By Frank Amponsah
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned 107 Officers into the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), charging them to defend the nation with integrity and remain conscious of their responsibilities towards the people of the nation, whose security they would be charged to protect.
The President who is also the Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces who congratulated the officers on their achievement further called on them to remain conscious of their responsibility towards the citizenry adding that it is their duty to protect, and to uphold the blessings of liberty and the prospects of the nation for future generations.
“It has been quite a journey, and you deserve full credit for your perseverance and ultimate success. You must, though, also acknowledge the critical role played by all those who helped to see you through: your instructors, and the love and support of family and well-wishers; which have all been critical in bringing you to this day. Ayekoo,” he said.
He said “As you enjoy the euphoria that surrounds your achievement on this memorable occasion, do not forget that a responsibility has been thrust on your shoulders. Your commission into the armed forces is the beginning of your careers as professional officers and leaders and you are expected to exhibit exemplary conduct.”
The President said this when he inspected a spectacular Graduation parade of the Ghana Military Academy and Training School (MATS) at Teshie in Accra. This is the maiden graduation parade reviewed by the President.
Nana Akufo-Addo reminded the graduates that they were being commissioned into an Armed Forces that has carved a niche for itself over the years as a unique disciplined professional force nationally and internationally, stressing that they should work hard to bring glory and honour to Ghana and to GAF.
“You must also be aware that national armies have been transformed in recent times, due to the nature of emerging conflicts. Today, there are numerous intra-state and cross-border armed conflicts, employing several unconventional and asymmetric means of warfare,” he advised.
He further used the occasion to congratulate the four allied cadets from Benin and Guinea, charging them to ensure that their conduct reflect the training they had been given.
“As you leave the shores of Ghana to get integrated into the armed forces of your respective countries, I hope your performance and conduct in service would reflect the good training and traditions you have received in Ghana,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo further called on the graduands to be ready to acquire more knowledge as there is rampant change in technology so they can be able to transform the nature of traditional security challenges.
He mentioned that “We live in a constitutional democracy, which has taken the blood and sacrifices of several generations of Ghanaian patriots to establish. It has become the standard bearer and beacon of democratic engagement on the African continent, receiving worldwide acclaim for its progress. All of us – political leaders, religious leaders, civil society leaders, and military leaders – are first and foremost, citizens of this democratic state, and our first and paramount duty is to uphold the teachings of its Constitution. That way, we safeguard the blessings of liberty and the prospects of orderly government for our and future generations.”
According to the President, officer Cadets, besides being equipped with the fundamentals of functional leadership, they have also been imbued with the requisite military skills, and other relevant areas of military studies, upon which you are required to build your future careers and that as young officers, they must be desirous of acquiring more knowledge.
The President said government was aware of the infrastructural and logistical challenges confronting the GAF and the GMA in particular that were putting undue strain on the academy in its efforts to provide quality training.
To this end, he assured that his administration would equip the military adequately to enable it discharge its duties effectively and efficiently
He noted that contemporary threats to security, such as drug and human trafficking, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, cyber crimes and the activities of nomadic herdsmen called for new approaches to training in military skills and strategy in order to counter the challenges.
The parade which featured cadets from the Regular Career Course 57and Short Service Commission/Special Duty Course 55 had four foreign officers, two each from Benin and Guinea.
He said: “You must at all times discharge your duties professionally and diligently. Remember you are to safeguard and protect the territorial integrity of the nation and its citizens and not use your position to antagonize the citizens whose sacrifices have made your training possible.”
Senior Under Officer Kwesi Arthur-Barnes was adjudged the Best all round officer cadet. He received the Sword of Honour.