NEW. Watch live television from Ghana, the latest Ghanaian movies and OBE TV.Accra, Sept. 4, GNA - President John Evans Atta Mills, has urged the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to deliver on their core mission of safeguarding Ghana's territorial integrity as the nation prepared to exploit its oil find.
He commended the Forces for complementing the efforts of the Police in crime fighting in recent times and stressed that they should protect Ghana's territorial waters as the nation strived to drill oil in commercial quantities.
The President was addressing a colourful and smart graduation parade of cadet officers at the Ghana Military Academy and Training Schools at Teshie, near Accra on Friday.
President Mills charged the Forces to constantly defend the interest of the nation and represent the best for Ghana. Ninety-six cadets graduated from the Regular Career Course 49 and Short Service/Special Duties Course 48, and the President conferred on them the Presidential Commission that marched them into the Ghana Armed Forces as Second Lieutenants, Lieutenants and Captains: 74 into the Ghana Army, 10 into the Navy and 12 into the Air Force.
President Mills reiterated government's decision to concentrate on pursuing policies and programmes that would enhance the esprit de corps within members of the Ghana Armed Forces.
He said for starters, government has increased the operational allowance for troops on external peacekeeping missions from 27 dollars to 30 dollars a day and there had also been an improvement in the fleet of transport of some key training institutions.
President Mills said other measures have been initiated and cited the resolution of the water problem at all military units, including the Teshie Military enclave.
He said efforts were also being made to solve the problem of accommodation of young officers and soldiers and the rehabilitation of Medical reception Stations at all garrisons and the enhancement in the general pay and allowance for both troops and civilian employees of the Ministry of Defence.
President Mills said the young officers had chosen to share with him as the Commander in Chief of the GAF, his primary responsibility to protect and enhance the safety of Ghanaians.
He said that the safety of soldiers as well as that of the nation would depend on the sound military judgment of members of the GAF. President Mills said "It is a responsibility you have chosen to share with me and together, we must work relentlessly to build a Better Ghana," and challenged the young officers to discharge their duties professionally.
He said "You should be proud of what you have already achieved. But you should be sobered by the important responsibilities you are about to assume both home and abroad". President Mills implored.
The President commended the Armed Force for their role in safeguarding last year's general electoral process, and urged the newly commissioned officers, to rise above religious, tribal or social interest and partisanship to protect the nation's democracy. "You must therefore act at all times with loyalty, undisputed political impartiality, absolute integrity and undoubted selflessness. "You loyalty is to the state and not any religious, tribal, political or social interests," President Mills said.
President Mills urged the Military High Command to ensure equity in its gender integration agenda and offer equal opportunities devoid of any sectarian considerations.
Real Admiral M M Tahiru, Commandant of the MATS, commended the diligence, self-sacrifice, resolve and resilience of the graduating officers in spite of the arduous and mental and physical exertions during the course.
Senior under Officer Raphael Koleyevu, the best all round officer cadet was awarded the Sword of Honour, while CSM Doreen Opoku-Agyeman was adjudged the best female cadet. 4 Sept 09