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Col Stephen Ortega addresses BDF Youth Cadets

Paul Mahung reporting…


Upon his arrival at Camp Site in Independence, BDF Deputy Commander, Col. Steven Ortega inspected a quarter guard provided by Youth Cadets of Toledo and Stann Creek Districts. Thereafter Col. Ortega attended camp briefing and presentation done by Commanding Officer of BDF Volunteer Battalion Lieutenant Col Edison Ogaldez and thereafter addressed cadets at camp. Colonel Ortega said it was an honor and privilege to be with BDF Youth Cadets during his visit.


Col. Steven Ortega

“It’s an honor and a privilege for me to come down here to Independence to visit the future of Belize to see these young children enjoying themselves and learning discipline and patriotism and learning all the attributes that make them valuable citizens to our country’s future. I also understand that they’ve done numerous tours to various institutions down here that have highlighted their interests into what all is available in Belize and I believe some of them also expressed that it was an experience for them to visit this place as well as many of them don’t know this part of the country. So overall I believe it was a very valuable experience for them to gain that insight and continue their training in developing themselves.


Colonel Ortega was also briefed on a major camp activity as reported by the Camp Program Manager, Sgt. Major Albert Johnson.


Sgt. Major Albert Johnson – Camp Program Manager

“We have the fifteen and sixteen year old cadets who normally do different training than the ordinary cadet children. What we normally do is provide a different training for them that takes the form of an expedition. For this particular year they were deployed from Independence to San Juan where they would have practiced mostly field exercise drills that includes steel crafts, construction of traps, basher etc. After that they would have tracked a couple miles into Independence but it would have been done by leg and when reaching Independence they would rejoin the rest of the cadets before the culmination of the camp. We do this to prepare them for the smooth transition into the volunteer element or by extension, the regular force. And this works out very well when recruiting soldiers.”


The three day adventure and expedition team included thirty four senior team BDF cadets and ten BDF volunteer soldiers. Closing activity on Saturday morning August 19 will include a church service and parade of BDF cadets, through main street Independence. The one week camp is attended by over three hundred and twenty five participants, including BDF Youth Cadets nationwide and support training staff from BDF Battalion.