ANTANANARIVO – U.S. Ambassador Claire Pierangelo, alongside Minister of Defense Gen. Richard Rakotonirina, congratulated 25 military students for their completion of the Ministry of Defense’s Intensive English Program at a graduation ceremony at the U.S. Embassy on Monday, September 26. Ambassador Pierangelo highlighted the key role that English language proficiency plays in security cooperation between the U.S. and Malagasy militaries and in the Malagasy military’s interoperability with regional and global security partners. She noted ways in which the training will make each graduate “a better officer, a better leader, and a greater contributor to your nation’s security.”
At the event, Minister of Defense Gen. Rakotonirina also welcomed 25 new students into the program.
In welcoming the Minister of Defense, other Ministry leaders, the graduates and new students to the Embassy, Ambassador Pierangelo said, “The American people are proud to work side-by-side with Malagasy military, Government of Madagascar, and the Malagasy people like mpirahalahy mianala to pursue our common goal of a secure, stable, peaceful, and prosperous Madagascar.
The Ministry of Defense’s English Language program and the English Laboratory, supported by the U.S. Department of Defense, was established in 1995. The English language learning program prepares members of the Malagasy military for participation in joint and multilateral training exercises like the annual Cutlass Express exercises and opens opportunities for essential continuing education programs like the U.S.-funded International Military Education and Training (IMET) programs. Since 2017, the United States has dedicated $4 million USD to support the Malagasy military’s participation in IMET courses and more than $10.5 million USD to a range of security cooperation projects.