An award scheme to unearth and reward talents and best-practices in loyalty to the nation, discipline, professionalism, commitment to duty and good conduct, has been instituted at the Southern Command (S/Comd), a brigade under the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), to motivate and bring out the best of soldiers through competitive training exercises.
This came to light when the General Officer Commanding (GOC), S/Comd, Brigadier-General (Brig-Gen) Thomas Oppong-Peprah welcome back to Ghana at the Kotoka International Airport, three outstanding soldiers who were awarded the ultimate prizes of leisure trips abroad, from 13th to 20th January, 2018, to Nairobi, Kenya and Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In a welcome address to the awardees, Brig-Gen Oppong-Peprah stated that one of his prime policies under implementation at the brigade is endeavouring to unearth hidden talents in all officers and men under the Command.
“Sending you abroad to refresh and grant you exposure was one way of recognising your output, professionalism, conduct and loyalty to the people of Ghana and, it is a scheme that would be sustained”, he surmised.
The brigade commander finally urged the awardee soldiers and the officer to share their experiences with their colleagues to encourage them to constantly display appreciable levels of good attributes, to attract commendation.
Speaking to the press after the welcome ceremony, the Command Operations Officer (COO), Colonel (Col) GKT Sam, further expoused the policy of his GOC to search, locate and encourage hidden talents of soldiers under the Command, in every field of endeavour.
He intimated that in implementing the policy, competitive training exercises are being instituted whiles defunct ones are being reactivated and fine-tuned just to get the troops to train and be sharpened to participate and thus winners will be awarded appropriately.
He further hinted that although oncoming competitions would have similar ultimate prizes, they would not be limited only to Kenya and the UAE, but will also include an award, whose winner would visit the Seventh Infantry Brigade, in the United Kingdom.
The officer and soldiers in turn presented a glass sculpture of one of the many sights, they toured, (the Burj Arab, situated 500 meters into the sea, having 55 floors with its first 5 floors submerged in the sea water, a suspended tennis court and an helipad), to the Brigade Commander.
The officer and soldiers, Major Martin Dziedzorm Dey, Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) James Worlanyo Obempem and Lance Corporal (L/Cpl) Gabriel Osei of the 66 Artillery, Ho and Fifth Infantry Battalion (5BN), won the ultimate awards in Hardwork as Training and Operation Officer – HQ, Best in General Performance as Senior Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) and Junior (NCO) columns, respectively.
The funding of the soldier awardees for the trip was borne solely by S/Comd HQ, while Adansi Tranvel & Tours sponsored Major Dey – General Staff Officer, S/Comd.
Recounting a few of their escapades to the media there gathered, the awardees reminisced their experiences at places such as the Orphan Elephants, Desert Safari, the mega tall Burj Khalifa – a height of 2,722 ft – all which they said had boosted their “can do” spirit, as well as given a shot in the arm to their confidence and self esteem.
By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, KIA, Accra