17th March 2023 19:58:41 Hours
The Commando Regiment welcomed their new 265 ‘Maroon Berets’ and 85 ‘Long Range Patrol’ (LRP) men of the latest well-trained batches during a ceremonial Passing-Out Parade (POP) at Uva-Kudaoya Commando Regiment Training School (CRTS) on Wednesday 15 March 2023.
Graced by Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, Commander of the Army as the Chief Guest at the invitation of the Colonel of the Regiment, Commando Regiment, Major General P G P S Rathnayaka RWP RSP ndc, the dignified ceremony saw 4 officers and 261 soldiers of the 51 A, B, C, and D batches of the Commando Regiment and 5 officers and 80 soldiers of the Long Range Patrol Course No - 17 after their sustained and exceptional training under the tutelage of many veterans and instructors finally passed out showcasing their exciting and unique capabilities and operational techniques that could address unprecedented threats or challenges.
The Commander of the Army on arrival at the location was warmly received by Major General P G P S Rathnayaka RWP RSP ndc, Colonel of the Regiment of Commando Regiment in the company of Brigadier V M N Hettiarachchi RWP RSP, Commander Commando Brigade, Brigadier B M S K K Dharmawardena RWP RSP USP, Centre Commandant of Commando Regimental Centre and Colonel U S B Rathnayaka RWP RSP psc, Commandant of the Commando Regiment Training School after the day’s Chief Guest was saluted in a formal Guard Turnout at the entrance to the CRTS.
Thereafter, the Chief Guest was invited by the Parade Commander to review the day's parade and receive the salute in the magnificent Passing out Parade. After the Parade, caring parents and next of kin of graduating Commandos pinned prestigious Commando insignia on those brave sons, now all set to join the admired family of Commandos in order to prove 'Nothing Impossible' as the CR motto says.
The next moment marked the presentation of appreciative trophies and certificates to those graduates who excelled during the 18-month-long Commando training course as:
Best Commando - Second Lieutenant L P R Piyumika - 51 B
Best Physical - Private D A G A D Kumara - 51 C
Best Shooter - Private W A D P Wickramarachchi - 51 B
Addressing the gathering, the Commander of the Army congratulated them and extended best wishes to the newly-joined Commandos. Adding memories to the day's event the Chief Guest and Senior Officers and Instructors afterwards posed for group photographs with the Passed out Batch before the day's first segment drew to a close. The Chief Guest took few minutes to have some words with newly graduated commandos there and highlighted the importance of the role they are going to play once they join with their units as Commandos. Further, he pointed out the professionalism what the nation expects from the Commandos and responsibility of a commando in contemporary world.
After a while, the gathering moved to the Drop Zone area in the CRTS where the closing ceremony of the LRP course commenced and appreciative trophies and certificates were presented for the performance shown during the course as:
Best Long-Range Patrol Soldier - Lieutenant C L Jayathunga
Best Navigator - Private D M J Kumarasinghe
Best Long Range Patrol 8 Men Commander - B 103 of Lieutenant W M L D Wijesooriya
Adding more significance to the day, Commando Regiment which also coincided the day with its 43rd anniversary, offered some special awards to the members of the CR family as :
Best Commando - Corporal A V Gallage 4 CR
Most dedicated commando to uplift the name of the Commando Regiment during year 2022- Warrant Officer I B M R R Bannahake - 2 CR
Champion of Inter Battalion Sports Competition - 1 CR
Runner-up of Inter Battalion Sports Competition - 2 CR
Most dedicated Commando Battalion to uplift the name of the Commando Regiment during year 2022 - 1 CR
The dazzling spectacle of the day, staged in the dropping zone of the CRTS reached new heights afterwards as the stage was set for the spectators to witness the display of daring skills of those Commandos in several simulated demonstrations.
Sniper shoots, Hostage Rescue Operations and Counter-Terrorism Demonstrations, K9 (War Dogs)-Handling Displays, Free-fall jump session, Commando Real Fighting Display, Face to Face live firing demonstration etc, dominated the scenario as the gathering watched the proceedings with awe, thrill with excitement.
A special briefing with demonstration had been arranged at Commando Special Training Facility Complex –CRTS on effective Firing from Floating Platform and Riverine Patrolling for Commander of the Army and other senior officers.
Major General S U M N Manage WWV RWP RSP psc, Director General General Staff and Commander, 1 Corps, Major General M G W W W M C B Wickramasinghe RWP RSP ndu psc, Adjutant General, Major General G M N Perera RWP RSP USP ndc, General Officer Commanding, 12 Infantry Division, and Major General I A N B Perera RWP USP ndu psc, Commandant, Sri Lanka Military Academy were also among the invitees.