Chargé d’Affairs Hyland’s Remarks at the KSF Graduation Ceremony, March 16, 2018
Thank you, good morning. Prime Minister Haradinaj, Minister Berisha, LTG Rama, BG Spahiu, other KSF leaders, distinguished guests, and most of all, parents and family members of the graduating new recruits of the Kosovo Security Force.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak here this morning. I am honored to be here and inspired to take part in launching the KSF careers of another group of talented, young people. I would also like to take a moment to congratulate General Spahiu as Kosovo’s first female general officer and for assuming her duties as TRADOC commander.
New Recruits. Today is your day. Congratulations. Today your journey starts and you join a proud organization, following in the footsteps of every member of the KSF that has graduated before you. And, you have earned the right to wear this uniform. I hope each of you will wear it with a sense of pride in yourselves and in your fellow service members. I applaud your hard work. I commend your sacrifice. And I thank you for your commitment to protect, care for, and serve your fellow citizens.
I know your path has been challenging. You were subjected to the rigorous mental and physical testing of the Kosovo Security Force, as have other recruits before you. But, I’m also aware that members of this recruit class have faced some outside pressures and challenges, which you should not have had to face. I regret that some of you have experienced that pressure, and that some of you may yet feel these pressures. Nevertheless, we admire your perseverance and commitment in facing these pressures with courage. You are doing the right thing. It is not easy to break down walls, or to be among the first to do chart a new course. You are now headed in a direction that will lead to a better and more stable future for Kosovo and for your community. You have the respect and admiration of me and all my colleagues. The KSF will continue to have the strong support of the U.S. Embassy.
Thank you. And again, I congratulate you and your families.