By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The Gambia Armed Forces has passed out 1081 Recruits including 128 female, intake 34 recruits after successfully undergoing 28 weeks of basic military training. They are rated qualified infantry combatants, forming one of the largest intakes of GAF, who have chosen to serve their motherland in the army.
The legal officer and provost marshal of the Gambia Armed forces Lt Colonial Bahoreh Jaiteh administered the oath of office, trust, secrecy, allegiance to the commander in chief, state, and to the people of the Gambia to recruits.
The passing out parade ceremony was held yesterday at the 22nd July Square in Banjul, the Minister of foreign affairs Nenneh Magdouall Gaye who represented President Yahya Jammeh inspected the parade before the march past in slow and in quick time advance in review order.
Awards were handed over to the fittest female recruit of intake 34 Alfa, fittest male, best shot and overall best recruit intake 34 Alfa and Bravo and fittest female recruit of intake 34 bravo, fittest male, best shot and overall best recruit intake 34 bravo.
Speaking at the event the staff officer at defence headquarters Major Abdoulie Mboob said recruitment into staff training directive is in conformity with section 187 sub section 2(b) of the 1997 revised constitution of the Gambia. The CDS convened a selection board with the task of selecting young Gambians between the age bracket of 18 and 25, who are mentally, physically and academically fit for enlistment into the armed forces. However due to their large number, the intake was divided and trained in two batches known as Alpha and Bravo.
Major Mboob further explained that the young men and women passed have completed intensive training in foot and arms drill, skills at arms, field craft, infantry minor tactics, map reading and land navigation, basic communications skills, physical training, martial arts, first aid, stability operations, service offences, core values among other things.
Also speaking at the event the Chief of Defense Staff Lt General Ousman Bargie said: “The figure represents a milestone in our quest to address the much needed human resource due to our increased commitment both at the home front and in the international arena. Therefore regular and systematic recruitment of able bodied Gambians into the armed forces is in line with our quest to build a force commensurate to its current and anticipated future assignments.”
CDS Bargie added: “There are many training opportunities available to members of the Armed forces in other academic and professional education in both civil and military in which these men and women will benefit in the near future.”
The Hon Minister of foreign affairs Nenneh Magdouall Gaye has congratulated recruit intake 34 for the successful completion of the hard training and further encouraged and advised them to be committed and totally loyal to the Government of the Gambia and serve their nation.