed up butlers.
The butlers serve the first course and everyone eats until the SGOH has eaten his full and drops his cutlery, which means everyone must follow suit. The butlers clear the dishes and brings in the main course, clear it after eating and then serve desert, clear the table afterwards and then pour the wine that would be used for the loyal toast.
A loyal toast is a salute given to the head of state of the country in which a formal gathering is being given. It is usually a matter of protocol at state and military occasions. This year, the toast was given to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.
The SGOH is then introduced, preceding the presentation of awards, and then followed by the special guest’s speech. After the speech, a gift is presented to him, before the vote of thanks. This wraps up the evening, although the SGOH and the VIPs conduct the band before leading others to the post dinner drinks.
This year was no different as the command did all the above listed. However, it was an opportunity to reward diligent retired personnel who held to revamp the courses carried out in NAVTRAC schools.