Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji
FRANK BAINIMARAMA was born in Suva on 27 April 1954 and was
educated at Marist Brothers High School. He enlisted into the Royal Fiji
Military Forces Naval Division as an Ordinary Seaman on 26 July 1975,
and was commissioned from the ranks as an Ensign on 01 November 1977.
Commodore Bainimarama attained Second Mate Qualification for the
Pacific Island from the Fiji Institute of Technology in 1980, and qualified
from the Junior Command and Staff College with the RNZAF in March of
1981. He was promoted Lieutenant in August 1981 before returning to
New Zealand to attend the NBCD Course in October the same year. He
qualified in the International Relation Examination in 1981.
In March 1982 he completed the Short Navigation Course on board
HMAS WATSON and in 1983 was attached to the United States Coast
Guard Center in New York for Search and Rescue Training.
On his return to Fiji he assumed command of HMFS KIKAU. In
1984 whilst in command of HMFS KULA, Commodore Bainimarama
conducted a four months deployment in the markings of the Exclusive
Economic Zones of Tonga, Tuvalu and Kiribati. He was promoted
Lieutenant Commander in February of 1986 and in September departed and served two tours with the multinational Force Observers in the Sinai as Company 2IC/OC and later as Battalion 2IC.
After his return from the Sinai in September 1987 Commodore
Bainimarama took delivery of Fiji Navy Ships LEVUKA and LAUTOKA
from Louisiana, USA. In April 1988 he was appointed Commanding
Officer Fiji Navy and was later promoted Commander on 4 October 1988.
In 1991 Commodore Bainimarama attended the Malaysian Armed Forces
Staff College in Kuala Lumpur and returned to resume command of the Fiji
Naval Division in January 1992. At the end of 1992 he was at the
Australian Warfare College at Newcastle on Maritime Surveillance
He attended the Asian Institute of Technology in Disaster
Management in 1993 and a year later attended Exclusive Economic Zone
Management Training a the Dalhousie University in Canada. He was
promoted to the rank of Captain in October 1994 before attending the
Australian Joint Services Staff College [JSSC].
He assumed the appointment of Chief of Staff of the Republic of Fiji
Military Forces in October 1997. Commodore Bainimarama was appointed
Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and promoted
Commodore on 01 March 1999.
Commodore Bainimarama has been honoured with the Meritorious
Service Decoration and the Officer of the Order of St John of Jerusalem for
outstanding service to the military and Fiji. His additional awards include
the Multinational Force and Observers Peacekeeping Medal, the General
Service Medal, the Fiji Republic Medal and the Anniversary Medal.
Commodore Bainimarama is married to Maria Makitalena and they
have six children and four grandchildren. His interests include all sports, in
particular rugby union and athletics, military history and current affairs.