By Alva Mulbah Wolokolie
Ahead of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) plan to draw down its troop, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has encouraged the 140 new Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) recruits that were selected from a public vetting process and are now undergoing training to stand up on their feet and get ready to take on the responsibility to serve the country. The 140 recruits comprise 121 males and 19 females and the training is expected to last for 6 months. The selection process covered a nationwide recruitment exercise which started in April 2013 ranging from the three recruiting regions of the country.
At a program marking the 2013 Affiliation Day beginning at the Todee Military Academy, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf told the recruits that Liberia will not continue to rely on UNMIL and other foreign partners for security and so it is time now that men and women of the AFL prepare to take up the responsibility to push the nation forward.
President Sirleaf said the country is fast improving and as such Liberians must prepare themselves for leadership positions and avoid relying on others to lead.
The Commander-in-Chief of the AFL promised to do her best as President to provide allotments for the rehabilitation of buildings situated in the Todee Barrack.
At the Edward Binyan Kesselly Military Barrack, the Liberian leader told the soldiers that the nation is proud of their service rendered since the restructuring of the army.
She lauded them for keeping the peace and for being professional soldiers that the country can count on. President Sirleaf also reaffirmed government’s commitment to supporting the AFL in order to remain a professional entity.
In a brief remark, Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai, Jr. firstly commended the CIC of the AFL for the support given the army in the past years but reminded her that the army’S intention is to get more budgetary support to carry out more rehabilitation on facilities at the Todee Barrack.
Minister Samukai however recommended to President Sirleaf the re-naming of the Todee Military Barrack because the name given was not enacted into law.
The ultimate objective of the Affiliation Day is to raise troop’s awareness on the requirement for unity, teamwork, loyalty, hard work and to also reward those with meritorious and outstanding performances as a way of motivating and inspiring others. The day is also set aside every year for the Ministry of Defense staff, AFL personnel, and their families to fellowship together and affiliate with the President and Commander-In-Chief under a relaxed atmosphere to mark the end of the year.