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Ghana’s Defense Minister, Lieutenant-General Joseph Henry Smith has been declared the WEST AFRICAN DEFENSE MINISTER OF THE YEAR 2012 by the AFRICAN LEADERSHIP magazine at the 2nd West African Security and Safety Awards Dinner held in Accra on October 30, 2012.
In address read by the Editor in Chief of the magazine Mr. Ken Giami, he intimated that the selection was based on the efforts of people to help their communities to ensure peace and security to enable them go about their activities in a world of turbulence. It was on this basis that Lieutenant-General Smith was chosen.
The General is a proud recipient of many foreign and local awards and honors as follows:-
• United Nations Peacekeeping Award in 1976
• Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce “Ambassador at Large” in 1989.
• “Admiral of the Texas Navy” award by the State of Texas in 1991.
• “Legion of Merit” medal by the United States Government.(The 5th highest award in the United States military)
• Honored with Companion of the Volta (CV) by the Government of Ghana in 2001.
• Awarded the Long Service and Efficiency Award by the Ghana Armed Forces for distinguished service.
• West Africa magazine again honored him with a Governance and Leadership in 2012 for his sterling qualities in Security, Defense and Governance.
• Awarded the GOLDEN STAR Award for DISTINGUISHED LEADERSHIP by the Security Watch Africa in 2012.
As Minister of Defense General Smith has been credited with:-
• Facilitating the re-tooling and re-organization of the Ghana Armed Forces to meet modern challenges
• Instrumental in the establishment of the Petroleum Security Coordinating Committee that performs a 24hours surveillance/monitoring role over the oil and gas industry.
• He has sponsored a new Bill on Veterans Administration, Ghana, Act 844 of 2012 to help in the support of the welfare of Ghana’s ex-servicemen.
Lt.-General JH Smith, Minister of Defense, completed Achimota School in 1963 and was enlisted into the Ghana Military Academy (GMA) and was commissioned into the Ghana Army Corps of Engineer as a 2nd lieutenant in October 1965. He is a graduate of the Pakistan Military Engineering College, the United States Army Engineer College and the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College (USMCCSC). He retired from the Ghana Armed Forces with the rank of Lieutenant-General and Chief of the Army Staff (C.O.A.S.)
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