Photo By 1st Lt. Douglas Magill | Basic trainees in the Afghan National Army place their right hand on the Quran and swear oath to the ANA during a ceremony, May 5. About 840 ANA recruits took the oath at the Regional Military Training Center-Southwest in Helmand province.
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CAMP SHORAB, Afghanistan – Nearly 850 Afghan National Army basic trainees swore an oath to Afghanistan in a ceremony at the Regional Military Training Center situated in the southwest region, May 5.
To perform the oath, recruits place their right hand on top of a Quran next to a rifle – the M-16 in this case -- and recite an oath to defend Afghanistan.
For Haytullah Hamdard, it meant more than just a ceremonial gesture.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “It was an interesting day today. Today, we promised that we will defend this country. All of these soldiers came here to do a good service for their country.”
Hamdard, a 27-year old recruit from Jalalabad, moved to Pakistan 20 years ago, not because of the Taliban oppression, but to escape economic hardships. When he saw the Pakistan military and police, he decided he wanted to join the Afghan army.
“I had already decided that one day, I was going to join,” said Hamdard. “I was waiting for this day to meet with the elders and take my oath.”
The recruits arrived to RMTC in early April. They take the oath during the middle of their two-month basic training.This recruiting class – the first class to come through the RMTC-SW – will graduate June 2 from the eight-week basic training course.
After the recruits graduate, they will be assigned to different units around Afghanistan, some will be assigned Camp Shorab’s own, 215th Corps.
“We think that everyone should participate in helping rebuild Afghanistan,” Hamdard said. “That is what we are focused on. We are happy that there are so many out here today.”
It’s a goal that Hamdard said he is willing to work toward, no matter the consequences.
“I am happy,” he said. “I am ready to lose my head in this war.”
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CAMP SHORAB, AF
This work, ANA recruits take oath to defend Afghanistan, by 1LT Douglas Magill, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.