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The Independence 40 Ceremonial Parade on September 19 represented a milestone for the women of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) as it featured the debut of an all-female platoon.

Lieutenant Zenra Ferdinand led the 18-women platoon during the parade at the Warner Park Cricket Stadium on Tuesday, September 19, 2023. It was a proud moment for many of the thousands witnessing the nighttime parade when Lt. Ferdinand saluted the first female Governor-General, Her Excellency Dame Marcella Liburd, inviting her to inspect the SKNDF Number 2 Guard. Dame Marcella is the Commander-in-Chief of the SKNDF.

Lieutenant Ferdinand expressed that the midnight parade was particularly meaningful.

“I’m deeply honoured to be of service to my country as an officer in the SKNDF. Independence 40 held two firsts for me. It was the first time I was included in the parade and my first time commanding a platoon,” she stated. “It was very meaningful to know that the soldiers under my command trusted that I could lead them. These women apply themselves daily to national service, and I must commend them highly.”

In referencing the notable applause that the Number 2 Guard received during the march past in quick and slow time, Lieutenant Ferdinand expressed her desire to serve as an inspiration for other females.

“I am hopeful that in the near future, more women will be encouraged to join the SKNDF and serve their nation as we continue to grow as an agency and a Federation,” she stated.

The all-female SKNDF platoon follows the lead set by the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force when it introduced an all-female platoon at the Independence Ceremonial Parade several years ago.

Source: SKNIS

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