News: Weekly parade sharpens discipline for Afghan soldiers
Story by Sgt. Antony Lee
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Every Saturday, the 205th Corps, Afghan National Army, conduct a ceremonial marching parade at Camp Hero in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, to sharpen their discipline as they continue full transfer of security responsibility.
The weekly parade, which lasts about 30 minutes, is presided over by the 205th Corps commander, Maj. Gen. Abdul Hamid, and other ANA officers.
On Sept. 21, 2013, Maj. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, 4th Infantry Division and Regional Command (South) commanding general, joined Hamid on the review stage, saluting ANA formations as they marched by.
Hamid addressed his troops in a speech before the parade began.
“We have the honor of rebuilding the country,” Hamid said. “In the future, we will try to talk with the people in every village. We will help them and talk with them about what they want from us. We will maintain the human rights in our country.”
Second Lt. Haqmal Noori, Hamid’s aide, said the purpose of the parade was for the soldiers to maintain discipline.
“Discipline is very important in the military,” he said, adding that it distinguishes soldiers from civilians.
Noori also said that the ANA has an important relationship with the International Security Assistance Force, and that he is hopeful about the future of his country.
“We appreciate ISAF’s help,” he said. “We respect them because they are helping us. I do not think of myself as Afghan, and them as American. I think of us as one team with the same purpose.”
Noori specifically pointed to service members who provide personal security for commanding generals on each side as an example of the working relationship the ANA has with ISAF.
“We learn from each other,” he said. “We learned some part of their culture and they learned some part of our culture.”
Staff Sgt. Pat Young, LaCamera’s driver who often makes the short trip to Camp Hero from Kandahar Airfield with the RC (South) commanding general, said that Afghans taking responsibility of their country was the right thing for both sides.
“We’ve got Afghans taking the lead on everything, and us supporting them,” Young said. “I think it’s a good solution.”