GAF promotes 312 soldiers, as requirements change

Mar 1, 2024, 11:21 AM | Article By: Jankey Touray

The Gambia Armed Forces has promoted 312 soldiers to different ranks within their units at the Yundum Barracks following a change of requirements.

The soldiers decorated included 119 from One Infantry Battalion, 106 from Infantry 2 Battalion, 26 from Infantry 3 Battalion, 54 from Infantry 4 Battalion and 7 personnel from the Headquarters of the Gambia National Army from Lance Corporal to Corporal, to Sergeants and Staff Sergeants out of which 59 were female soldiers.

Delivering his remarks on the occasion, Commander of the Gambia National Army (GNA), Brigadier General Sait Njie, highlighted the promotion of soldiers as a significant milestone and a moment of great pride and accomplishment in their military careers as soldiers of GAF. 

BG Njie announced that the promotion process was carried out by a promotion board. The board screened and identified soldiers who were eligible for promotion, he explained, the Chief of Defence Staff approved the promotions, ensuring and assuring that the soldiers conducted themselves ethically and professionally and avoiding the situation where a junior soldier in a particular battalion is promoted over a senior in another battalion.

BG Njie urged all troops under his command to remain patriotic, responsible and loyal to the government and people, as GAF operates “under civilian authority within a democratic system”.

Commander Njie said plans are underway to change the screening process for recommending soldiers for promotion, as the current “seniority in the rank system is not adequate to evaluate individual competence before elevating” them to the next rank.

“To this effect, I have already convened a board comprising seasoned officers to formulate guidelines that we would use to recommend a soldier for promotion based on his performance in the unit he/she is serving,” he stated, saying: “This initiative will allow us to follow due process and give the ranks to those who deserve to carry them. When implemented, such guidelines will allow fairness and the application of the principle of meritocracy in the process, encourage excellence within the ranks and result in the promotion of deserving soldiers. In summary, promotion will no longer be business as usual in the GNA.”

Commander Njie mentioned that this occasion was his first formal interaction with soldiers following his appointment as the commander of the GNA. He said his vision is to transform the GNA into a well-trained, well-led, and highly motivated force that can defend the nation against any threat. His objectives, he outlined, include enhancing effectiveness, improving proficiency, and promoting team building, and unit cohesion.