Elite Commander: Meet Maj Gen Oppong, chief of Army staff and ex general officer commanding

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Army Leadership is the activity of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization. Leadership as an element of combat power, coupled with information, unifies the warfighting functions (movement and maneuver, intelligence, fires, sustainment, protection and command and control).

Leadership focuses and synchronizes organizations. Leaders inspire people to become energized and motivated to achieve desired outcomes. An Army leader is anyone who by virtue of assumed role or assigned responsibility inspires and influences people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization.

Influencing is persuading people do what is necessary. Influencing entails more than simply passing along orders. Through words and personal example, leaders inspire purpose, provide direction, and when required motivation.

Leaders provide clear purpose for their subordinates. Purpose gives subordinates a reason to achieve a desired outcome. Leaders convey purpose through direct means such as requests, directives, or orders. 

Leaders inspire subordinates to do their best by instilling a higher purpose that rises above self-interest. They explain why something should or must be done and provide context whenever possible. Subordinates who understand why they are doing something difficult and discern the higher purpose are more likely to do the right thing when leaders are not present to direct their every action.

An Army commander who truly exhibits genuine leadership is the affable General Oppong-Peprah, he was commissioned into the Ghana Armed Forces as part of Regular Career Course Intake 26, was posted to the Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment and held several key appointments including Commanding Officer (CO) of 64 Infantry Regiment.

On Wednesday, the 19th of February, 2020, the then Chief of Staff, General Headquarters (GHQ), and now chief of Army Staff Maj Gen Thomas Oppong-Peprah, successfully handed over to Rear Admiral (R/Adm) Issah Adams Yakubu.

His civil educational qualifications include a Master of Arts in International Security and Strategy from kings college, London. Executive Master of Business Administration (Human Resource Management) from University of Ghana, Legon (2006 – 2007).

He also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration (Human Resource Management) from the University of Ghana (1999 – 2004) and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Administration from Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.

Gen Oppong-Peprah held additional appointments as commanding officer of Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment, Director of Strategic Intelligence Assessment, Defence Intelligence Department, Director of Army Training, Director of Army Peace Keeping Operations, Chief Staff Officer (CSO) Army HQ, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Southern Command and Chief of Staff (CoS) General Headquarters.

Prior to his current appointment as the Chief of Staff at the General Headquarters, he was the General Officer Commanding, Southern Command of the Ghana Army (Feb 17 – Jan 19).

In peacekeeping, he has served as Humanitarian Officer, United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (June December 1994) and Military Observer, United Nations Aouzou Strip Observer Group in Libya/Chad (March-May 1994).

G4 Transport and Plans, United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara in 1993 and Detachment Second-In-Command/Troop Leader, United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon/Israel (1987, 1989, 1992).

He was a Board member of the Governing Council of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

Major General Oppong-Peprah is married with five (5) children. He enjoys horse riding, soccer, travelling, watching movies and jogging.

Major landmarks to his credit, within the short stint as chief of staff General Headquarters from 8th January, 2019 to 18th February, 2020 was seeing to the successful completion and implementation of the GAF salary review, the completion of the Command Officers’ Mess’ rehabilitation and furnishing, considerable progress of the barracks regeneration projects.

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