REVIEWING MILITARY MANOEUVRES
Today, as We have observed you so efficiently carrying out the manoeuvres which mark the completion of your annual training, We have been renewed in the conviction that you are well worthy of accomplishing the military duties which are expected of you.
In this age, when the world is becoming ever smaller and the obligations of Collective Security have become the obligations of all, it is vital that Ethiopia’s armed forces be at all times fit and ready to discharge these duties.
We have in the past repeatedly stated as Our creed and Our goal the hope that today – when the nations of the world have opened their doors and technological and scientific progress has increased the means and the speed of communications – that today, the spirit of equality and the exchange of culture and mutual understanding among men might prevail and peace might reign on earth.
Our sole desire is peace.
At present, no enemies threaten Ethiopia's tranquillity. But no one can predict or postpone the changes that time invariably carries in its wake, and one must be ever prepared to meet and cope with these changes.
The maintenance of peace requires eternal vigilance and a state of constant readiness. To achieve these ends, Our defence forces, which have as their ultimate objective the assurance of peace, can draw upon the traditional bravery of Our people and the latest developments in modem military science.
It is commonly believed that military training can serve only on the field of battle. On the contrary, it can make a significant contribution to the cause of Collective Security and the preservation of peace. This is Ethiopia's constant goal.
We are proud to say that We consider Our defence forces to have attained that degree of preparedness which demonstrates to all that they are amply qualified to fulfil their duties, and that the goal which We have set for them has been fully realized.
Peace is the foundation for development. Ethiopia’s armed forces, established only for the preservation of peace, draw upon 3000 years of heroic tradition and guarantee to Our people that, by their mastery of modem military science, they are capable of achieving this most desirable of ends.
You who have executed these manoeuvres before Us with such skill and efficiency have proved yourselves worthy of the trust which We have reposed in you. We know what effort and perseverance is required to perform these exercises in the skilful manner which you have displayed, and We are assured anew that whatever tasks are assigned to you will be discharged with the same competence and dispatch.
The soldierly qualities of self-sacrifice and discipline are best tested and demonstrated in the ordeal of fire. Today reveals that you possess these essential qualities in abundance and, even more important, that the inherent courage and valour of the Ethiopian fighting man courses through your veins.
We take pride in reminding you that the tradition of Our Imperial Body Guard has been to follow unquestioningly the call of duty and to laugh in the face of death. To you who now take the place of those who have gone before you falls the sacred task of upholding this noble and glorious tradition.
We urge that you remain abreast of the latest and most modern military techniques, and that you preserve yourselves ever vigilant and fully prepared to answer your country's call.
In the Second World War, when psychological warfare was so effectively used, it was Our Imperial Body Guard which proved to the world that neither threats nor lures could divert the Ethiopian people from the path of duty. As your fathers did before you, dedicate yourselves to the traditions of loyalty and bravery. Prove yourselves worthy of the high and noble duties to which you have been called.
May 2, 1960
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 603 –
|HIM QHS The Good Soldier at the Oerlikon during fascist invasion|