By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Kpeshie Ridge, Teshie
After fifteen months of grueling hectic training, one hundred and thirty-two (132) officer cadets of Regular Career Course (RCC) 59 and Short Service Commission (SSC)/Special Duties Course 57, have been granted their Presidential Commission into the much-revered Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), at a colourful graduation parade at the Military Academy Training Schools (MATS).
The ceremony occurred on Friday, 18th October, 2019, at the Square of the spiritual home of all officers of GAF, with the Reviewing Officer, being the President of the Republic and Commander-In-Chief (C-In-C) of GAF – Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The breakdown of the graduands were as follows; RCC 59 officers – 75 Army, 10 Navy and 18 Air Force personnel, whilst the SSC/SD 57 officers had 18 Army, 3 Navy and 8 Air Force, however, 3 Army personnel, are at the renowned military college of Sandhurst, and 3 other Air Force personnel, are also with the Royal Air Force, in the United Kingdom, for further studies.
In an address at the graduation, the C-In-C, His Excellency (HE) Akufo-Addo, stressed on the need the new officers to remember, that Ghana occupies an enviable position on the world stage, and regarded as a beacon of peace and stability on the continent and an established democracy.
The President further stated that Ghana is a constitutional democracy, which has taken the sacrifices of several generations of Ghanaian patriots to establish, to become the standard bearer of democratic engagements on the African continent, receiving worldwide acclaim for its progress.
The C-In-C further said that the nation Ghana, cannot achieve the economic growth that would provide the Ghanaian people with a dignified standard of living without peace and stability and that the young officers, are joining a profession whose members have not only upheld its image, but have also continued to ensure that the nation’s territorial integrity is preserved.
“You are thus, to guide yourselves against acts that would bring the name of GAF into disrepute, whiles your actions should be to enhance, or the very least, maintain the standards set by predecessor generations of officers of the Armed Forces”, HE Akufo-Addo said, announcing the provision of 33 new armoured vehicles to GAF.
Talking about efforts being made by the political authority, in conjunction with the military high command, to help address any shortfalls and improve further the logistical state of the armed forces, the President urged improved cooperation with the civilian population for partnership in development, and to promote national integration and cohesion.
In the awards, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) award went to Officer Peter Buerno, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) (SEXTANT) award – Officer Sarpong Prince Appiah, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) award – Officer Nketiah Bernard, Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) award – Officer David Kofi Abuyah, the Academic Cane – Officer Dapaah Edwin, the Military Cane – Officer Amankwah George, and the Sword of Honour (Ultimate Award) – Officer Bernard Nketiah.
Other dignitaries at the parade included the Minister for Defence and Member of Parliament for Bimbilla – Dominic Nitiwul, the CDS – Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Obed Boamah Akwa, COAS – Major General William Azure Ayamdo, CNS – Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, CAS – Air Vice Marshall Frank Hanson, Commandant, MATS – Maj Gen William Omane-Agyekum, Chief of Staff (COS), General Headquarters – Maj Gen Thomas Oppong-Peprah and Commandant, KAIPTC – Maj Gen Francis Ofori.