Troop Morale Remains Impervious

The loss of Brigadier General Jacob Kodji and his three other comrades in arms has been understandably felt well beyond the confines of the armed forces because of the kind of work they were doing to get the civilian populations take greater participation in the military’s effort to defend the fatherland and in so doing keep these populations in security and safety. By the tragic death of these military men, Cameroonians have had to come to the reality of better understanding the oft-mentioned references to making the supreme sacrifice in defence of the nation. As Eric Arthur Blair (aka George Orwell) the English novelist, essayist, critic and journalist has stated , “people sleep peacefully in their beds only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” That is as much as the public perception of the supreme sacrifice goes. But there is also the all important problem of troop morale. Although in war situations, death is often very close, no one wants to die and the simplest deaths can easily sap troop morale if not well handled. Napoleon, the first French emperor and one of the world’s greatest soldiers, talking about troop morale once said that “ in war, the morale is to the physical as three is to one.” Of course, Cameroonian soldiers fighting Boko Haram and those involved in other operations in the country have shown enough resilience to show that the deadly blow on them exemplified by the tragic death of one of their most competent commanders cannot sap their morale. These forces have , on the other hand, shown their determination to fight even harder every time they were faced with a difficulty such as the death of General Kodji. The war is virtually getting to its end and the successes so far recorded have been made sometimes at the expense of great human loss. Yet, rather than retreat, these forces have always been in a resilient posture, producing results which have generally been very satisfactory and which have often seen the high command expressing its satisfaction through the award of military distinctions and other acts of recognition. Moreover, going by General George S. Patton Jr, the respected American four-star General who commanded the US 3rd army that gave the final assault on Nazi Germany in 1945, “the soldier is the army. No army is better than its soldiers. The soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.” The honours being given to these great sons of Cameroon by the Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces are certainly in vindication of such a principle. The President of the Republic, better placed than anyone else, will certainly dissertate on the notion of sacrificing for one’s nation when he takes the floor at the public ceremony of this morning. Troops are obviously warming up to give their own type of accolade to their Commander and his subordinates by even greater intrepid acts by quickly bringing the enemy to its knees. The death of the four soldiers will definitely galvanise Cameroonian troops on the various fronts and say their own adieu in Julius Caesar’s words: veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw and I conquered) in a symphonic goodbye for General Jacob Kodji, Colonel Alphonse Nkameni and Lieutenants Basile Souloukna Ngrassou and Brice Chinda Mu Tankam.



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