U.S. Army Cadets in the small island nation of Dominica participated in a pass-in-review with the Dominica Cadet Corps last Monday. With President of Dominica, Charles Savarin as the guest of honor, the cadets also heard speeches from a number of government officials also in attendance including Gloria Shillingford-Minister of Social Services, Community Development, and Gender Affairs and parliamentary representative, Justina Charles-Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, and Johnson Drigo-Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works, Energy and Ports.
From the many speakers present at the ceremony, there was one common thread–The Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency Program (CULP) is necessary for the improvement of the largely undeveloped nation. Justina Charles advised the Dominican Cadets receiving instruction from the American mission to “learn all you can learn. Not just in military tactics but in American conscience.” She later highlights how CULP not only encourages humanitarian and community development but that it also succeeds in motivating the youth to become better citizens.
After speeches from the Dominican officials and Commander Boes of the United States Coast Guard, Senior Defense Official of the region, the cadets moved to the the parade grounds where the cadets from both countries were inspected by President Savarin. During the reception following the parade, Representative Schillingford stated, “We need to continue and expand our cultural exchanges….so that [Dominicans] can experience something that they would not be able to in their own country”. Especially with an influx of foreign interest, primarily from China and Venezuela, Dominica hopes to become more involved in trading with the United States.
Minister Charles commented, “We need to import U.S. goods. Open the U.S. markets for veggies, soups, fruits, and crafts. We are the Caribbean’s Garden of Eden”