NATION

3FIR Unit Rabuka calls it a privilege to serve in Nadi

His story is unique yet in many ways similar to many young men in Fiji who joined the military. Lieutenant Manoa Rabuka is the Second in Command at the Republic
30 Jan 2018 10:08
3FIR Unit Rabuka calls it a privilege to serve in Nadi
Lieutenant Manoa Rabuka at the 3FIR base in Namaka, Nadi. Photo: Lusi Banuve

His story is unique yet in many ways similar to many young men in Fiji who joined the military.

Lieutenant Manoa Rabuka is the Second in Command at the Republic of Fiji Military Forces 3rd Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment (3FIR) Unit in Namaka, Nadi.

At 28 years of age, the young man from Drekeniwai in Cakaudrove counts it a privilege to be part of what he calls a dynamic team at the Nadi base.

“This is a new appointment for me. I was previously based in Lautoka for nine months before getting the call to come here,” he said.

Lieutenant Rabuka said it was an honour to serve with the men and women at the base.

“There is so much experience here. I have a lot of respect for the personnel here, the older and the younger ones alike,” he said.

His story is one of sacrifice, of endurance and of courage.

“Life wasn’t easy growing up. I was brought up solely by my maternal grandparents,” he said.

“I owe my life, I owe everything to the old couple who single handedly raised me.”

From left to right: Sergeant Vuata Narisia, Lieutenant Manoa Rabuka, Corporal Meli Niudamu and Corporal Jone Koroi at the 3FIR base in Namaka, Nadi. Photo: Lusi Banuve

From left to right: Sergeant Vuata Narisia, Lieutenant Manoa Rabuka, Corporal Meli Niudamu and Corporal Jone Koroi at the 3FIR base in Namaka, Nadi. Photo: Lusi Banuve

In 2011 and on his graduation day from tertiary school in Suva, his grandfather, Kolinio Rabuka, passed away after a long illness.

“It was heartbreaking. I wanted him to see me graduate with my Diploma in Electrical and Renewable Energy and I wanted him to be there to see the fruits of his labour. And when I was told that he had passed on, my world was shattered,” he said.

“I went in my graduation gown to the hospital because I wanted him to see me. To see that all his investment and sacrifice was not in vain.”

The former student of Queen Victoria School says the grandparents were his mentors and providers that he would never be able to repay.

“If only he was alive to see where I am today. They were simple and humble people. They were not the loud and proud type and they taught me to always work hard, to be honest and diligent in my duties and to think of other people.”

Lieutenant Rabuka says enlisting in the RFMF has been the best decision of his life.

“It’s been five years since I joined and I have definitely found where I belong,” he said.

“There is something about the military and about being part of it that only soldiers can understand. The camaraderie, the unity and the brotherhood.”

Although being new to the unit, Lieutenant Rabuka looks ready for the challenges of 2018.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  lusiana.banuve@fijisun.com.fj

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