By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Kpeshie Ridge, Teshie

Southern Command (S/COMD) – a formation of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), has held the 2019 edition of its annual Inter-Unit Drill Competition, to sharpen the foot and rifle drill of soldiers, enhance teamwork among a body of troops, improve on troops’ turnout and to develop the leadership skills of officers and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs).

The drill contest, which is part of the training calendar of S/COMD for 2019, was held on Wednesday and Thursday, September 18th and 19th, 2019, at the Osei Square, 48 Engineer Regiment, Teshie and had the drill format of slow and quick march, on foot drill, rifle exercise at the halt on the up system, rifle exercise on the march, fixing of bayonet and double sentry drill on the march, unfixing bayonet, advance in review order on the up system and dressing of the ranks.

Delivering his remarks at the closing ceremony, the Guest-of-Honour at the parade, the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) – Major General (Maj Gen) William Azure Ayamdo, stated that all the objectives of Drill are aimed at providing the basis for general military discipline.

General Ayamdo, quoting from the Drill Manual, stated that, “The purpose of Drill is to enable a commander or non-commissioned officer, to move his unit from one place to another, in an orderly manner; to aid in disciplinary training, by instilling habits of precision and response to the leader’s orders; and to provide for the development of all soldiers, in the practice of commanding troops”.

Maj Gen Ayamdo further said that, evidently, drill is the foundation for military order and discipline – the quick response to orders by a body of troops from their Commander, is a clear demonstration of how Unity of effort can be achieved.

“Drill has often been used as a forerunner to great battles; military discipline is founded on Drill, and it is the learning steps to military order and collective discipline, and it gladdens my heart that, this time-tested tradition to promote drill in the units, is making a comeback.

“I urge all Commands and Formations to promote Drill in Units’ daily routine, for if we fail to continue to drill, we will lose our discipline and every positivity, like poise, neatness, precision and high morale, that comes with it, thus Muster Parades, Guard Mounting, and even Funeral Drills must be positively exploited at the Units, to ensure that officers and men appreciate the value of drill to our noble profession”, COAS General Ayamdo said.

“If any of the soldiers in the ranks questioned why they must turn, salute, halt or perform any other commanded action, we as spectators would have witnessed chaos and, definitively, would not have enjoyed the contingent – this gives a clear demonstration of the trust between the Commander and his troops – they trusted and instinctively obeyed his orders without second thoughts, therefore promoting discipline, team work, espirit de corps and predictability”, Maj Gen Ayamdo concluded.

The units under the formation which participated in the competition, were 48 Engineer Regiment (48 Eng Reg) – Teshie, 64 Infantry Regiment (64 Inf Reg) – Burma Camp, 66 Artillery Regiment (66 Arty Reg) – Ho, 153 Armoured Regiment – Burma Camp, First Battalion of Infantry (1Bn) – Tema, Second Battalion of Infantry (2Bn) – Takoradi, Fifth Battalion of Infantry (5Bn) and Southern Command Headquarters (Camp HQ) – Teshie.

Each contingent had one officer, thirty-one soldiers and a target of 830 maximum points to accrue, however, at the end of the 2-day event, 2BN won the ultimate trophy with 780 points and a cash prize of GHS 5000, 5BN was 1st Runner-up with 779 points, winning a trophy and a cash amount of GHS 3000 and 64 Inf Reg winning 2nd Runner-up with 765 points winning a trophy and GHS 2000.

Present at the event were the General Officer Commanding (GOC), S/COMD – Brigadier General Abraham Yeboah Nsiah, Col Asiamah – Command Operations Officer, Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Emmanuel Appiah – 48 Eng Reg, Lt Col Seth Odei – 5Bn, Lt Col Simeone B Nyante – 1Bn, Lt Col Fiifi-Deegbe – 64 Inf Reg, Lt Col William Ackah – Recce Reg, Lt Col Bernard Pantoah – 66 Arty Reg, Maj Matthew Ayawine – 2Bn, Maj Martin Dey – Staff OIC, Operations & Training and Maj Marteye – Command PRO.

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