March 2016

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march 2016 Vol 20 Issue 1 Defence Forces Newsletter READ MORE The Chief's message T he 1916 commemorations offer a unique op- portunity for the state to reflect on one of the most important events to take place in Ire- land over the last century, an event that has shaped modern Ireland. It is extremely important to Ireland and the Irish people that this seminal moment in our nation's history is commemorated appropriately. The Defence Forces' history began with the foundation of the Irish Volunteers in 1913; we share the same uniform, ceremonial orders and insignia as them. As a fundamental institution of the state with established links to the Irish Volunteers we have been invited by government to participate in all seven strands of the 2016 Centenary programme. The seven strands of the 2016 Centenary pro- gramme are State Ceremonial, Historical Reflection, The Living Language, Youth and Imagination, Cultural Expression, Community Participation and Global and Diaspora. You, the Men and Women of Óglaigh na hÉireann, will play a part in all strands, in accordance with Government policy and on behalf of the Irish people. The strands of State Ceremonial and Histori- cal Reflection have seen Defence Forces personnel playing particularly prominent roles in state com- memorations to date and this will continue in the weeks and months ahead as we continue to provide the ceremonial complement for all state national and regional events which honour the men and women of 1916. Military Archives, as the custodians of the State's 1916 primary collection, continue to play a cen- tral role in the programme's second strand, Histori- cal Reflection, by providing unprecedented access to source material for the 1913-1923 period. The Flags to Schools initiative has been a huge success to date and your strong performance has seen widespread praise for the Defence Forces' teams who have delivered the National Flag and a copy of the Proclamation to primary schools throughout the country. While 2016 offers Óglaigh na hÉireann an opportu- nity to reinforce our identity and heritage amongst the general public it also offers us the opportunity to increase their understanding of the role of the Defence Forces in the defence and security of the State. Security is the bedrock on which a society's cultural, social and economic achieve- ments are built and you must not underestimate the importance of completing your assigned tasks to the best of your ability; by doing this you ensure that we put our best foot forward at every opportunity. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the sacrifices made by you and your families over the Christmas pe- riod. Your selfless response to the nation's flood relief efforts, which saw many of you return from annual leave, was remarkable and in many ways your efforts reflected the Defence Forces' values. The efficiency, flexibility and inter-operability evident in the Defence Forces response both internally between branches, and with the civil element of the Department of De- fence, are also demonstrated in your engagement ex- ternally with civil authorities. Your actions effectively demonstrated our willingness to assist wherever we are required and once again highlighted our most important asset, you, the men and women of Óglaigh na hÉireann. Contents 1916 RISING POSTER THE NATIONAL FLAG THE FF BADGE COMPETITION

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