By Alva Mulbah Wolokolie
The new Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) Bg. Gen. Daniel Dee Ziankahn, has warned several recruits that under his leadership, there will be no form of indiscipline condoned or tolerated. “As you commence your careers in the new AFL, you must make discipline your watchword. This is because in the words of a renowned sociologist, Bishop Baldwin Jnr, “an army without discipline is in fact more dangerous to its civil population than the enemy, therefore, no form of indiscipline will be tolerated,” Bg. Gen. Ziankahn said.
Ziankahn, who a month ago told the Senate Committee on Defense, National Security, Intelligent and Veteran Affairs that upon his confirmation by plenary, he would prefer a small and robust force that would have a large tactical operational impact on the society said discipline must be the watchword of all soldiers in the AFL.
Speaking at the program marking the graduation exercise of 134 recruits from the Initial Entry Training (IET) at Camp Sandee Ware in Careysburg, Montserrado County during the weekend, Bg. Gen Ziankahn cautioned the recruits to endeavor at all times so as to avoid any conduct that would bring either themselves, their families, or the AFL to public disrepute.
As Chief of Staff of the new AFL, Bg. Gen. Ziankahn assured the soldiers that he will always stand by them when they make innocent mistakes provided their integrity and honour are not tainted by those actions or omissions.
“I must add that, it will not be my wish to discharge any of you from service for dishonorable conduct, but rest assured that I will gladly do so if that will restore the image of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) as a “force for good,” Gen. Ziankahn asserted.
The new AFL Chief reminded the recruits that the military profession is not a bed of roses or a job-seeking area; instead he added that the profession is a service full of sacrifices.
He acknowledged the peculiar challenges the new AFL is experiencing but assured the valiant men and women out there that such challenges would be gradually overcome because a lot has been done by the Commander-In-Chief through the Ministry of National Defense.
Chief of Staff Ziankahn however expressed his profound gratitude to the Commander-In-Chief and the Minister of National Defense for their vision to renovate and develop Camp Todee into a citadel of training for the Armed Forces of Liberia. Initially, he said many doubted the possibility of transforming the barracks within a short span of time for the training but today it is visible that Camp Todee is ready to host men and women who have expressed their interest to serve the country through the AFL.
For his part, the Deputy Minister for Operation at the Ministry of Defense, Mr. Saint Jerome Larbalee, told the recruits that despite the demanding challenges, the government will ensure that soldiers are appropriately catered to militarily.
Deputy Minister Larbalee lauded the international community including the United States, ECOWAS, China and other partners for supporting the AFL since 2006 to date.
It may be recalled that 140 recruits were inducted into the army last year, December 13, 2013, to begin the Initial Entry Training which spanned for a period of 12 weeks. From the initial training, six (6) of the recruits dropped along the way while 134 were able to complete the training and successfully graduated. They are the first of the three batches of recruits to be trained for the AFL.
The recruits training covered both practical and theoretical instructions in drill, basic soldiering, international humanitarian law, as well as instructions on Liberian civics and the Liberian constitution. Out of the 134, 17 of the recruits are females while 117 are males.