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Well Done To Our Republic of Fiji Military Forces West Point Pioneers

Both candidates are expected to return after their four-year study ready to lead our military.
24 May 2019 13:45
Well Done To Our Republic of Fiji Military Forces West Point Pioneers
RFMF Officer Cadets Max Delai, Orisi Amaraki, Nathan Lilo, Fane Rokowailoa and Sera Lewaravu.

Editorial:

The selection of two Republic of Fiji Military Forces cadet officers to join the prestigious United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, is something we should be proud of as Fijians.

For starters, this is the first time the Americans have extended such an opportunity to our soldiers. A Tongan was offered the same in 2007. Latu Vaha’i, the current Platoon Commander at the Tongan Defence Services graduated from West Point in 2011.

Max Delai and Sera Lewaravu will be RFMF pioneers to attend West Point – the oldest military post in the US that has been continuously occupied. It was established in 1802.

Two past US presidents graduated from West Point. Ulysses S. Grant served as the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877.

Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961.

During World War II, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe.

These are the calibre of leaders from West Point. The current US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Buzz Aldrin, one of the first of two men to walk on the moon, are among many other leaders to study there.

The same expectation to will be on the shoulders of Mr Delai and Ms Lewaravu.

The selection process set by the RFMF was tough. Interested candidates had to apply in person on January 31, 2019. Six shortlisted candidates were then required to sit for a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

Above-average SAT tests are also expected. The West Point board were impressed with the standards set by the RFMF cadet officers. The board chose Ms Leawere and Mr Delai.

For US citizens the selection process is rigorous. It also includes a nomination from a US representative, senator, the vice-president or the president. Those who are currently enlisted in the Armed Services aren’t required to get a nomination.

Earlier this week, the 2019 class at the US Military Academy, West Point had the highest number of African American women graduates in its 217-year history.  Women entered the Academy for the first time in 1976.

Like other pioneering women in the RFMF, Ms Lewaravu’s selection shatters the glass ceiling.

Both candidates are expected to return after their four-year study ready to lead the RFMF.

While the timing of the American offer comes at an interesting period in the region, only time will tell whether the offer is genuinely genuine – or part of Washington’s strategy to curb increasing Chinese influence.

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