By Makutu Manneh
The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), on Tuesday 23rd April 2019, decorated 40 soldiers at a ceremony held at the Armed Forces Training School (AFTS) in Fajara Barracks.
All the promoted soldiers are said to be instructors at AFTS. The categories of the promotion ranged from Private Soldier to Lance Corporal, from Sergeant to Staff Sergeant, and from Warrant Officer, to Warrant Officer Class Two (WO 2) .
Navy Commander Commodore Madani Senghore, advised the promoted soldiers to express and manifest their professionalism through action and not just through talking; that the event is just one of a series of events that will be taking place during the next days and weeks to come.
Commodore Senghore said the decoration is an identification to indicate a soldier’s seniority, responsibility and roles they are to perform; that six women were among the promoted batch whilst the rest were men. He said there is no gender inequality in the army and their roles and responsibilities are the same. “Soldiers should have respect for the rule of law and human rights,” he told the gathering.
Omar B. Bojang, Commander at the AFTS, said the promotions are based on the performance of the soldiers at the training grounds; that the soldiers promoted are committed and dedicated personnel who are worthy to conduct training at AFTS as instructors.
Commander Bojang said the criteria used is to select the personnel who comes out first, and the best among these are the ones brought to the School to impart knowledge on others.
Ousman Bah who was promoted from Private Soldier to a Corporal, said since the military command starts with the rank of Corporal, this satisfies his heart; that henceforth, he will also be able to command his junior officers. “It is not easy to be promoted to the rank of Corporal. I struggled very hard to reach this position,” he said.
Tida Yaffa, a Medic at the sport department was promoted to Sergeant. She expressed gratitude for her new position and said she was proud of herself. Sergeant Tida Yaffa said one encounters lots of challenges before one can be promoted.