Women in RBAF highly valued
FEMALE military officers in the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) are given equal opportunities to progress up the chain-of-command alongside their male counterparts.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 55th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), the Commander of the RBAF Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major General Dato Paduka Seri Mohd Tawih Abdullah said that women serving in the RBAF are highly valued and are chosen based on merit.
“Dress them (women) in combat gear, they will show you their capabilities and prove their worth to everyone,” he said.
“I believe that females are contributing as well as the men and they (female officers) have also shown their capabilities not just in the RBAF but also outside of the military so there is not much difference between male and female officers in the military,” he said.
The RBAF commander also praised women in the military for their willingness to take up the challenge of being in the military.
“I think women in the RBAF are generally brave to accept the challenge even though a military career is very demanding, that still does not deter them from joining,” he said.
“There is actually a lot of interest from women to sign up for the RBAF but the ones who are already in the military, I see them as brave women who are not afraid of the test,” he said.
Pehin Tawih encouraged female military officers, saying that they will always be given an opportunity for career progression in the military.
“In the RBAF, we give both men and women equal opportunities to contribute to the best of their capabilities and I see that they will continue to serve with us and contribute to the nation through RBAF and we in turn will continue to provide them a chance to rise up the chain of command,” he said.
“If they show that they are capable and qualified for the position, we will not deny them the post, to be fair to all and never discriminate them for their gender,” he said.
One of the highest ranking female military officers of the same rank in the RBAF, Lieutenant Colonel Hjh Suriani Hj Junaidi said that more than gender or cultural factors, commitment and resolve define a woman’s ability to succeed in the military.
“When I joined the military in 1993, I was the only woman in my intake and at the time my family was just a little worried that I might not make it as female military officers were a rare occurrence back then,” she said.
“However, I remember my father’s advice to me back then, which I still hold on till today, when he told me that once I am in the military, I must not back out of it and really commit to it no matter what and that is the same advice I would give to new female recruits today,” she said.
The Brunei Times