By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Kpeshie Ridge
Officers of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have been reminded to take their training regime seriously, for an acclaimed observation suggests that soldiers deeply consider what their leaders do and not just what they profess.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Navy Training Command (NAVTRAC) – Commodore (Cdre) Eric Adu, quoting the famous United States Army General Collin Powell said, “You can lecture soldiers forever but it is your personal example, as the leader that they would follow”, posited that it is officers’ fitness that their men would watch closely.
FOC Cdre Adu made the pronouncements when as the Guest of Honour, he addressed Officer Cadets (O/Cdt) at the Ghana Military Academy’s (GMA) Inter-Platoon Steeplechase Competition for the Special Medical Intake 5, on Friday, 12th April, 2019, at the Teshie Camp, Accra.
Cdre Adu stated additionally that, officers are also required to pass Basic Fitness Tests (BFT) as part of their promotion exams and all courses, cautioning the medical practitioners that despite their being from the Medical Corps, if they ought to go on the United Nations Operations, they must pass the BFT, asserting that a soldier’s fitness is his personal responsibility.
The FOC stated that the competition demonstrated the strength, tenacity and mental fortitude of the participating cadets and that the values from the steeplechase competition should be upheld in various units of GAF, for the development and growth of the military profession.
FOC Cdre Adu enjoined the naval cadets particularly, to add swimming to their training regime, stating emphatically that “if you do not know how to swim, you will not be promoted” as he urged cadets, generally, to continue training even after leaving the academy, since apart from training being one of the valuable ideals of the military profession, it also affords one good health and general wellbeing.
The steeplechase was in a circuit of 8km across parts of Teshie Township, through difficult terrain and climaxed with the crossing of eight obstacles, comprising of horizontal ladder, 2-feet and 4 feet bars, ascending and descending ramps, vertical ladder, vertical and horizontal rope climbing, tunnel crossing, 4 heave-ups to the chest and a dash to the finish line.
The competition which serves as part of the training program for the GMA, is aimed at testing the physical and mental fitness, stamina, endurance, determination, esprit d’corps and the obstacle crossing abilities of the officer cadets.
All 117 officer cadets (comprising of 42 ladies), segmented into three platoons (Abyssinia, Burma and Chiringa), took part in the competition with each scoring points for his/her team, however the rules were that the team with the least number of points, wins the competition.
Chiringa Platoon was thus adjudged the winning platoon with a score of 841 and an average time of 1 hour 10 minutes, Burma 2nd with 986 points while Abyssinia came 3rd with 1036, while O/Cdt Esaah K of Abyssinia Platoon was adjudged Overall Best as he used a time of 49 minutes 31 seconds to cover 8 kilometers and overcome 8 obstacles to win.
Best Female participant was O/Cdt Pianim Abena Adutwumwaa of Chiringa Platoon, 1st Runner-Up with 52.08 minutes was O/Cdt Soglee Pascal Donniyee of Burma Platoon, who was rather first at rehearsals and 2nd Runner-Up with 54.13 minutes was O/Cdt Dottey Samuel Teye of Abyssinia Platoon.
Various units of GAF who contributed to the success of the event were Signal Regiment, Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (Recce), 48 Engineer Regiment, 37 Military Hospital and Physical Training Instructors (PTI).
Present at the contest were the Commandant of Military Academy Training Schools (MATS) – Major General William Omane-Agyekum, Acting Commander GMA and Deputy commandant, MATS – Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Osabutey, Director General, Medical Directorate GAF – Brig Gen Saka, Deputy Commander, GMA – Colonel (Col) SY Asare, Senior Nursing Officer, 37 Military Hospital – Col Vowotor, Principal Nursing Training Officer – Col Arkorful, Chief Training Officer, GMA – Col Richard K Mensah.
Sponsors of the program were Starlife Assurance, Societe Generale and Service Mineral, who variously donated gifts to the awardees.