The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the professional head of the Ghana Armed Forces. He is thus responsible for the administration and the operational control and command of the Ghana military. The CDS is a member of the Armed Forces Council. This council advice the President of Ghana on matters of policy relating to defence and also regulates the administration of the Armed Forces. It also advises the President on the promotion of all officers above the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel or its equivalent. The CDS has also been known as the General Officer Commanding (GOC).
The CDS is appointed by the President, in consultation with the Council of State of Ghana.
History of the post
The Ghana Army was formed after World War II out of the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force. The officer corps then was entirely European. It was modeled on the British Army. At independence in 1957, the highest ranking Ghanaian officer was a major. Major General A. G. V. Paley served as the General Officer Commanding the Ghana Regiment of Infantry which had succeeded the Gold Coast Regiment between 1957 and 1959. This position was effectively equivalent to Army commander as there was no Air Force or Navy.
The position of Chief of Defence Staff was first created in 1959 after the formation of the Ghana Navy and the Ghana Air Force. Major-General Henry Alexander was appointed as the first CDS though he effectively doubled as the Ghana Army commander as well. Since 1961, the position of army commander and CDS have been separate. The first native Ghanaian CDS was Major General S. J. A. Otu.
Chiefs of the Defence Staff, 1954 to present
The former heads of the Ghana Armed Forces were referred to while in office as either General Officers Commanding or Chiefs of the Defence Staff.
|№||Chief of Defence Staff||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Defence branch|
|1||Alexander G. V. PaleyMajor General |
|1954||11 January 1960||5–6 years||Ghana Army|
|2||Henry Templer Alexander CB CBE DSOMajor General |
|11 January 1960||September 1961||1 year, 7 months||Ghana Army|
|3||Stephen J. A. OtuMajor General |
(First Ghanaian to be appointed CDS)
|September 1961||1965||3–4 years||Ghana Army|
|4||Nathan A. AferiMajor General |
|1965||24 February 1966||0–1 years||Ghana Army|
|5||Emmanuel Kwasi KotokaLieutenant General |
|24 February 1966||17 April 1967 †||1 year, 52 days||Ghana Army|
|6||Joseph Arthur AnkrahLieutenant General |
|17 April 1967||March 1968||10 months||Ghana Army|
|7||Michael Akuoko Otu OSGAir Marshal |
|March 1968||November 1968||8 months||Ghana Air Force|
|8||Albert Kwesi OcranLieutenant General |
|November 1968||November 1969||1 year||Ghana Army|
|(7)||Michael Akuoko Otu OSGAir Marshal |
|November 1969||June 1971||1 year, 7 months||Ghana Air Force|
|9||Daniel K. AddoMajor General||June 1971||January 1972||7 months||Ghana Army|
|10||Napoleon Yaovi R. Ashley-LassenMajor General |
|January 1972||December 1974||2 years, 11 months||Ghana Army|
|11||Lawrence A. OkaiMajor General |
|December 1974||November 1976||1 year, 11 months||Ghana Army|
|12||Fred AkuffoLieutenant General |
|November 1976||5 July 1978||1 year, 8 months||Ghana Army|
|13||Robert KoteiMajor General |
|5 July 1978||23 July 1978||18 days||Ghana Army|
|14||Joshua HamiduLieutenant General |
|23 July 1978||4 June 1979||316 days||Ghana Army|
|15||E. D. F. PrahColonel||4 June 1979||7 July 1979||33 days||Ghana Army|
|16||Joseph Nunoo-MensahBrigadier |
|7 July 1979||27 November 1979||143 days||Ghana Army|
|17||Edwin Kwamina SamMajor General |
|27 November 1979||6 December 1979||9 days||Ghana Army|
|18||John E. Odaate-BarnorAir Vice-Marshal |
|7 December 1979||31 December 1981||2 years, 24 days||Ghana Air Force|
|(16)||Joseph Nunoo-MensahBrigadier |
|1 January 1982||23 November 1982||326 days||Ghana Army|
|19||Jerry RawlingsFlight Lieutenant |
|28 November 1982||25 August 1983||270 days||Ghana Air Force|
|20||Arnold QuainooLieutenant General||25 August 1983||22 September 1989||6 years, 28 days||Ghana Army|
