Chaitanya Dhoke did his parents, peers, brother and sister proud when he graduated from the New Zealand Army in Wellington on May 29.
“It was one of the greatest and most memorable moments in our lives,” his parents Abhay and Varsha Dhoke, currently resident in Melbourne, Australia, said.
The Graduation Parade was held at the Waiouru Military Camp, attended by hundreds of officers, new recruits, their families, friends and other invited guests.
Chaitanya’s twin brother Chinmaya hopes to march on his footsteps but not before completing his education this year.
Born in Ahmednagar in the state of Maharashtra in India, Chaitanya and Chinmaya lived in Fiji for five years before migrating to New Zealand with their family in 2002. The twins joined Unitec for higher education but the call of the Army was too loud to resist for Chaitanya, who completed a Certificate course in Automotive Engineering.
“I decided to join the Army to pursue my career as a mechanic as well as serve the country. I was overjoyed when I completed various tests and gain acceptance in a Recruit Course. It was a challenge to the mind and the physique,” he said.
He is doing his apprenticeship in Wellington, following which, he would be posted to another Unit.
Mr and Mrs Dhoke said that they were pleased to see their son in military uniform, which, in itself brought dignity and honour.
“We are happy that Chaitanya chose Army as his career and we are confident that as a disciplined, educated and well-mannered young man, he will serve the country well and safeguard its security. We are also sure that he will discharge his duties responsibly and efficiently at all stations anywhere in the world,” they said.
Home and abroad
According to its official website, the New Zealand Defence Force also provides assistance in civilian emergencies at home.
“This could be anything from search and rescue, to natural disaster relief, bomb disposal or even assisting the police with crime scene investigations.
“Our commitment to supporting our allies and helping countries in need takes us overseas too. Warfare is one of our core skills, so as we have seen in Afghanistan, if we are called into a combat zone, we are ready to play our part,” it said.