Twenty officers (potential) are taking part in the course. 11 of them are Africans and on Friday (11 June) they will become the first black officers ever commissioned in the Rhodesian Army.
Twenty officers (potential) are taking part in the course. 11 of them are Africans and on Friday (11 June) they will become the first black officers ever commissioned in the Rhodesian Army. Most of the trainees are battle hardy veterans who have been NCO's for many years. The members of the course have already won many honours and decorations, one is the only African ever to win the Legion of Merit medal. The training school's commandant, Lt. Col. E.M. Sobey said, "There is no reason why Africans cannot get to the very top in the Rhodesian Army." The course is taking place in Gwelo, some 110 miles south-west of Salisbury. One of the trainees is U.S. veteran Dick De Lany (correct spelling). De Lany went on three tours of Vietnam for the American army and won the Bronze Cross, the Silver Star and the Purple Heart he was interviewed by NBC reporter Neil Davis.
After their training - which included specially produced scene in which an army officer shoots a terrorist with a machine gun (to much applause)-- the black and white potential officers got on the pise together. The black officers say they are no scared of possible reprisals in a black ruled Rhodesia and that they are fighting to prevent the spread of communism.