The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) on Wednesday 30 September 2020 held a decoration ceremony for promoted officers at the Joint Officers Mess in Kotu. This auspicious occasion marked an important moment in the career of the promoted officers.
You may recall earlier last year precisely in June, 67 officers were promoted to various ranks within the Gambia Armed Forces after undergoing the Promotional Exams newly instituted as part of the wider reforms of the Armed Forces. This set of officers decorated were equally eligible to be subjected to a Promotional Examinations like their comrades that were decorated last year by a Board that was constituted by the Defence Headquarters.
The junior officers were able to distinguish themselves by successfully going through a similar professional process that was instituted by the Office of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) which is in line with international best practices and also guided by Terms and Condition of Service (TACOS) 1993. The board was able to come up with a challenging promotional exam in which officers were given various research and presentation tasks.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Defence Hon. Sheikh Omar Faye expresses delight while delivering the key note address. He spoke about the importance of the event, noting “Today’s ceremony marks yet another day in the history of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) particularly the men and women who are already elevated. This figure represents a milestone in our quest to address the much needed human resources due to increase commitment both at the home front and in the international arena. Therefore, regular and systematic promotion of our personnel is in line with our quest to build a force commensurate to its current and anticipated future assignment. My ministry will continue to support the GAF in this endeavor”.
He advised the newly promoted officers to serve the nation with diligence whilst positing that they must forego comfort and privilege of social life. “Always remember that a strong military foundation is built on loyalty, dedication, patriotism, tolerance and obedience to lawful commands. I therefore, urge you to be guided strictly by the Gambia Armed Forces Act (GAFA), the Terms and Conditions of Service (TACOS) and other Service Regulations in place.”
The CDS GAF Major General Yakuba A Drammeh on his part, said promotions are supposed to be normal occurrences in every growing and transforming organisation including the GAF. With that said, I wish to emphasise that today, promotions in the Armed Forces would be in accordance with the available vacancies in the GAF. But let me also clarify that the promotions are not just routine exercise but a deliberate effort on the part of the leadership to ensure that officers to be promoted must have gone through a standard process coupled with meritorious service. Therefore, this particular promotion is one that is consistent with the needs of the GAF and a promotion that is in accordance with the Security Sector Reform agenda of the government of His Excellency Mr Adama Barrow.
The event culminated in a light refreshment and a group photo.