Accra, Feb. 16, GNA - The Lebanese Government on Thursday presented the Commander Grade Award of the Lebanese National Cedar Decoration to Brigadier General David C. K. Kattah, a retired Army Officer and former Deputy Force Commander (DFC) of UNIFIL.
The award, which was in recognition of the recipient's distinguished performance, close relations and co-operation with the Lebanese Authorities and Army during his two year service with UNIFIL (United Nations force in Lebanon) between February 19, 2003 and February 26, 2005, comprised a medal, citation and a certificate. Major General Samuel A. Odotei, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), who decorated Brig Gen. Kattah on behalf of the Lebanese Government, noted that the award was a manifestation of the exhibition of professional excellence and quality leadership; ideals the Ghana Armed Forces stood for.
"Today we have witnessed the presentation of one of the highest national awards by a foreign country to an illustrious member of the Ghana Army, who exhibited such qualities as dedication and high professionalism in his service to humanity," he said. He described the award as a rare occurrence in the Ghana Armed Forces, saying that it had brought honour to the recipient, the Ghana Armed Forces and the country as a whole.
Maj Gen Odotei recalled that Brig Gen Kattah was originally appointed to a one-year term as DFC of UNIFIL but owing to his outstanding professionalism, great dedication, honesty and indispensable support to the Force Commander, his term of office was extended by another year.
He asked Brig. Gen. Kattah, who had since the completion of his service with UNIFIL retired, to put his deep knowledge and wonderful experience at the disposal of those who were still serving in the army.
"For those of us still serving, I believe his achievement will serve as an example worthy of emulation, which should spur us on to strive for nothing but excellence in the performance of our assigned duties both at home and abroad," he said.
Brig Gen Kattah expressed his appreciation to the Lebanese Government for the honour done him and dedicated his award to the United Nations, the army and people of Lebanon and the officers and men of UNIFIL, who had dedicated their lives to fighting for peace in the Lebanon.
Until his retirement, Brig. Gen. Kattah served in various capacities in the Ghana Armed Forces both at home and abroad, having risen from the position of an Infantry Officer, when he was commissioned into the Army on October 21, 1967 with the rank of Second Lieutenant.
In his more than 40 years of distinguished military service, Brig. Gen. Kattah held several appointments at command, staff and training levels with distinction, including Platoon Commander in sixth Battalion of Infantry and Commanding Officer of the fifth Battalion of Infantry. He also served as Commanding Officer, Army Combat Training School at the Military Academy and Training School (MATS), Commanding Officer of MATS, Commander Support Services Brigade Group and finally DFC of UNIFIL, the position he held before his retirement.
Within the domain of training, where his impact was most felt, the Brig. Gen. Kattah served in various capacities in several institutions of the Ghana Armed Forces from a very humble beginning as Chief Weapons Instructor at MATS, Tactical Instructor at the School of Infantry. He also directed staff at the Command and Staff College in Jaji, Nigeria during his military career.
In the field of peacekeeping, he had an enviable record with both the United Nations and ECOWAS, which contributed to his appointment as DFC of UNIFIL.