Recruits of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have been instructed not to show cowardice in the face of the enemy as it is a Court Martial offence with severe consequences and that the absence of a soldier’s weapon is not an excuse to surrender to defeat , since one is not a soldier because he/she has a weapon.
The Chief Coordinator, Army Training Command (ATRAC), Colonel (Col) Maxwell Mantey made this point among others when, as the Guest-of-Honour, he addressed three hundred and forty-seven recruits (including thirty-six females) at the Basic Infantry Training Course (BITC) Inter Company Novices Boxing Competition, held on Monday, 19th to Friday, 23rd March, 2018, at the Awortwi Square of the Army Recruits Training School (ARTS), Shal-Hills.
Col Mantey reminded the recruits of the mandate of ARTS is to produce well-trained , highly motivated, disciplined, courageous, physically fit and knowledgeable soldiers with a high sense of urgency, teamwork and esprit de corps, for GAF.
The Col passionately instructed the recruits with these words, “at the range, you fired at targets without them returning fire, but in battle, the enemy will fire back, possibly with superior fire”.
“Those who idled in the ring, during the boxing bouts, had punches landing in your faces. Similarly, if you go to battle and idle about in enemy’s sight, your body would be riddled with bullets and when you are supposed to run, but you stop for tiredness, you will be either killed or captured”, as he added that the contest was to show them some realism.
On the inclusion and maintenance of boxing on the training regime, the Chief Coordinator referred to an ESPN survey which sized up boxing, out of 60 sports as the most difficult sport – requiring the following; athletic skills, strength, speed, agility, endurance, nerves and hand-to-eye coordination.
The recruits, the second intake of 2017, who have been under transformation since December, 2017, are being taken through map reading, field craft, minor tactics, drills, physical training, First Aid and more to meet the ARTS objectives set by the military high command, through the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), via ATRAC.
Col Mantey concluded with a warning for all recruits to be wary of ‘minor offences’, since they were being recorded against offenders and, that accumulated minor offences will lead to dismissal from the school, for ” we will not allow you to undermine the long cherished discipline and values of the professional Ghana Army “, he stated.
The boxing competition which started on Monday, 19th to Friday 22nd March, with 76 bouts, traditionally has the recruits segmented into three Companies; Alpha – 116 recruits, Bravo – 116 and Charley – 115 and every recruit went through 3-rounds of 3 minutes per round boxing, where knockdowns do not mean technical knockouts – anyone knocked down is pulled up to their feet and commanded to fight on, the only saviour being the end of the 3 minutes.
Col Mantey and the Commanding Officer (CO) of ARTS, Lt Col ELS Gyedu, supported by his able 2-I-C, Major Tenzy, presented awards to their respective winners, being Gallant Loser – Emmanuel Essel (Alpha), Best Female Boxer – Regina Aporri (Charley) and Overall Best Boxer – Gideon Frimpong (Charley).
The 2nd Runner-Up position was won by Alpha Company, whiles the 1st Runner-Up went to Charley, with the OverAll Winner awarded to Bravo Company, who earlier on, had also won the Cross-country event.
By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Shai-Hills