The grounds of the Barclay Training Center (BTC) is about now jam-packed in the observing of the Country’s 63rd Armed Forces Day with dozens of military and paramilitary officers in readiness to celebrate this day.
The Orator of this year’s Armed Forces Day is former Associate Justice, Cllr. Philip Z.B. Banks, while the Liberian leader, President George Manneh Weah accompanied by members of his cabinet, members of the Judiciary and the Legislature are all expected to form part of this colorful event.
The objective of this celebration is to honor men and women in arm for their gallant services to the people of Liberia; tracing its origins to a militia that was formed by the first black colonists in what is now Liberia, it was founded as the Liberian Frontier Force in 1908, and retitled as the Armed Forces of Liberia in 1956.
Its current Chief of Staff who was appointed by President George Weah is General Prince Charles Johnson III, and was appointed confirmed by the Liberian Senate with the rank of Major General, while retired Gen. Daniel Ziahnkan (Former Chief of Staff) was named as Defense Minister.
Currently, Liberia’s armed forces consist of two main infantry battalions and various support units. At its creation in 1908, it was a mere 500-man-strong force called “Liberia Frontier Force” that was stationed at the nation’s borders to deter French, British, or other incursions.
But in 1956, the National Defence Law changed the name of Liberia’s military to simply “Armed Forces of Liberia” and also established Armed Forces Day as a public holiday.
Armed Forces Day in Liberia is a time when the president gives out various medals and other achievement awards to members of the nation’s military. The awards ceremony is the main centre of attention, but the military as a whole is also honoured, not just individual members singled out for recognition.