President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah yesterday performed his last function as Head of State by commissioning 152 young officers and 22 cadets officers at the Armed forces Training Centre, Benguema barracks.
The 174 RSLAF recruits underwent 26 weeks of highly demanding and challenging military training. Among the 174 recruits were 38 female officers and 2 cadets officers.
The Armed Forces Training Centre, as a cradle of military knowledge and excellence, has as its present role to deliver basic training to officer cadets and recruits and standardized leadership training role, senior non commission officers, warrant officers and officer levels, and to maintain individual and collective roles across the country.
Commissioning the recruits and cadet officers, President Kabbah said rebuilding and restructuring a post-conflict security system was a serious and difficult undertaken for which he said he accomplished with resounding success.
President Kabbah reflected that, “despite all the difficulties that confronted us on emerging from a devastating civil conflict, we have been able to restore a sense of pride and professionalism in our armed forces, and today the RSLAF is a force Sierra Leoneans can be proud of and one on which they can rely for the discharge of its constitutional duty of protecting the state and its citizens’’
The president said that achievement could not have been possible without the sustained commitment and material support of the government and the assistance of friendly countries.
He also said when democracy was restored the focus was building a professional army, providing adequate logistics and improve conditions of the service.
The president stated that, “the officers who have passed out have gone through rigorous training and I am confident they will uphold the values of the force and perform their sacred duties to reflect and respect the constitutional authority of the country”.