Duntroon Sword of Honour
23 February 2015
Australian Ambassador to Afghanistan, His Excellency Mr Matt Anderson, had the privilege of presenting the Royal Military College – Duntroon Sword of Honour to the top cadet at the recent graduation of cadets from Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA).
A Duntroon graduate himself (1988) and former Army Captain, the Ambassador said that presenting the award to the top cadet, now 2nd Lieutenant Mohammad Asad, was a highlight for him since assuming his role earlier this year.
“As the Sword of Honour it’s designed to represent all of those things that we hope that a young officer is capable of in their career - honour, duty, intelligence, perseverance,” he said.
“But the point that I made to the cadets today is that their job actually starts today, it doesn’t finish.
“They become leaders today and that is a lifelong job of learning.”
The Ambassador delivered a speech at the graduation ceremony alongside the Afghan National Army (ANA) Chief of the General Staff, General (GEN) Sher Mohammad Karimi, Commandant of ANAOA, Brigadier General Muhammad Sharif Sharifi, and Australian Defence Attaché Colonel Andrew Fidge.
“This is the first graduation for ANAOA since the Afghan National Security Forces assumed full security responsibility for Afghanistan, so these young officers that graduate today will go on to lead men and women during the upcoming fighting season and through the next generations while Afghanistan is responsible for its own security,” the Ambassador said.
“There’s an awful lot of responsibility placed in their hands, an awful lot is expected of them and it’s a historic moment to be there to participate in the ceremony.”
Modelled on the Sandhurst Academy in the UK, ANAOA was established in 2012. GEN Karimi, a Sandhurst graduate, said he had high hopes for the cadets coming through the Coalition supported institution.
“An ANA Officer should really be patient, they should be a symbol for the soldiers and the example for others to try to be like,” GEN Karimi said.
“This academy will help fulfil the vacancies in the ANA and will deliver more and more officers in the future, and I hope you as graduates can fill the vacancies in our units and use the skills you have gained from ANAOA.
“As an army we are committed to bringing safety and security to the people of Afghanistan and the Afghan people have a right to this within their communities.”