BY SAHR DUMBAR MATTURI
The outgoing Chief of Defence Staff of the Republic of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Lieutenant General (Rtd) John Milton, on Wednesday 10th January 2018 officially handed over the baton of leadership to Lieutenants General Brima Sesay as Chief of Defence Staff of the Republic of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces, at the Wilberforce Military Barrack.
Lieutenant General (Rtd) John Milton in his statement disclosed that he joined the (RSLAF) as a Private Solider but today, he is gracefully bowing out having attained the coveted an enviable rank of Lieutenant General (rtd) Chief of Defense Staff.
He revealed his love for the military and the reason why he dedicated his life to this noble institution noting that, when he took over as (CDS), a number of task was given to him by His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
Lieutenant General (Rtd) John Milton citing some of his achievements maintained that during his tenure: he was able to Defend Diplomacy, Complete a draft copy of terms and conditions of service for RSLAF, but the document is still awaiting presidential approval for it to become a policy, an ongoing government pay reform exercise that will likely take precedence. As a professional solider, he handled the WIA issue ensuring they were paid and also advocated for an increase in disability pension, which was done in the establishment of an Armed Forces Technical Educational College An Entrance Registration is ongoing to show that the military is not a dumping ground for illiterate and stubborn youths in the Society, the transformation of the Horton Academy into full-fledged military Academy of Excellence admitting foreign Students from the Sub region. Furthermore, the (RSLAF) has made history and taken a leading role in African regarding the elimination of recruiting Child Soldiers.
On training Courses, 615 recruits and cadets training are ongoing at AFTC. 85 are Cadet, 196 Specialist and 341 Recruits. This includes 20 Female Cadet, 80 other Female recruits and 33 female specialists, a total number of female recruit for 2017 is 133.
Now, the military has an Armed forces Agriculture Unit ,great improvement has been done in the area of accommodation, counter terrorism unit has be formed, and the mother of all achievements has been the elimination of cabals in the military; reintroduction of merit based promotion and appointment.
The Incoming Chief of Defence Staff lieutenant General Brima Sesay upon receiving the baton of office gave thanks to God. He said the decision speaks volumes about the confidence accorded on his Leadership qualities. He promised to take the advice of the out going CDS in good faith noting that some twenty six years ago. He started as a Cadet Officer. “ I am taking over the leadership at a time when His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has expressed strong desire to continue capacitating the Military including: support operations, construction of modern Barracks, procurement of all types uniforms and regimental uniforms and the establishments of Defense attaché.
Revealing that in the coming months, he shall set out his vision for RSLAF and explore more opportunities that would take the RSLAF to a higher heights.
He concluded that when his appointment was announced on state media, report revealed that troops all over the country jubilated and with God , he promised strongly to deliver and maintain trust and discipline within the Military