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Concerned About My Soldiers

File photo- no connection to the storyDear Dear editor. I am stating my concern, as a citizen of this country, for the welfare of my fellow brothers and sisters in a particular organisation.

This organisation is very well known, but to me the body of that organisation has been placed on the back burner for too long, and I think it’s about time somebody should say something about the situation.

This organisation I am referring to is the Antigua & Barbuda Defense Force (ABDF). Many people in Antigua & Barbuda do not know what takes place day-to-day. I am talking about the way they are being treated by the senior personnel.
 
Knowing a few soldiers and hearing them talk about what goes on in that organisation, as a concerned citizen I am giving them a voice so others can know what is happening.



I thought slavery was abolished over 176 years ago. Well if this is true of what these soldiers are going through, I consider this still to be slavery. I think the minister of National Security should take this matter into consideration, knowing that this body of individuals are armed forces and work with weapons.

In addition, remember stress can get to a point where someone can snap, and we don’t want any mishaps like what took place at Fort Hood, Texas on April 4, where a soldier killed three and wounded 16 of his fellow soldiers over a dispute about a leave request to attend to family matters and was denied authorisation.

And as I write this letter, tears come to my eyes just to see how hard these men and women work on a day-to-day basis, yet they are being treated as slaves.

I hope someone in authority takes drastic measures, and the next time I have a conversation with a soldier, I wish to hear him or her say things have gotten better.

A Concerned Antiguan Citizen

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18 Comments In This Article   

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RE: Concerned About My Soldiers

#18 A Corncern Antiguan » 2014-05-14 10:22

A Nameless get a life
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A Corncern Antiguan

@concern antiguan

#17 NAMELESS » 2014-05-13 13:39

The very reason we do not understand is the reason you stated " The people who keep addressing the issue about not enough information given you all don't know what the life of defense force is like and certainly do not have a relative or someone within the force." and the reason why we needed more information to understand what he / she needed..

What was the need for call to action!!!
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NAMELESS

@ A Concerned Antiguan

#16 Morris » 2014-05-09 08:22

I truly understand your plight. The problems within the army exist because of various factors. For example:
* There should be a Ministry of Defense to properly manage the army, however, the sheer size of the military makes it virtually impossible. So what we have instead is a few men who are hastily thrown together to do what they think is best.
* The lack of leadership oversight from the Minister of National Security contributes greatly to poor state of discipline and morale also.
* The size of the army affects promotion potential and job skills diversity, so what you end up with is the "I have mine, and I control your career mentality."
* There are no duty stations to reassign soldiers to, so for the most part soldiers are stuck with toxic leadership.
* There is no clearly defined mission, so soldiers are stuck doing menial, or made up, tasks just for show and tell.
There are more problems, but I think you get the picture.
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Morris

RE: Concerned About My Soldiers

#15 A Concern Antiguan » 2014-05-08 15:30

Soldiers don't have a voice to speak on their own behalf and their welfare is crappy and their so-called lawyer who is a volunteer attached to the force also help to sink the men and women of the organization. Who want to vex can be because i was apart of it and know what it is like. And even if they decide to resign it is a slight possibility that they will be dismissed. So the person who say why not resign it isn't that easy like you wrote it. They rather see that Soldier been charged over a 100 times before his or her dismissal thats how they make there dirty money.
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A Concern Antiguan

RE: Concerned About My Soldiers

#14 A Concern Antiguan » 2014-05-08 15:21

Some of you may disagree or agreed on some of the hidden points that were mention. The people who keep addressing the issue about not enough information given you all don't know what the life of defense force is like and certainly do not have a relative or someone within the force. Only a few persons who commented on this article can relate to what was being said. And like all other organizations the "BIG MEN" or those above the small men and women always benefit from the small men and women they are the ones who make them look good and not enough appreciation are given where due. The small men and women, without them they wouldn't be reaping the benefits. Why should the Senior personnel's given new vehicles and they already have one why not give these vehicles to the small men and women "the soldiers" to do there work, half of the vehicles that they have on the base not in proper working condition. Soldiers have a more higher standard of discipline and are treated unfairly and being under paid. And are being disrespected by higher members and being spited if they stand up for their rights, and their like to use the phrase "Finish off Soldier"... The RSM's and CSM's who should be defending the Soldiers are the same ones who keep bringing down the Soldiers to make themselves look good to their unit CO's and also to the system to secure there positions and promotions because thats what the higher personnel above there rank like to see.
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A Concern Antiguan

RE: Concerned About My Soldiers

#13 j » 2014-05-07 17:10

As a former soldier in the US army your day starts at 5 or 5:30 am and ends at 5 pm or what ever time your assignment end for that day. The military is a 24 hr a day 7 days a week job with little pay. One could not be a soldier in the begging and have a apartment off base because you did not make enough money. There where times when those who have families did not see them for weeks at a time officer got to go home but not the lowly enlisted man/woman. That is military life every where.
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j

I Live it

#12 shatta abel » 2014-05-07 13:47

i am in the army its sad to say but the army is a ponzi scheme for the higher ranking officials, the little man sweat and toil all day, our duties start at 0530 in the morning to sometime all up to 1900hrs or 7pm with hopes that we are granted liberty to go home with our families. the army higher ranking gets life handed to them they get free government housing, free vehicles on government dime up friday a total of 5 hyundai Santa fe were issued to higher ranking personnel, the army is not for a sensible person looking a career the army is for Officers who get rich off the blood sweat and tear of the men below, we must disband and be put with the police to enjoy the benefits of a rewarding job, we need to bisband i hope the ministers look into it and come to the conclusion we are not needed. its a waste of government resources......mothe rs take it from me do not let your sons or daughters join the ABDF
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shatta abel

RE: Concerned About My Soldiers

#11 NAMELESS » 2014-05-07 11:24

Making reference to an incident that took place in Taxes or the reference to slavery is not telling us what ARE your concerns.
What is your story, what do you want the rest of us to know?
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NAMELESS

...duplication...

