The first-ever Open Door-Days started in Yaounde on May 17, 2017.
The Yaounde public started trooping into the Yaounde 101 Military Airbase on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 to discover what Cameroon’s defence forces are capable of doing in terms of defence of the national territory, development activites, what opportunities each military corps offers and how to get recruited. This is within the framework of the first-ever Open Doors Day organised by the Ministry of Defence as a key event leading up to the celebration of the country’s 45th edition of the National Day come May 20, 2017. The Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie, Jean Baptiste Bokam chaired the opening ceremony of the Open Doors Day that will end on May 19, 2017. It was not a speech-making ceremony as after the presentation of the programme, the Secretary of State accompanied by senior military officials visited all the exhibition stands where they got detailed explanations. Indeed, the exhibitions stands visited were those of the Communication Division of the Ministry of Defence, Field-Air Artillery Regiment, Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion, Special Amphibious Battalion and Air Borne Battalion. They also visited the exhibition stands of the Military Engineering Corps, Airforce, National Gendarmerie, Ex-servicemen, Military Health Service and Cameroon Civil Aviation Authority. What will remain history, engender more trust between the army and the population and enable more young Cameroonians to join the military was the perceptible interest civilian visitors took in the exhibition stands. They did not only listen to explanations but took home flyers with pertinent information. Visitors to the stands are taking home the information that to become a soldier of the rank and file, one has to take part in regular or special recruitment examinations. To become a non-commission officer, one has to write a direct competitive examination into the School of Sub Officers, competitive entrance examination into Foreign Military Schools and normal advancement. Finally to become a military officer, one has to write a direct entrance examination into the Yaounde Combined Services Military Academy (EMIA), competitive entrance into Foreign Military Schools and also be former military personnel from the rank and file. Visitors to the various stands are also understanding that the army recruits people with specialities across the board. This is therefore an opportunity for young Cameroonians with expertise in fields such as engineering, communication, health, driving, aeronotics, technicians in diverse domains to know that their services are needed in the army and they need to get set for different types of recruitment into the armed forces.