The De-Suung training has reinforced my respect and admiration for the dedicated services our military is providing in the service of our motherland. With just the basic remuneration, our military men and women appear to be a highly motivated unit, taking pride and equipped to perform at their peak within their respective ranks.

Be it a drillmaster, a weapon instructor or an officer at task, they all handle the job with supreme competence and knowledge. The spirit while I was at the Tencholing Military Center has impressed upon me as “that team” who one can trust with his life. A team comprising of highly motivated and professional soldiers bearing great courage and intellect to execute orders at any point in time; ready to die for the motherland. It is this group that genuinely puts service before self and my heart salutes them, and this brief note is far from adequate in describing their devoted services to the Tsawa Sum.

The training has reinforced my belief in the significance of continuously nurturing a cohesive society reaching beyond region, ethnicity and religion, and recognizing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and working together as a single unit aiming towards building a more prosperous, resilient and caring society. In addition, it has allowed me to recognize who we are and where we are as a nation and how we need to employ skillful means to manage our affairs in this modern day and age. While I experienced military life back in 1989 as one of the first-batch militia, but then as a lad I could only assimilate the physical training component. It is this golden opportunity I seized with delight as part of the 13th batch to fortify my commitment as a citizen towards the cause of nationhood and citizenship.

There is much to learn for all of us from the De-Suung discipline. For example, the civil service designed to be pillars for the delivery of the country’s socioeconomic development must realize that there is an urgent need for them to create room to assimilate vast lessons from the De-Suung program in terms of disciplines accompanying punctuality, responsibility, accountability, sense of duty and service, competence and most importantly professionalism. Only then, the constituents of the civil service and other non-military citizens will realize the need to exhibit greater sense of responsibility, conscientiousness, efficiency and resilience in governance and in other businesses allowing the country to catapult into a first world sooner rather than later.

The De-Suung training has promising potential to instill greater values like service, duty, courage, justice, perseverance, citizenship, nationalism and tenacity as a determinant to build a great country for our future generations and for us. To this effect, if a majority of the civil service (especially at the executive level) undergoes the training program, a sense of collective awakening should dawn on them to serve the nation with greater commitment and sincerity through a smart, wise and realized mind. The De-Suung training can terminate the prevailing ethos of a citizen limited to the confines of the household, through the manifestation on the importance of collective responsibility, the importance of nationhood and the understanding of citizenship, nationalism and patriotism. Similarly, the complacency culture within the non-military domain can be changed into a culture that nurtures united discipline and values as stated above accruing to quality components of nation building.

De-Suups as protectors of peace and happiness have the potential to lead with example in every facet of living as a son, as a father, as a brother, as a neighbor and more importantly as a citizen. As a De-Suup volunteer, I personally commit to reversing the degradation of our ancient values of compassion, family ties and culture, traditional institutions, the threat to our natural environment and most importantly the dangerous dependence on the outside world for the country’s socioeconomic development.

As a common citizen, I remain honored and grateful to be part of De-Suung family and humbly recognize the sacred responsibility and trust committed to serve with a national outlook that enriches many more lives beyond my own comfort and safety. His Majesty’s visit during the De-Suung training period has inspired all of us, awakening within us the true essence of a citizen reflecting on what we can achieve as a nation ensuring Bhutan a brighter future.

This landmark opportunity granted to us by no other than His Majesty the King must be seized through good judgment of ourselves as sons and daughters of Pelden Drukpas because through this we can make the greatest possible difference. The De-Suung initiative continues to provide the bridge to accomplish great things in life and as individuals we all share the experience of service, united by similar beliefs. As a team and with the dedication and support of great numbers magnificent work can be achieved.

Like the past batches, as part of the 13th Batch De-Suups I like many other fellow De-Suups have undoubtedly harnessed the enthusiasm, skills, talents and networks amongst ourselves providing greater opportunities in unison. I am honored to be part of De-Suung and recognize the sacred responsibility and trust, committed to be trained and willing to serve in times of need not limiting to disasters caused by fire, earthquakes and floods.

I quote His Majesty the King, … “There is a higher responsibility not written in any legal documents but instead enshrined in humanity and history – a natural responsibility and duty that we all must shoulder equally, irrespective of who we are.” I only present my reflections now, allowing time to assimilate my thoughts with the impression I received from the program few months back.

Contributed by 

Sonam Tobgay

Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party