VOREQE 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.
He 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 April 1988 he was appointed Commanding Officer Fiji Navy and was later promoted Commander on 4 October 1988. In 1991 Mr. 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 Training.
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 1994before 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. Mr. Bainimarama was appointed Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and promoted on 01 March 1999.
During the 2000 crisis, Mr. Bainimarama assumed Executive control of the nation and was instrumental in the restoration of law and order in the country.
Mr. Bainimarama has been honored 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.
Mr. Bainimarama is married to Maria Makitalena and they have six (6) children and fifteen (15) grandchildren. His interests include all sports, in particular rugby union and athletics, military history and current affairs.