VP joins President Koroma to commemorate Armed Forces Day
Freetown February (SLENA): Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana on Monday 18th February joined President Ernest Bai Koroma to commemorate Armed Forces Day at the Hockey pitch, Wilberforce Barracks in Freetown.
Main highlight of the ceremony was the ‘Beating of the Retreat’, which originated from the early warfare when the drum was used as an instrument on the battlefield to signal troops disengagement from combat at night fall. It was also used to warn faraway friendly troops to pull out to the boundaries of the encampment before the piquets were set for the night.
The custom of the Retreat can be traced as far back as 1554 in the ‘Rules and Ordinances for the War’ and it is known today as the ‘Watch Setting’.
Addressing the jammed-packed audience, the Commander of the Armed Forces of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma said the Armed Forces Day is renowned for bravery, hard work, especially of those who lost their lives for the country to enjoy a lasting peace and also for citizens to be reminiscent of the need to demonstrate patriotism.
The president, on behalf of his government, expressed appreciation to the RSLAF for being an agent of international peace keeping and disclosed that a troop of RSLAF will soon leave the shores of Freetown on a peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
The President commended other personnel who are currently serving with brilliance as officers and advisers in different parts of the world.
President Koroma assured members of the RSLAF of his government continued support in equipping them to meet their obligation both national and internationally and went on to thank all government functionaries and agencies who have supported the RSLAF in meeting their tasks and promised to enroll more women into the Army and also promote diligent ones to higher ranks in order to bridge the gender gap.
He applauded the RSLAF in their infrastructural strides in equipping the military’s human resources in the areas of tailoring and agriculture, among other self helping projects in order to prepare them for the challenges ahead of them as military officers.
The president further congratulated them on the relentless performance in ensuring peaceful elections during last year’s elections process.
He referred to RSLAF as a well disciplined institution with standards and urged them to maintain those standards.
Earlier on, eight military personnel were awarded for long service and excellence in the military. Two retired officers also received long service awards while three serving officers received special awards from HE the President, the Minister of Defense and Chief of Defense.
Meanwhile, a female officer, Corporal Macauley was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
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