The commissioning of Midshipmen of the 34th intake (Technical) of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and 62nd intake of officer cadets of Sri Lanka Navy was held at the Naval and Maritime Academy (NMA), Trincomalee on 11th December 2021. At the invitation of Commandant NMA, Commodore Damian Fernando, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne graced this occasion as the Chief Guest and took the salute. The event was also attended by President Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs. Chandima Ulugetenne.
During this memorable ceremony of prospective naval officers, 13 Midshipmen of the 34th intake (Technical) of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and 43 Midshipmen of the 62nd intake of officer cadets of Sri Lanka Navy passed out amidst the applause of their parents and well-wishers, following the commissioning parade held in a dignified sequence at the NMA main parade ground.
The main highlight of the commissioning ceremony was recognizing the outstanding performances of the Midshipmen with presentation of awards by Commander of the Navy. Accordingly, Midshipman HUCL Jayakody NRE 4114 of 34th intake of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University won the award for the Best Technical Officer, having secured the highest aggregate in Technical Subjects.
Meanwhile, Midshipman NDAN Nanayakkara, NRX 4364 won the Sword of Honour, having been adjudged the Best Midshipman of the 62nd intake of officer cadets of Sri Lanka Navy as well as the award for the highest aggregate in Nautical Subjects. Midshipman KHPI Hannadige NRI 4406 won both awards for the highest aggregate in Overall Subjects and Professional Subjects. Apart from that, Midshipman HGLSL Somarathna, NRX4375 won the award for Best Marksman and Midshipman BVD Pabasara, NRS 4398 was selected to be the Best Sportsman of the 62nd intake.
Congratulating the newly commissioned officers for successful completion of their training, Commander of the Navy said that training was important to instill and reinforce the Navy’s core values and for professionalism in future naval career.
He also reminded the huge responsibility lies with the Navy, being the First Line of Defence of our nation, as Sri Lanka is in a strategic location in the Indian Ocean.
Besides, he highlighted the need of the vibrant youth of this country to man the Navy’s fleet, to protect the nation’s maritime interests and said they had opened a window to realize a number of opportunities in their naval careers, by joining this prestigious naval family.
Giving a piece of advice to the newly commissioned officers, Commander of the Navy urged them to instill integrity in them strongly along with qualities such as professionalism, honesty, empathy, strong interpersonal skills and motivation to be a good leader. Further, Commander of the Navy expressed that he had full confidence in these young officers as they have had quality training from the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and NMA to face any challenge with confidence.
Commander of the Navy also never forgot to express his profound gratitude to the parents of newly commissioned officers for having confidence in the Navy and giving their consent to these officers to pursue a prestigious career. He also commended the Directing Staff of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University as well as Commandant and Directing Staff of the Naval and Maritime Academy for undertaking a tremendous job in moulding these young officers.
Deputy Chief of Staff, Commander Western Naval Area and Commandant Volunteer Naval Force, Rear Admiral Upul De Silva, Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sanjeewa Dias, Area Commanders, executive committee members of Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Director Generals, flag rank officers, diplomatic corps, officers from Navy Headquarters and Eastern Naval Command, senior officers from sister services and Police and parents of newly commissioned officers were present on this occasion.
The glittering spectacle concluded with a spectacular cultural performance presented by the Navy Cultural Troupe and a Band Display followed by a ceremonial sunset held in accordance with time-honoured naval customs. The proceedings of the ceremony have been organized adhering to COVID-19 protocols due to the pandemic concerns.