The recruitment of future soldiers for the various branches of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) must be judged and welcomed for what it is and not for what it is not.
Most reasonable Namibians held their tongues the past days about the usual hysterical social media minority that cannot resist any opportunity for controversy or sensation, because their egos are usually more important than any event.
The military recruitment drive is not an employment creation project for the unemployed or even unemployable. It is definitely not an opportunity for failed habitual political opportunists and the usual publicity seeking and self-styled honourables to catch political flies from each other.
In fact, if some opposition parties are honest with themselves they will be consistent and discourage their youth to join the defence force, because on numerous occasions, during the most recent and even previous budget debates, they argued against defence spending, “because Namibia has no enemies”.
The recruitment drive of the Namibian defence force is one of the most significant moments in development and the nation expects the best, not minimum qualified youth from all regions, backgrounds and persuasions to demonstrate unity, protect sovereignty and serve the nation because of honour and patriotism.
The minimum requirements for selection is definitely not the standard, because Namibians believe that thousands of youth are more than academically and physically qualified to be selected for a career in the defence force.
To debate the published requirements is a conversation between the deaf and the mute, and were it not for the volume of a few, it would have been ignored by the many.
Being a Namibian soldier is not a video game, and God forbid, any Namibian ever again sent into war, because as cruel as it sounds — to be a soldier or a policeman – it is the only profession where death is a possibility in training and later in deployment.
The recruitment and all the conditions to be met is a call to the highest national duty and an honour to be admitted an even greater achievement if passing the rigorous basic training from where a career can be built.
Great personalities and leaders for the future will be discovered and moulded through grit, tenacity and self-sacrifice with comrades who come from all corners of Namibia where the foundations of unity in purpose and the best for all are laid.
The few good women and men who will be chosen are the hope for a human national asset for a future stable, peaceful and developing Namibia.
The criteria should not be debatable. It is the lowest possible barrier to allow for the biggest possible group from whom the best of the best can be selected for training and comforting Namibians that they are in safe hands.
According to the evidence of activists and youth movements themselves, there are thousands of graduates, many thousands more that are vaccinated, because they believed it was the right thing, many more who in spite of MIV/Aids look after themselves and are mentally and physically fit to lead long productive lives and contribute immensely to Namibia’s future where the nation is taking the lead in so many areas, be it sport, green hydrogen, entrepreneurship, food production and the arts.
In fact, to abuse the Aids- and pregnancy tests in senseless debates is to again demonize the vulnerable that over years were normalized through empathy, attitude change and science.
Social media has no memory or archive and is only successful if it excites or incites for the briefest moments. It will do no harm for selection committees to scrutinize the social media platforms of the selected to prevent anarchists and warmongers and the incapable of discipline and respect to destroy from within, like the legendary Trojan horse.
A huge part of the success of the Namibian story of Independence, democracy, stability and unbridled freedom is the formation of the integrated National Defence Force before the Independence celebration on 21 March 1990 when Plan, Koevoet and SWATF formed the parade that saw the lowering of the South African flag and the hoisting of the Namibian flag.
They have done their part and since independence is a pride of the nation.
It’s a genesis that served Namibia well and protected Namibians from rebellions and civil war, oversaw good neighbourliness, and leaving Namibians soldiers doing a sterling job in international peacekeeping in various parts of the world for which they are much admired from Liberia and the DRC to name but two.
The recruitment of new troops is that call to honour for a world besieged by war and a need for neutral professionals to keep the peace so that politics can have the time to create the societies that people deserve.
Soldiers don’t kill they deter and serve.
The challenge of enlisting is to all Namibians and just applying, is already a demonstration of a new generation that must build a modern army to the benefit of all its citizens and the one that must assure people that they can sleep in peace and wake up in peace.
The difficult times will pass, better times will come, but it’s up to all of us who fought a war, those that cherish their fellow Namibians and those that will beat swords into ploughshares.
The youth must also lead the revolution to duty and the call of the defence force is that moment of a huge jump into a better future for all.
The brave is those that dare to apply, because in their hands Namibia’s brighter future lies.