Ladies and gentlemen of the press, on behalf of the Ministry of National Defense and the Armed Forces of Liberia, we are pleased to welcome you to this press conference. We are all aware of the Armed Forces of Liberia’s annual celebration, which is the Armed Forces Day. The Armed Forces Day historically was legislated on February 11, 1957, with the sole intent of paying homage to the men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) who are making tireless sacrifices to maintain the security of our nation as well as our non-active duty personnel and fallen heroes.  Each year, the President of the Republic of Liberia and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia, by Proclamation declares February 11th as “Armed Forces Day” to be observed as a National Holiday throughout the Republic. The Proclamation directs all military and paramilitary organizations within the Republic to organize and execute appropriate programs in recognition of the Day. It is interesting to note that this year, Lonestar Cell MTN, Liberty Investment and Jetty Trading Corporation in exercising their corporate social responsibilities are partnering with the AFL to honor the excellent work of the men and women in the military.  It can be recalled that in 2021, Lonestar Cell MTN honored wounded AFL soldiers. In 2023, with support from Lonestar Cell MTN, the Armed Forces of Liberia organized and executed a Mini- Sport Tournament, a Medical Outreach, a Clean-up Campaign, Units Static Display and a Symposium during the week leading up to Armed Forces Day.  Uniquely, on Monday, February 12, 2024, the AFL will be celebrating its 67th Armed Forces Day and 116 years of existence, dating back to 1908. The Armed Forces Day celebration has always been used as an opportunity for the public, foreign guests and dignitaries to be acquainted with activities regarding the development and progress of the AFL. The theme for the 67th Armed Forces Day is “The Armed Forces Support to Democracy: The role and responsibility of the AFL,” while the topic for the symposium is “The Armed Forces commitment to sustainable democracy in contemporary Time.” The 67th Armed Forces Day celebrations which begin on 4 February 2024 is interspersed with several activities that include the following:  Sunday, 4 February 2024 7.5 KILOMETER RUN: The AFL in collaboration with the Athletics Federation will conduct a 7.5 Kilometer Run named in memory of late Lieutenant Commander Venus Dean. At 0700hrs, the run will start from Catholic Hospital Junction and end at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) Flagpole. We are inviting the public to be a part of this event. About 1500 persons are expected to participate in the run. Public participants will be required to sign a waiver form. The waiver forms are available at Headquarters, AFL, Barclay Training Center.   Tuesday, 06 February 2024 SYMPOSIUM – The symposium will be held at the EJS Ministerial Complex, Congo Town beginning at 1000hrs. It will bring together relevant stakeholders to deliberate on a carefully selected topic- “The Armed Forces commitment to sustainable democracy in contemporary Time”. This topic is aimed at ensuring that the AFL remains committed to sustaining democracy nationally and internationally.  Mr. Eddie D. Jarwolo, Executive Director, Naymote Partners for Democracy and Development will serve as Keynote Speaker for the symposium.  Dr. Anthony L. Hena, Professor, Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation, University of Liberia, will serve as the moderator for the discussion.  The discussants are Mr. Roland AD Fahngon, Sr., Chairman, Public Administration Department, AME Zion University; Dr. Nathaniel B. Walker, ECOWAS Commission, Liberia; Faculty Member and Researcher at the University of Liberia; Prof. Martin Scott, Associate Professor in Media and Global Development, University of East Anglia and Cllr. Oscar Bloh, Chairperson, Elections Coordinating Committee. Invited guests to the event include members of the diplomatic corps, the Legislature, members of the clergy, international and local NGOs, some prominent citizens and the Fourth Estate. Additionally, several paramilitary institutions, students, and members of the Press Union of Liberia will participate in this event.Thursday-Friday, 08-09 February 2024 UNIT STATIC DISPLAY- The Unit Static Display will be held at the Barclay Training Center. The event is for university students only and will begin from 0900hrs to 1500hrs. University students attending the Units Static Display must be dressed properly. During this exhibition, various units of the AFL will showcase their equipment at different stations. The units will display a few of the capabilities, roles and functions within the AFL.  