Sunday, February 3, 2008

Officer Candidate Recruiting Day (31 JAN 08)

[Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) 2LT George, who returned from officer training in the United States just days ago, tells potential officer candidates about her experience as an officer in the new AFL]

The Liberian Ministry of National Defense (MOD), with assistance from the U.S. Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) and DynCorp International, hosted a recruiting day at the African Episcopal Methodist University in Monrovia on January 31st, 2008. The purpose of the event was to encourage university students to consider future service a commissioned officer in the new Armed Forces of Liberia. Featured speakers included LTC Chris Wyatt (ODC Chief), Major General Suraj Abdurrahman (Command Officer-in-Charge, AFL) and Brownie J. Samukai Jr. (Minister of National Defense).

The MOD’s officer candidate recruiting day is part of a larger effort to find much needed qualified candidates to join the AFL as officers. After the guest speakers finished and the audience watched a 10 minute AFL recruiting video prepared by the DynCorp public affairs office, four AFL officers and one officer candidate took the floor and told the gathered audience of their experiences thus far in the new AFL. Without a doubt, this part of the event was clearly the highlight. The passion and conviction of articulate professional soldiers won many in the audience over.

The next step for those interested in a career in the AFL is to apply to the vetting process at the Barclay Training Center in Monrovia. We can only speculate how many, if any, of the students gathered will one day enter the army. But given the 149 applications submitted that afternoon, there at least is some interest.

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