At least 189 soldiers of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), on Thursday were decorated from various ranks; with one soldier promoted from private to the rank of Staff Sergeant, 25 to Sergeant, 39 to Corporal and 124 to Lance Corporal at a ceremony held at the State Guards Battalion in Banjul.
Speaking at the ceremony, Brigade General TuroJawneh, said since the dawn of the new political dispensation, several officers have been promoted to various ranks within the Gambia Armed Forces after undergoing the Promotional Exams as part of the wider reforms of the Armed Forces.
"Promotions are supposed to be normal occurrences in every growing and transforming organisation including The Gambia Armed Forces," he continued.
"As much as promotions in the Armed Forces would be in accordance with the available vacancies in The Gambia Armed Forces, they would strictly conform to several laid down procedures, standards and TACOS," he noted.
He took the opportunity to send a message to all soldiers considering the upcoming elections to remain vigilant, professional and apolitical in the execution of their sacred constitutional duties as soldiers of a democratic state.
For his part, the commander of the State Guards, Colonel Sait Njie, informed the gathering that promotion in the military is a privilege meant to recognise hard work, dedication to duty, discipline and sacrifice.
He added that the event was organised to reward hardworking and deserving soldiers of the State Guards, to celebrate achievements, to honour the recipients, to encourage and motivate others to excel and perpetuate their value of service before self and intelligence in all they do.
He added that the promotion of 189 soldiers, majority of whom are from lower ranks category is a perfect indication that the authorities do not only care about the welfare and plight of troops under command, but also believe in their abilities to perform even better in their next responsibilities.
He highlighted that the promotion could not have come at a better time than now when the new State Guards Battalion is on a transformation drive to refocus the mindset of troops in line with the roles they are expected to play in The Gambia's new found democracy.