#10 Jumbee Picknee » 2014-05-07 10:00

@ Morris, I wanted to comment before I read your 'comments' and need I say more.
Our Nation - Redonda, Barbuda & Antigua is in dire need of a 'mental coup d'etat...
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Jumbee Picknee

@ Concerned citizen

#9 CIROC » 2014-05-07 09:54

Thanks for bringing a potential issue to the fore front.I was really looking for more detailed occurrences.What really constitutes your definition of slavery.Slaves did not have a choice of places to work.Those soldiers even though they are having a rough time according to you.They do have choices change profession or stay and fight for their rights.That is what people in democratic countries do.
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CIROC

...duplication...

#8 Jumbee Picknee » 2014-05-07 09:54

As, I stated yesterday, there is no need in Our Nation of Redonda, Barbuda & Antigua for all these separate 'Crime Fighting Agencies.'
There is no threat to Our Nation from any of Our Neighbors regarding invasion, therefore, the purpose of the ABDF is been trained, using vital and scarce resources for nothing..
The ABDF, the Police Force and the Kroff Agency needs to be under one umbrella, controlled by a body at the helm which reports to the Ministry of Defense.
The criminals (qwerty-board, white starched, duck swaddler, briefcase totting, sungl** individual AND the pant sagging, hip hugging, lycra wearing, masked face, gun totting individual) are more of a threat to Our National Security than any other enemy combatant.
Overhauling the CRIME FIGHTING AGENCY'S is paramount at this critical time.
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Jumbee Picknee

RE: Concerned About My Soldiers

#7 Rastaman » 2014-05-07 09:35

MOST OF THE RANKING OFFICERS SHOULD RELINQUISH THEIR RANKS BECAUSE OF THE DWINDLING NUMBER WITHIN THE FORCE. NUFF SAID COL’S AND MAJ’S IN A FORCE OF LESS THAN A 100 IS UNHEARD OF.
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Rastaman

RE: Concerned About My Soldiers

#6 Rastaman » 2014-05-07 09:30

This article is on point.
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Rastaman

RE: Concerned About My Soldiers

#5 Rastaman » 2014-05-07 09:30

Firstly it is obvious that all the persons who commented are unfamiliar with the military operations. What is clear to me is that the letter was written by a scared ranking personnel who was not cleared to speak publicly thus trying to avoid orders. What he did was put it on the table and the relevant authority need to pick it up.
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Rastaman

RE: Concerned About My Soldiers

#4 SlyThatGuy » 2014-05-07 08:41

If you're going to make a complaint expressing ill treatment or dissatisfaction, it's extremely important that you describe or explain what the problem is; otherwise, the person addressing the issue will never know the most effective way to approach it or what proper remedies and redress should be applied to bring about a solution. There are various types of ill treatments--ha**ment and torture ate two of them. So you have to say exactly what is being done to you or to the person(s) on whose behalf you're registering or filing the complaint. Because words like "treated badly" or "treated as slaves" just aren't going to cut it.
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SlyThatGuy

RE: Concerned About My Soldiers

#3 R. S. Baptiste » 2014-05-07 08:25

This article and writer does not understand the discipline and training that goes with military life. Also, anyone can snap at any time, in the US, a few postal workers snap, should we shoot the postal carriers? In the meantime, until you can definitively say what type of slavery is being practiced by the senior command, please do not speculate and hide behind anonymity. If something is wrong, let us correct it.
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@ A Concerned Antiguan

#2 Morris » 2014-05-07 05:57

I respect your concern for the ABDF. However, since you have not identified the problems they are facing, I still do not know what the issues are.

I know some people think that I am crazy, but as an experienced military individual, I do believe that the army should be disbanded from its current role and integrated into the RABPF as a rapid response team.

The ABDF is currently the smallest army in the world (the army designated to defend the Vatican is smaller, however, they are not there to fight conventional wars but to offer security), and lacks the resources to adequately defend itself against any foreign aggression. However, if attacked do not be alarmed because ANU is signatory to numerous treaties that ensures its security from foreign aggression. What ANU lacks is defense from internal aggression (violent gun crimes) that is plaguing the country and this is where the army can effectively use the skills acquired through numerous Joint Task Force (JTF) missions to help bring some calm and reassurance to the citizens.
The next time you talk to a soldier, ask him the following easy questions:
What is the mission of the ABDF?
What is/are the strategic interest(s) that they are defending?
Who is their number one enemy?
What is their deployment strategy to protect ANU from a foreign threat?
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Morris

RE: Concerned About My Soldiers

#1 Che » 2014-05-07 05:49

Give them more pride and let them loose on the bandits that are terrorizing the communities. Just marching around with the Police and showing off green stiff uniforms on the parade grounds must be boring in deed. I want them on the streets unlike the police to curb the reckless bandits. They have the guts to go after the bandits and bring in all those UZIes for burning.
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Che

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