Friday, 09 Feb 2024 JUMMAT SERVICE- A Jummat Service will be held at the Heritage/ Wamma Mosque, in Red Light, Paynesville, beginning at 1200hrs. The Jummat Service is a Muslim prayer that dedicates the nation and the Armed Forces of Liberia to the Almighty Allah for his continual guidance and protection. Saturday, 10 Feb 2024  THE CLEANING-UP CAMPAIGN: This will be conducted within the general area of Freeport to Gabriel Tucker’s Breach, Montserrado County beginning at 0630hrs. Some foreign guests, 100 AFL personnel, employees of the Ministry of National Defense, staff of Lonestar MTN and some residents will work to give the involved communities a facelift. The AFL Band will provide music during the clean-up exercise.  THE MEDICAL OUTREACH: The Medical Outreach will be held at Gaya Clinic, Bomi County. The exercise will begin at 0730hrs. A team of 20 personnel from the AFL Medical Command will conduct general health education, HIV prevention messages and basic medical screening for the local inhabitants. Outpatient treatments will be administered. THE MINI-SPORT TOURNAMENT: The tournament will feature both male and female soccer games at the Barclay Training Center beginning at 1000 hrs. This will bring together the Joint Security Team, United Bank of Africa (UBA), Press Union of Liberia, the Lonestar Cell MTN Team and the AFL for the male category. The female category will bring together World Girls FC, Real Majah FC, Earth Angels FC and Determined Girls FC. Sunday, 11 February 2024THANKSGIVING SERVICE- A Thanksgiving Service will be held at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Sinkor, Monrovia, Montserrado County, beginning at 1000 hrs.Monday, 12 February 2024 D-DAY- The official celebration will kick off at 0700hrs at the Barclay Training Center (BTC). This year Armed Forces Day will be hosted under the theme: “The Armed Forces Support to Democracy: The role and responsibility of the AFL.”Madam Christine Umutoni, Resident Coordinator, United Nations, Liberia, will serve as the Guest Speaker for the 67th Armed Forces Day.  The Parade will be reviewed by His Excellency Joseph Nyuma Boakai, President of the Republic of Liberia and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia. It will be graced by the presence of very imminent and distinguished traditional leaders, members of the Senate and House of Representatives, Diplomatic Corps, the Clergy, the Academia, Distinguished Liberian Citizens and Senior Officers of the AFL, retired and serving alike. Major General Paul D. Roger, Adjutant General of the Michigan National Guard will also grace the occasion. The official celebration brings together all National Security Services: Armed Forces of Liberia, Liberia National Police, Liberia Immigration Service, Liberia National Fire Service, Liberia Custom Service, Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency, Monrovia City Police, Liberia Seaport Police, Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Forestry Park Rangers, and Liberia Scout Association will form part of the parade at the BTC.  Distinguished Service Order (DSO) will be awarded to the following personalities:  Colonel TEVOEDJRE Djimon Dieudonne, Benin Army; Colonel DOKOUI- FOFO Andre, Benin Army; Late LIUETENANT COLONEL SOGLOHOUN MAX, Benin Army; BRIGADIER GENERAL AARON JOHNSON (RETIRED), Armed Forces of Liberia, COLONEL ANTHONY F. NORPAH, (RETIRED), Armed Forces of Liberia, and COUNSELLOR FRANCES JOHNSON M. ALLISON.

These distinguished personalities in varied ways have served the Armed Forces of Liberia and the Republic of Liberia over the years with unwavering dedication and distinction. Thus, they are well placed to receive the DSO.  OFFICIAL BALL- The Armed Forces Day Ball (AFDB) is one of several activities lined up to commemorate the Armed Forces Day (AFD) celebration. The 2024 AFDB is Scheduled for 12 Feb 24 at the EJS Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, Monrovia, beginning at 1800hrs. 

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