Préfète Déléguée Sylvie Feucher, President Daniel Gibbs, and Gendarmerie Capitaine Thierry Verres join the new recruits and their Recruitment Officer for a group photo. (Robert Luckock photo)
MARIGOT–Préfète Déléguée Sylvie Feucher and President of the Collectivité Daniel Gibbs have congratulated eight young St. Martiners who will be joining the French Army on March 5, entering different regiments in different areas of France.
The group accompanied by their recruitment officers Adjutant Alexandre and Caporal Chef Yannick officially signed their contracts of engagement at a press conference in the presence of their parents.
The enlisted young men, only family names given, are Cassamor, Arrondell, Page, Cavina, Suzin, Nicholas, Buttons, and Bertin Maurice. Their future functions in the Army were not known. Candidates 18-26 years are eligible to join the Army. They must pass a range of physical and mental tests and a written examination to be accepted.
“The army is a great institution, guardian of our freedom, and we are happy today to entrust it with our eight young people who have decided to embark on this path,” said Gibbs in his introduction.
“I am very pleased to see the evolution of Centre d’Information et de Recrutement des Forces Armées (CIRFA) and the performance produced through the partnership between you and the Collectivité. Your regular intervention in the service of our youth, twice a year for several years now, is remarkable and I am particularly grateful to you and on behalf of the Collectivité,” he told the Adjutant.
“We have made youth a priority given our demographic structure. We support it in various fields such as training and scholarships, knowing that as a result all initiatives emanating from citizen training are very favourably received on our territory. We are pleased to see that things have moved in the right direction.
“I would also like to highlight the involvement of the Army and the solidarity you showed towards us during Hurricane Irma. You have marked your presence by a flawless investment in our population. I thank you warmly for this and I have no doubt that this presence has been able to inspire a large number of vocations among our young people.”
Eighteen young people from St. Martin signed a contract with the French army last year.
“I wish you the best possible integration into your new functions,” Gibbs added, addressing the new recruits. “I would like you to know the Collectivité is with you and we are very proud that you have chosen to represent our institution with dignity under the flag.
“You are role models for your family, brothers and sisters, friends. The route will not be easy, you will be confronted with a radical change of environment. However, I do not doubt your ability to adapt and also your courage to overcome the challenges that await you.”
Gibbs thanked Fire Brigade Lieutenant Bernard Maes who over the years has permitted physical tests to be conducted on the premises. He also thanked the parents for their understanding and respect for their children’s decision, given the emotional toll such a decision must take on family.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/85540-eight-young-st-martiners-enlist-in-the-french-army