BRIG. GEN. DANIEL D. Ziankahn, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) has sounded a strong warning to men and women of the AFL noting that no level of indiscipline will be condoned or tolerated under his leadership. 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, Brig. 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.
BRIG GEN. ZIANKAHN who recently told the Liberian Senate Committee on Defense, National Security, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs that upon his confirmation, 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. Brig Gen. Ziankahn told the 134 new recruits that as they commence their careers in the new AFL, they must at all time make discipline a professional watchword.
THE CHIEF OF Staff said 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. The Chief of Staff of the new AFL assured the soldiers that he will always stand by them when they make innocent mistakes provided their integrity and honor 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.
BRIG GEN. ZIANKAHN reminded the recruits that the military profession is not a bed of roses or a job-seeking area; instead it is a professional service-oriented organization full of sacrifices. He also acknowledged the peculiar challenges the new AFL is experiencing but assured the valiant men and women 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.
ALSO SPEAKING AT the occasion, 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 well taken care of. He then lauded the international community including the United States, ECOWAS, China and other partners for supporting the AFL since 2006 to present.
CONSIDERING THE LEVEL of education and the moral the new AFL now has, it is worth noting that the statement by the new Chief of Staff of the AFL is adhered to by the men and women in the AFL. With all due respect from the civilian population they are employed to protect, the new AFL and must therefore indeed continue to exercise their duties in a professional manner where discipline and service to people is the cornerstone. The new army must uphold this respect to the admiration of the Liberian populace who in return will continue to hold them in high esteem.
AS WE RE-ECHO the Chief of Staff’s call to the new recruits and the entire membership of the AFL, it is our ardent hope that discipline, love of nation, service to people will be the order of their service as we all together endeavor to build a new Liberia free of disorderly conduct characterized by good citizenship. Again, we say let the AFL, in more proactive way project loyalty and discipline, the ingredients of true professional army.