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Exclusive: Meet the First Ghanaian Chief of Defense Staff who was named after a Korean Ship


Before we delve into the life chapters of this great man, let us familiarize ourselves with the work of the Chief of Defense Staff.

In Ghana, the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) is also generally known as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Ghana Armed Forces

As the member of the Armed Forces Council, the CDS gives detailed and comprehensive advice to the President of Ghana on key issues in relation to the regulation, management and adminstration of the Armed Forces. He is also responsible for advising the President on all promotional activities of all Officers above Lieutenant-Colonel rank or its equivalence. 

There is no way any operational control and command of the military can take place without the voice of the Chief of Defense Staff. 

In essence, as the Head of the Ghana Armed Forces, he is constitutionally mandated to ensure that every aspect of the country is secure and safe. Should the country experience any loopholes in its security system, the CDS should be held responsible.

Having known this, let is comprehensively trace the historical background and life chapters of Major General Stephen Joseph Asamoa Otu, the First Ghanaian to be appointed as a Chief of Defense Staff. 

Born on October 23, 1915 in Gold Coast (now Ghana), Major General Stephen Otu did several volunteering works as a servant leader during the colonial rule in Gold Coast. 

He had the chance to work with the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force. 

He was really a diligent and perseverant person, and upon seeing his great commitment and capabilities, he was given a chance to join an Officer Training Unit in UK for a comprehensive awarding course. 

Stephen never disappointed; he successfully passed his course, and in May 1948, he was commissioned into the Army .

Ten years later, during the regaining of the country's Political Independence, Stephen served as one of the original officers of the Ghana Regiment. 

Subsequently, he rose to a Company Commander (Major), then a Lieutenant-Colonel of a Battalion. 

He continued to rise through the various ranks until he was appointed the Chief of Defense Staff of Ghana in 1962. He served in that capacity for three years (from 1962 to 1965). 

Legendary Major General Joseph Asamoa Otu died in Nairobi, Kenya on October 23, 1979 at the age of 64.

On the International front, Ghana's Stephen Otu had his name written on a Chamsuri-class offshore patrol vessel built by Hyundai, Hanjin and Korea Tacoma, purposely for the Navy of the Republic of Korea in 1982.

However, the overall control of "Stephen Otu" ship was transferred to the Ghanaian Navy as a form of donation. It was commissioned by Ghana in January 2011 at the Sekondi Naval Base.


The ship was purposely designed for Maritime domain awareness, search and rescue, small boat maintenance, law enforcement, vessel inspection and naval development.

Additionally, it was created to prevent all forms of illicit activities within the Ghanaian territorial waters including piracy, illegal, unreported and unregulated drug trafficking, oil bunkering and fishing.

Meanwhile, several Ghanaians are so worried about the state of Ghana's current security system.

With the rising cases of armed robbery, military brutalization of civilians and assassination, it is clearly evident that the work of the Chief of Defense Staff, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama is very questionable.

His administration seems to be sending the country's security system to an unknown destination.

Inarguably, he and his team need to wake up and put things in order, to ensure the restoration of the kind of integrity and reputation we possess as a peaceful nation.

Content created and supplied by: Ghana'sthirdeye (via Opera News )

Armed Forces Armed Forces Council CDS Chief of Defense Staff Ghana

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