|21||Winston Mensa-WoodLieutenant General||4 June 1990||21 March 1992||1 year, 291 days||Ghana Army|
|22||Achilles Harry Kwami DumashieAir Marshal |
|22 March 1992||1 October 1996||4 years, 193 days||Ghana Air Force|
|23||Ben K. AkafiaLieutenant General |
|1 October 1996||February 2001||4 years, 4 months||Ghana Army|
|24||Seth Kofi ObengLieutenant General |
|February 2001||28 February 2005||4 years||Ghana Army|
|25||Joseph Boateng DanquahLieutenant General |
|20 February 2005||28 January 2009||3 years, 343 days||Ghana Army|
|-||A. R. S. Nunoo (Acting)Rear Admiral||28 January 2009||31 March 2009||62 days||Ghana Navy|
|26||Peter A. BlayLieutenant General |
|31 March 2009||28 March 2013||3 years, 362 days||Ghana Army|
|27||Matthew QuashieVice Admiral |
|28 March 2013||5 January 2016||2 years, 283 days||Ghana Navy|
|28||Michael Samson-OjeAir Marshal |
|5 January 2016||9 February 2017||1 year, 35 days||Ghana Air Force|
|29||Obed AkwaMajor General |
|9 February 2017||Incumbent||5 years, 102 days||Ghana Army|
- 1992 Ghana constitution - Article 213
- 1992 Ghana Constitution - Article 211.
- 1992 Ghana constitution - Article 214
- 1992 Ghana constitution - Article 212 (1)(a)
- Online, Myjoy. "President appoints new Chief of Army Staff". Multimedia Group. http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2016/july-2nd/president-appoints-new-chief-of-army-staff.php. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
- Army Staff, Chief. "Confirmed! President Appoints IGP, CDS & Chief of Army Staff". Peace FM. http://m.peacefmonline.com/pages/local/news/201703/307800.php. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
- "The Historical Context" (pdf). National Reconciliation Commission Report Volume 1 Chapter 3. Ghana government. October 2004. pp. 30–31. Archived from the original on October 16, 2006. https://web.archive.org/web/20061016012437/http://www.ghana.gov.gh/NRC/VOL%201%20CHAPTER%203%20%20EXEC.SUM.pdf. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- "The Security Services" (pdf). National Reconciliation Commission Report Volume 4 Chapter 1. Ghana government. October 2004. pp. 30–31. Archived from the original on October 16, 2006. https://web.archive.org/web/20061016012351/http://www.ghana.gov.gh/NRC/Vol%204%20Chpt%201%20com.sec.rep.pdf. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- Kraus, Jon (April 1966). "Ghana Without Nkrumah - The Men In Charge". Africa Report. pp. 30–31. http://home.comcast.net/~amaah/writings/ghana-without-nkrumah-men-in-charge.html. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
- "Past General Officers Commanding /chiefs of the Defence Staff". Official website. Ghana Armed Forces. 2008-02-06. Archived from the original on 2008-10-16. https://web.archive.org/web/20081016095242/http://www.gaf.mil.gh/index.php?CatId=117. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "No. 41949". 5 February 1960. p. 1005. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/41949/supplement/1005
- "Farewell Service Held For Ex-Chief Of Defence Staff". General News of Friday, 31 January 2003. Ghana Home Page. http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=32264. Retrieved 2007-06-19.
- "New Military Chiefs Take Over Command". General News of Monday, 26 March 2001. Ghana Home Page. http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=14343. Retrieved 2007-06-19.
- "Shake-up in Ghana Armed Forces". Ghana Home Page. http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/photo.day.php?ID=159981. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
- "Profile of Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie, Chief of Defence Staff". www.highstreetmail.com. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. https://web.archive.org/web/20131215102725/http://www.highstreetmail.com/political-news/profile-of-vice-admiral-mathew-quashie-chief-of-defence-staff.html. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
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