At the end of January, we showed you the passing out of a new intake of BDF recruits, and, now, after another 17 week training cycle, a next batch of recruits passed out today.

They are intake number 54 and they showed off their fitness and skills at today's passing out - it was quite a show:…

Brig. Gen. Dario Tapia, Commander of BDF
"Any new soldiers coming in to serve our country really it inspires not only myself as the commander but also the members of the Force."

Recruit A. Gideon, Champion Recruit - August Pine Ridge
"I never taught of joining the BDF but its better that nothing, so I join and now I am here, I am the champion recruit. Thank God I did it. To tell you the truth I am the first BDF from August Pine Ridge and I feel very proud and my family feel very proud of me too because I am the first one to join the BDF in August Pine Ridge village to be champion and member of the Belize Defence Force."

Recruit A. Hernandez, Guinea Grass
"I join the BDF because that was my goal that was my dream. That's what I always wanted to be - a BDF soldier."

Recruit M. Bulum, Champion PT Jalacte
"As in my family I am hard working. My father is a farmer and I would help him in the farm. I think that's why I am strong, I became stronger when I came here with all the physical training we do."

Recruit A. Cal, Champion Fieldcraft - San Jose
"Field craft means how you will camouflage and how you will handle your weapon and you will shoot your enemy."

Brig. Gen. Dario Tapia, Commander of BDF
"It is a challenge and many people are not up to it, they find it difficult. These 29 fellows that went through is a great achievement for them because it tells them that you can do it. It is mentally and physically exhausting but at the end of the day when you reach today you are a proud fellow once you come off that parade square."

Jules Vasquez
"Really it's a fair expectation that a number of these soldiers will end up on the streets of the City instead of jungle warfare situations."

Brig. Gen. Dario Tapia, Commander of BDF
"Well what occurs - in recruit training they get a week from the police, it's part of their curriculum of police duties and police comes to speak to them and so forth."

Jules Vasquez
"Are you concern about the changing role of the BDF? It's been happening for 20 years almost in terms of an increasing presence and increasing requirement for them to be on the streets of the city and away from the jungle for which they are especially train."

Brig. Gen. Dario Tapia, Commander of BDF
"There are 3 things that the defence act said that we have to do; one is defend our country; two is to support the civil authorities in maintaining order and; three, any other task that the Governor General assigns to us from time to time. 5A, 5B and 5C, we say that 5B and 5C is taking over 5A an operation which is defends of Belize. It is a concern, I think we are still able to do our 5A operations."

49 recruits passed out, but 70 were included in the intake; the 21 who dropped out couldn't take the rigors of BDF basic training.

Channel 7