Facebook - Like us on facebook



Friday 3rd September 2021 was another milestone in the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) as His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the RSLAF, Brigadier General (Rtd) Dr Julius Maada Bio, together with top Government officials, Honourable Members of Parliament, senior military and police officers both serving and retired, members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, Local Council and traditional leaders, family members and friends of officer cadets at the Armed Forces’ Training Centre (AFTC), Benguema Barracks near Waterloo, witnessed the Commissioning Ceremony of 60 Officer Cadets as Second Lieutenants into the RSLAF. In his capacity as Reviewing Officer, the C-in-C praised the efforts and inputs of officers and men of the RSLAF for what he described as an excellent performance during the Commissioning Ceremony of Direct Entry Officer Cadets 2021.

During his address to the newly commissioned officers, he emphasized that, he was excited to be with them as the Reviewing Officer during the Commissioning Parade. “I am here with family members, loved ones and millions of Sierra Leoneans to congratulate each of our 60 Officer Cadets who were recruited into the RSLAF in 2019.” He continued that, out of these number of Officer Cadets, 11 Specialist Officer Cadets were commissioned three months ago; one is currently training at the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell; and the other one is at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the United Kingdom. He also stated that, as a nation, we have recruited more women into our Armed Forces over the last three years. Our recruitment of women is far above the threshold specified in UN Security Council Resolution 1325. “My Government he added, has been guided by our commitment to gender equity and our recognition of the critical role of women in the future of RSLAF. As with all aspects of our national life, women’s voices and representation matter in our country’s Armed Forces and my Government will stay committed to recruiting and retaining women in RSLAF”.

The CDS reiterated to his troops that discipline is the bed rock of the Armed Forces and there is need for the RSLAF to be more professional in discharging their daily duties and responsibilities. This is because the military is a symbol of unity that strongly borders on morale of the force which may affect the good spirit, high standards, behaviours and self-discipline of troops that is consistently expected to be displayed. He reminded troops on the oath of allegiance under-taken by them to serve the nation and that any action good or bad could affect the image of the RSLAF.

The Reviewing Officer furthered that, the GoSL will not relent in building the capacity of men and women of the Armed Forces. The Government therefore, is committed to ensuring that adequate investment in basic domestic training as the key foundation for advanced professional training. He therefore expressed thanks and appreciation to our development partners for their great support in building the capacity of the Armed Forces. The GoSL, he continued will always be committed in supporting the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces as long as it is geared towards improving the standards of the force in making it professional.

He strongly reminded young officers that they are now sworn on oath to serve this nation. “It is their duty to respect, uphold and protect the national constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone and to obey all lawful orders from superiors without question. They are officers first and always and not tools in the hands of politicians and must never be. Their duty is to protect our peace, democracy, and thus support our national development. So, professionalism is not an option, it is a way of life for an officer. It involves discipline, loyalty, respect, compassion, and character. As young officers, they must demonstrate these qualities in how they lead and live. Do more, learn more, and serve with honour without giving excuses.”

In his closing statement, the Reviewing Officer thanked the MoD/RSLAF for successfully accomplishing the daunting task of transforming civilians into professional soldiers, the Commandants with staff, and Instructors of the Armed Forces and Peace Mission Training Centers and all serving and former members of the RSLAF for their unparalleled commitment and great service to the nation. He also particularly thanked the RSLAF for their exceptional role in battling COVID-19, as our infection rates and deaths are lower, and we have successfully fended off the worst of the delta variant wave. “Your service to this nation in war and in peace time is forever celebrated in the RSLAF slogan “Serving the Nation.” Indeed, our nation is forever grateful.”

Additionally, by way of welcome address, the Commandant Peace Mission Training– Colonel George Mahmoud Bangura, earlier whole heartedly received and welcomed all those present and gave a brief background on the training objectives and standards achieved during the Officer Cadets’ Training. According to the Commandant, the training for our proud passing out Officer Cadets lasted for 9 months from 1st December 2020 to date of commissioning. Within this period, core essential military knowledge and skills were taught. The emphasis was on developing their military knowledge and skills, leadership characters, decision making process, physical fitness, skills at arms, RSLAF Policies and doctrines etc. Key topics covered include: foot/Arms/Sword Drills, Minor Tactics, Map Reading, Skills At Arms, Command, Leadership & Management (the officers trinity), the Combat Estimate, the Orders Process, Military Education, Contemporary Operating Environment; Internal Security/Counter Insurgency Operations, Communication Skills and Conventions on the Conduct of War etc. Apart from military related studies, the young officers were exposed to the principles of democracy and good governance and some aspects of International Humanitarian Law. He further disclosed that the training was not only intensive but demanding and it is a perfect practice for the Officer Cadets to strive for perfection.

Colonel GM Bangura, also said he was highly impressed by the comportment and effort of the Officer Cadets during and after training and for choosing the RSLAF as their path for contribution to national development and global security. He also congratulated the Officer Cadets for making history for themselves and by extension the PMTC. The PMTC admired their dedication and application in successfully completing the Basic Fundamental Officer Training. However, he continued that, ahead of the Officer Cadets lie years of service to the nation, which he is confident that they will perform with the traditional flair and selfless devotion to duty. Where ever your paths lead there will remain an unbreakable bond between all of you. That is a certainty, and it comes from, together having met and overcome the considerable challenges you faced during the training. He wishes them all the very best in the RSLAF and stressed how much the RSLAF will value their contribution in service to the nation. “I urge you to be disciplined and to take discipline seriously in your professional life. Discipline is the most important trait of all military officers. Without discipline, there will be no difference between a military officer and others. Our tactics, techniques, procedures and practices may change, but our bedrock principles and discipline, remain the same. Keep the Army values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honour, Integrity, and Personal Courage in mind always. The standards upheld by officers, is what distinguishes a good officer from a great one.”

He maintained that, he has no doubt that these determined young men and women commissioned on this memorable day, having carefully gone through the rudiment of military training will apply what they have learnt in their different areas of deployment for others to emulate. And with the powers vested in him by the CDS, he finally presented to His Excellency the president and C-in-C of the RSLAF, a total of 60 well trained men and women of the RSLAF readily available for the defence of our mother land Sierra Leone. The Commandant therefore, was appreciative over the support of the GoSL and his chain of command for successfully concluding training of yet another batch of young officers in the RSLAF.

The colourful commissioning parade ceremony was also climaxed by the presentation of awards to deserving Officer Cadets for their outstanding performance during the training. For Commander Joint Force’s awards, Officer Cadet Timothy S- was Third best in military essay writing, Officer Cadet Kaimapo JK- Second best and Officer Cadet Masuba T- Overall best in essay writing. Also, among the main Award Recipients were Officer Cadet- Fullah M was best Female, Officer Cadet Kaimapo JK- Best in Academic activities and Officer Cadet- Karim M- Overall best Officer Cadet.

Defence Public Relations and Information Department
MInistry of Defence
State Avenue
Tower Hill

Connect with Us On: Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Blog, and Twitter