The RFMF yesterday conducted the inauguration of the new Honorary Colonel of the Regiment His-Excellency (H.E) Brigadier-General (Brig-Gen) Ratu Epeli Nailatikau CF, LVO, OBE, MSD, KStj, at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks (QEB) on the 21st of July 2020. Present to witness the auspicious event was the head of government the Honorable (Hon) Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the Defence Minister Hon Inia Seruiratu, the Commissioner of Police Brig-Gen Qiliho, RFMF veterans and officers, men and women of the RFMF.
The inauguration event started at the QEB drill square where H.E Brig-Gen Ratu Epeli Nailatikau inspected the fifty (50) men guard led by Captain Venina Vadewabuka.
Afterwards, H.E Brig-Gen Nailatikau was then escorted to the RFMF Chapel where a church service was led by the RFMF Chaplain. The inauguration event then ended at the Tuvasu Hall where the Commander RFMF Rear-Admiral Viliame Naupoto presented the whale’s tooth to traditionally install the new Honorary Colonel of the Regiment.
Speaking during the event, His-Excellency Brig-Gen Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said that he was honored to be the Colonel of the Regiment and mentioned that his doors will always be open to consult on any matters with the RFMF.
The Colonel of the Regiment is an honorary ceremonial position that is given to a senior officer whether active or retired.
The Colonel of the Regiment usually advises on various issues regarding the overall welfare of the regiment and also ensures an ongoing strand in the regiments spirit de corp.
Irrespective of the current rank, the Colonel of the Regiment is referred to as “Colonel”.His-Excellency Brig-Gen Ratu Epeli Nailatikau takes on the Colonel of the Regiment position from the late Colonel Paul Manueli.