The Chief of Defense Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) Lt General Massaneh N Kinteh told officers of GAF that everyone as a citizen of this country needs to leave a good legacy that the future generation should inherit.
Lieutenant General Kinteh made this statement on Friday 9 March 2018 while addressing officers during a session to inaugurate the Promotional Exams (PROMEX) Board for officers of the GAF that are due for promotion to various ranks from Captain to Lieutenant Colonel. He went further to urge members of GAF to always look for ways to improve this noble institution for the better. According to General Kinteh, “Armed Forces the world over have a cream of innovators for the development of their societies. Important tools such as communication gadgets, the computer and GPS to name just a few, trace their roots to the Armed Forces. Members of the Armed forces serve the people, so they should always endeavor to leave a good legacy”, he said.
He concluded by advising Officers present to prepare their minds for positive change as a follow on from the new political dispensation. He observed that the training that these officers underwent during their career in the military has prepared them for their various leadership positions. The CDS also noted the menace of saturated ranks and the structural defect affecting GAF as some of the reasons that necessitated the conduct of the PROMEX.
Speaking earlier, the Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defense, Mrs. Anna Jobe, in a brief statement noted that promotions in any institution are based on criteria and rules that govern the conduct of such activities. She noted that in the context of GAF these criteria and rules will be followed to last letter.
In his opening remarks, the Deputy Chief of Defense Staff, Major General Yakuba Drammeh who is also the Chairman of the PROMEX Board stated that GAF is on a change of dynamics in the way promotions are being conducted. He went on to say that promotions should be deserved and based on merit. He observed that non-adherence to these tenets have caused the slow growth and negative image of the force. He concluded by stating that the exam will be conducted in two dimensions: Service Writing and Current Affairs.
In his introductory remarks, the master of ceremony for the occasion, Lt Kemo Kanuteh informed the gathering that the Chief of Defense Staff in his quest to redirect, realign and refocus the Gambia Armed Forces especially in the context of the reform agenda, seeks not only to improve operational effectiveness of the force but also to restore professionalism and promote respect for human rights and better civil-military relationship.
He enumerated the critical enablers of any successful restructuring and reorganization exercise in the military as revolving around four (4) key factors: well-coordinated training programs; local and international courses; tutorials and promotional exams (PROMEX).
The latter is introduced in order to change the direction of promotions through meritocracy, he concluded.
Other members of the PROMEX Board are the Commanders of the Gambia National Army and Navy, Brigadier General Mamat Cham and Commodore Madani Senghore respectively and about one hundred senior and middle level officers will sit to this historic exams.
The move has been hailed by observers who opined that the PROMEX has come an opportune moment when GAF is recalibrating and redirecting the focus and mindset of her officers and soldiers to put them in a better footing to carry out their constitutional mandate.