African partner nation NCOs earn Hall of Fame honors
August 10, 2011
FORT BLISS, Texas - Two senior noncommissioned officers from African partner nations were inducted into the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy’s International Military Student Hall of Fame recently.
Master Warrant Officer Dickson Owusu, sergeant major of the Ghana Army, and Warrant Officer One Patric Ekirita, forces sergeant major of Uganda Peoples Defence Forces, took part in an induction ceremony at the academy’s Kenneth W. Cooper Lecture Center.
U.S. Army Africa Command Sgt. Maj. Hu Rhodes attended the ceremony. Rhodes stressed the significance of foreign noncommissioned officers attending the USASMA. Both Owusu and Ekirita are listed as warrant officers. In many countries, warrant officers are considered noncommissioned officers.
“NCOs attending the course is truly a win-win situation for the U.S. Army and for the sending country,” Rhodes said.
“The content of the course is valuable to any leader and the sending country gets back a better trained NCO the same way that the U.S. Army gets a better trained NCO from the course; however, the participation of other armies brings different experiences to the course and there is a constant exchange of opinions on multiple topics from different perspectives that simply could not occur without the international participation,” he said.
Owusu hails from Kwahu Aman in eastern Ghana. He is 44 and enlisted in the Ghanaian Army in 1986. He graduated from the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy in May of 2009.
Ekirita is former resistance fighter and has been a member of the Uganda Peoples Defence Force since 1986. He was assigned as the Land Forces Sergeant Major in 2006.
Rhodes said Owusu and Ekirita are good role models for NCOs.
“This year's Hall of Fame inductee from Ghana is an inspirational NCO; Master Warrant Officer Dickson Owusu is the kind of senior NCO that all military people appreciate immediately. I am constantly impressed by his humility; he works alongside the senior NCO's from the Navy and Air Force and together they are a formidable team. These NCOs are what I consider as perfect examples of synergy; collectively they are much more successful than any three people I have ever been around,” Rhodes said.