Brigadier General (Retired) Geraldine Janet George

Meet Liberia’s First Female Minister Of Defense, Brigadier General (Retired) Geraldine Janet George

Brigadier General (Retired) Geraldine Janet George becomes Liberia’s first-ever female Defense Minister after her confirmation on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 by the Liberia Senate.

Liberia’s new defense boss was enlisted into the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) on July 24, 2006 as part of the first batch of soldiers of the restructured Armed Forces of Liberia. With her passion for service to country, Retired Brigadier General Geraldine Janet George became a female career soldier imbued with extensive military leadership skills.

She has served in the following posts in the AFL: Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS), Acting Commander, 23rd Infantry Brigade; Military Police Company Commander, 23rd Infantry Brigade; Brigade S-5, CIMIC Officer, 23rd Infantry Brigade; Provost Marshal, 23rd Infantry Brigade; Legal Officer, Armed Forces of Liberia Headquarters; Acting  Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS), Armed Forces of Liberia Headquarters; Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel (ACOS J1)(2x), Armed Forces of Liberia Headquarters and Assistant Chief of Staff for Operation (ACOS J3) (2x), Armed Forces of Liberia Headquarters.

From the several military trainings attended, she attained the following certificates and diplomas: Initial Entry Training (IET), Barclay Training Center (BTC), Liberia; Advance Individual Training (AIT), Barclay Training Center (BTC), Liberia; Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course (BNCOC), Barclay Training Center (BTC), Liberia; Officer Candidate School (OCS), Barclay Training Center (BTC), Liberia; Basic Officer Leader Course,  Fort Benning, USA; Basic Officer Leader Course, Fort Benning, USA; Military Police Basic Officer Leadership Course, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, USA; Company Commander Course, Rwanda Military Academy, GAKO, Rwanda; Junior Staff Course (JSC), Horton Academy, Freetown, Sierra Leone; United States Army Command and General Staff College, USA; and United Nations Staff Officer and Military Component Planning Process (Western Accord 14), USA.

Furthermore, she has bag lots of awards and authorizations: Distinguished Graduate Advance Individual Training, 22 December 2006; Pistol Classification Sharp Shooter, January 2008; and the United Nations Medal (MINUSMA), 28 SEPT 2017. As it relates to authorization, she is authorized to wear Fort Leavenworth School Badge from the Command and General Staff College, authorized to wear the International Students Military Badge and authorized to wear the Basic Military Police School Badge.

Brigadier General George, a graduate from the College of West Africa (CWA), holds a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations, Webster University, USA; and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice, African Methodist Episcopal Zion University, Monrovia. She also obtained several certificates: Intelligence, Fight against Terrorism, Rome, Italy; Administration of Justice, Liberia Institute of Public Administration, Monrovia; Public Sector Management, Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), University of Sierra Leone.

On February 10, 2024, she was confirmed as Deputy Defense Minister for Operations. Subsequently, she was named Acting Defense Minister by President Joseph Boakai on February 13, 2024. As Acting Minister of National Defense, her appointment became a monumental milestone in the landscape of Liberia’s defense sector; and reflected President Boakai’s commitment to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the public sector.

Now, as Minister of National Defense, Retired Brigadier General Geraldine Janet George has the vision to ensure the preparedness of a viable and sustainable Armed Forces of Liberia that can address the threats posed to Liberia’s national security.

Over the last millennium, research shows that Africa joining the rest of the globe is making significant progress in shifting the paradigm by appointing women to head their defense ministries.

Defense ministries for seven African countries: Liberia, Togo, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan and Zimbabwe are currently being ably headed by smart women, an affirmation that women are as capable, if not better, once thrust into the position of power. Formerly, countries like the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Gabon and Guinea Bissau had female defense ministers at various stages, a commendable development towards ensuring equal opportunities for women.

Credit: Ministry of National Defense Public Affairs

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