Written by Zulfick Farzan
03 Feb, 2021 | 10:34 am
Colombo (News 1st/Army); Exclusively designed military uniforms, expected to reflect the high professional standards, personal appearance and esprit de corps that the Sri Lankan Tri-Services represent will in future be worn by All Retired tri-service personnel not only to symbolize military status after retirement but also to depict that the mindset that being a ‘Soldier’ is a lifelong proposition, deeply respected and well-recognized in society.
The inaugural ceremony for introducing a set of new uniforms to all retired tri-service War Heroes to wear during national events, service events or non-military functions took place on Tuesday (02) at Colombo Defence Services College (DSC) auditorium, headed by General (retd) Kamal Gunarathna, Secretary, to Ministry of Defence and Secretary, State Ministry of National Security, Home Affairs and Disaster Management as the Chief Guest.
The Chief Guest was welcomed jointly by General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army and Head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugethenna, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana and Major General (retd) Upul Perera, Chairman, Ex-servicemen’s Association and Lieutenant Colonel (retd) Ajith Siyambalapitiya, Secretary to the Ex- servicemen’s Association on his arrival.
All Ranks who are registered with the Sri Lanka Ex-servicemen’s Association (SLESA) would enjoy the privilege of wearing those new sets of uniforms, meant for retired Tri-service Commanders, tri-service retired veterans of all ranks, those categorized as medically boarded out ones (10-12 years of service), those serving foreign missions, or for those who have been recalled for active duties on special requirements in keeping with dress code, rules and regulations that have been laid and published to that effect.
Significantly, spouses or next of kin of all fallen War Heroes or those War Heroes killed in action in the battlefield while fighting are also eligible to wear the medal bar, together with the national dress, saree or the shirt/trousers/blazer or so in accordance with laid down procedures, rules and regulations.
The first inaugural occasion kicked off with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp before a minute’s silence was observed in memory of fallen War Heroes, followed by video documentation that explained the new dress and its associated colours, chain of command, correct wearing, identified occasions for its wearing, etc before the welcome note was presented by Lieutenant Colonel (retd) Ajith Siyambalapitiya, Secretary of the EX servicemen’s Association.
The Chairman SLESA, Major General (retd) Upul Perera afterwards addressed the gathering and elaborated on the implementation of the project in Sri Lanka for the first time and its associated significance to tri-service war veterans and retirees.
Symbolic of its launching, the day’s Chief Guest was then invited to initiate the dress code for retirees by presenting berets to a representative gathering of Tri Servicemen heralding the historic occasion. General Shavendra Silva and respective Navy and Air Force Commanders followed suit and after a while put on berets among a selected group of tri-service veterans by signifying the maiden inauguration.
At the end of the ceremony, the Chief Guest addressed the gathering and highlighted the value of a uniform typically centred around a military career and what it reflects upon retirement, etc. The rules for wearing military uniforms as a retired military member or a discharged veteran are similar for all the services and the Service Dress Uniform is allowed to wear uniforms as deemed appropriate for the occasion as set out in the rules and regulations, the Chief Guest pointed out.
Additional Secretary to MOD, Senior Tri Service Officers and a large gathering attended the inauguration.
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