Today, 21 November, is Armed Forces Day. The day will be observed with due solemnity and patriotic fervour. Our defence forces — Army, Navy and Air Force — are our national pride. Our forces are not traditional ones; indeed they are unique and exceptional in the sense that they took part in our Liberation War, and after independence they formed the Defence Forces of a country for whose independence they were instrumental. Responding to the historical call for liberation struggle by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, members of the Armed Forces actively took part in the war from the very beginning. With a vow to save the motherland and protect its dignity from the oppression of West Pakistan, they did not even hesitate to sacrifice their lives. This day bears special significance in the history of Bangladesh and is celebrated every year with paying highest honour to their sacrifices in the Liberation War.
That the first march the Armed Forces set in motion on this day in November 1971 with self sacrifice and a feeling of brotherhood has today itself emerged as skilled, well-organised and disciplined forces. It is needless to mention that our Armed Forces have been ensuring sincere support and cooperation to the civil administration for infrastructure development, services to humanity and management of disaster apart from discharging sacred duties of protecting the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. Bangladesh Armed Forces, under the determined efforts of the present Awami League government, are trying to develop themselves as effective defence forces by rigorous training and patriotic zeal. The Armed Forces of Bangladesh have also achieved worldwide reputation through participating in the UN peacekeeping missions. Their professional skills, personal integrity, honesty and sincerity of purpose have brought a high repute for them and for the nation as well.
The Armed Forces of Bangladesh are in the process of transforming into modern, efficient and time-befitting forces by proper training offered by the current government. To that end, the ‘Forces Goal 2030’ has been adopted as well. The target is to carry out the programme stepwise what the Bangladesh government calls ‘four phases of transformation’. The overall security measures and defence system of the land, sea and national air space of the country would be further strengthened after the programme is fully implemented. We hope our defence forces will keep playing their sacred roles, as they did before, to build Bangladesh as a developed and peaceful country.