By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Kpeshie Ridge

Fifty-two (52) Defence and Security officers have graduated at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC), after 18 weeks career progression course – Junior Staff Course (JSC) 71 (also known as the Junior Division), to make them better and efficient officers.

The 71st JSC which started on February 4th, 2019 and ended on Friday, 14th June, 2019, had forty military officers drawn from the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), four from Nigeria Armed Forces (NAF), two from the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and six other officers from the National Security Secretariat, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).

The Ghana Police Service also attached 6 senior officers for a period of 2 weeks for the Internal Security and Counter Insurgency phase of the Course, culminating into the final exercise codenamed “Exercise OMBUDSMAN”, which had participation from the Ghana Prisons Service, Ghana National Fire Service and the Narcotics Control Board.

The Junior Division aims at training selected officers to perform staff functions by developing their leadership, analytical and communication skills, while providing the foundation for their subsequent career development, thus, only students who are able to prove their ability and meet the Course standards are awarded the symbol ‘jsc’, signifying that the graduand has passed the Junior Staff Course – an achievement that compares favourably with military standards worldwide.

As part of Course 71, participants toured the Central Region of Ghana, where in consultation with the Ministry of Local Government, students researched into some existential developmental challenges like Curbing Road Traffic Accidents, instituting measures to boost tourist receipts for socio-economic development, ways of curbing teenage pregnancy and its socio-economic implications in the Region and addressing poor waste management.

The students produced a comprehensive report at the end of the tour and this would be forwarded to the relevant quarters for appropriate attention, after making presentations which were witnessed by the Director of Research at the Local Government Service – Dr. Charles Kesseh and a representative of Friends of the Earth – Randolph KB Johnson.

Most of the non-military lectures on national and international issues during the Course, were handled by lecturers from the University of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and some state agencies.

The Guest-of-Honour for the graduation ceremony, Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Adjetey Annan (rtd), hoped that the Course had afforded the students the opportunity to broaden their professional and general outlook or matters of both national and international interest.

The retired General stated that from his personal experience, nothing is more critical than the individual’s will and desire to achieve results and nothing yields more results than an uncompromising resolve to succeed, urging the military officers to be reminded that in the Armed Forces, results are more valued than excuses, no matter how genuine.

Brig Gen Annan (rtd) called for multi-sector collaboration, since Defence and Security matters are assessed and managed in multidimensional terms saying that, “internally, the collaborative efforts of the security services, the judiciary, traditional leadership, as well as Civil Society groups are needed to stem the tide of emerging threats to security”.

In the Awards and Prizes, the Overall Best Student for Course 71 went to Major (Maj) EA Donkoh, 2nd Best to Lieutenant (Lt) Ghana Navy (GN) E Anyimadu, 3rd Best – Maj G Sedor, Best Allied Student – Capt OA Ochaba, EVERARD – Maj FO Essel, Best Allied Security Services – Assistant Revenue Officer (ARO) DS Akpaku.

COMMANDANT’S PAPER, 1st Prize – Lt (GN) GKM Nibo, 2nd Prize – Capt EM Asiamah, 3rd Prize – Maj EA Donkoh and ASSISTANT COMMANDANT’s PAPER, 1st Prize – Capt OA Ochaba, 2nd Prize – Maj FO Essel and 3rd Prize – Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) V Asiedu.

Dignitaries present at the ceremony included, the Commandant, GAFCSC – Rear Admiral Moses Beick-Baffour, Deputy Commandant – Brig Gen Boimah, Assistant Commandant – Brig Gen Mike Akpatsu, General Officer Commanding, Southern Command – Brig Gen Abraham Yeboah Nsiah, Director, Training GHQ – Commodore Angmor, Director, Army Training – Colonel Teye and the Dean, Academic Affairs, GAFCSC – Dr Vladmir Antwi-Danso.

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