Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New soldiers to keep Gambia’s fag high

GAF Intake 31 on parade (pix - statehouse.gm)
Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has urged the latest military intake to keep the country’s flag high by living up to expectation.
During a graduation ceremony held for 540 new intakes (31A and B) of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) at the July 22nd Square in Banjul, the President called on the military personnel to maintain discipline at all times and to help any citizen who may need their services.
He proclaims that the GAF will not only be the best in Africa and but one of the best in the world that it can stand any army. He told new recruits that they have chosen a noble profession; a profession that only God the Almighty can reward, because no government in the world would be able to pay soldiers for their true work.

He classified soldiers as the category of citizens who sacrifices for their nation to live in peace and installs confidence and trust in the civil population. 
However, he warned that “if anyone thinks that soldiers are out laws and so join the Armed Force, then you are making a great mistake”. There will be no compromise with soldiers dealing with drugs and any one found wanting will face the consequences, he stressed.
He admitted that there have been an increasing in the number of soldiers and other security services dealing in drugs, however, he stressed that dishonesty will not be tolerated in the security services.
The president, who is the commander-in-chief of GAF, said a dishonest soldier is as good as a lunatic in the street or even more dangerous than the lunatic “because you are armed”. He also put it to them that they are not masters, instead servants of the people, hailing the peace keeping missions of GAF for not having records of rape cases during their missions.
President Addresses new intake
The chief of defense staff (CDS) Brigadier General Masanneh Kinteh noted that this intake is the second largest military intake following that of Intake 30. “This figure represents a milestone in our quest to address the human resources gap of the armed forces,” he said.
“Our increased commitment both at the home front and in the international arena has created a capability gap that needs to be filled in a timely manner to enable the armed forces deliver her duties and responsibilities.”
He said the vision of his command which is an offshoot of the president’s vision, is to see a “highly transformed and motivated Gambia Armed Forces” that is fully prepared and equipped to execute its national security roles, contributing meaningfully to national development and at the same time participating effectively in the maintenance of regional and global peace and stability.
“The professionalisation of the armed forces is therefore the highest priority for me and my command and as charity begins at home, the Gambia Armed Forces deem it appropriate to begin the long road to professionalism form the beginning - the recruitment process,” he said.
He revealed that this intake is the first in GAF’s new recruitment process, which allows local authorities and community leaders to participate in the selection of soldiers to the Gambia Armed Forces.
He stressed: “You shall totally adhere and be committed to the soldierly values of candor, commitment, loyalty and discipline imbued in you during military training.” Source – The Voice

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