Lt.-Gen. Seth Obeng, Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces and Chairman of the ECOWAS Defence and Security Commission, was at the weekend inducted into the United States Armed Forces' International Hall of Fame at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas City, USA.
Lt.-Gen. William S Wallace, Commandant of the Army Department Headquarters and Combined Arms Centre at Fort Leavenworth, performed the ceremony which was authorised by the Department of State for Defence at the Pentagon in Washington DC.
This is the third major international award the CDS has received in three years from international military and civilian authorities.
Early this year, the General received from Gen Charles Wald, Deputy Commander of the US European Command, a meritorious Service Medal from the European Command of the United States Armed Forces, for his outstanding leadership and assistance to the successful ECOWAS response to the Liberian crisis.
In 2001, President Emile Lahoud of the Lebanon also awarded General Obeng with the Order of the National Legion of Cedar, --Commander Rank. The award, the highest Lebanese National Military Medal, was in recognition of General Obeng's outstanding contribution to peace during his 18 months' tenure as Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
The citation, which accompanied the new award, highlighted General Obeng's high sense of dedication and professionalism as a talented artillery officer, military strategist and commander. It also recalled his impressive leadership roles in United Nations' operations in Liberia, Angola and Lebanon. Special mention was made of his considerable organisational ability and contribution to the on going transformation of the Ghana Armed Forces into an efficient and modern professional fighting force to meet the needs of a developing economy in a changing world.
In his acceptance speech, General Obeng dedicated the award to all the personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola and all other peacekeeping operations of the Ghana Armed Forces. He also paid tribute to all the men and officers in the Ghana Armed Forces who have motivated him in his career, his various course mates in Ghana, India and Fort Leavenworth, his family and the Government and people of the Republic of Ghana.
Representatives from the Ghana Missions in Washington DC and New York together with some Ghanaians resident in the United States were present at the well-attended ceremony.
General Obeng was commissioned into the Ghana Armed Forces in 1965 and posted to the famed President's Own Guard Regiment. With the disbandment of the Guard Regiment after the 1966 coup, he was posted to the Mortar Regiment in Ho, now re-designated as the 66 Artillery Regiment. As Captain, he was given his first command position when he was appointed the Commanding Officer of the Mortar Regiment in 1974. He has since served as a commissioned officer in various capacities in the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana High Commission in London, the State Housing Corporation and the United Nations.