By Makutu Manneh

The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), has promoted 173 soldiers of the 1st Infantry battalion in Yundum, to various ranks within the Army hierarchy.

The ceremony which was held on Tuesday 30th April 2019, saw the soldiers promoted to the ranks of Lance Corporal, Sergeant, Staff Sergeant and Warrant Officer Class 1 and 2.

Army Commander Modou O. Cham on behalf of the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) said promotion within the military, is advancement in personnel ranks and positions; that it is the reward for good performance following positive appraises of good conduct, discipline and hard work, from their Commanders.

“It also comes with added obligations and responsibilities which also sees an increase in ones salaries and benefits”, he disclosed.

Commander Cham advised those who were not promoted, to keep the faith because as he said, “this is just the beginning,’’; that since the advent of the new Gambia, they have taken the decision as a command, to redesign the Armed Forces to suit the political aspirations of the people of the Gambia.

He encouraged his colleagues to increase their knowledge; that it is only through knowledge that they can serve in a modern army.

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Samba Baldeh, said they receive directives from Defence headquarters for the selection of soldiers to be promoted; that they are given criteria to follow during the selection process. “Some of these criteria include length of service, discipline and courses taken, and achievements of the soldier,’’ he said. He described the event as a big achievement for the newly promoted, because is the first promotion of soldiers since the political impasse. Camp Commander Lieutenant Colonel Jerreh BB. Gomez, reiterated similar comments made by previous speakers.

Rohey Colley who was promoted from Lance Corporal to Corporal, said she was excited to be among those promoted. “Am not the only soldier, but I know it is because of the faith they have in me,” she said; that this was why she was promoted. Landing Bayo who was promoted from Sergeant to Staff Sergeant, also expressed similar sentiments.

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