Country Listing

Ghana Table of Contents




There is a two-year national service requirement for male Ghanaians, but military manpower levels have always been maintained by voluntary enlistment. A limited number of women also serve in the armed forces, but all women are found in administrative positions, not in operational units. In mid-1988 the Ghanaian government enacted a law requiring all national service personnel to undergo a six-month military training program that stresses drilling, weapons handling, physical fitness, and first aid.

The armed forces offer commissions to individuals from civilian life or to those who complete cadet training. The term of service usually is five years with reserve obligations thereafter. Most technical services officers are selected from civilian life on the basis of professional qualifications. Recruits for combat or combat support branches are required to complete two years of cadet training before receiving their commissions.

Enlisted personnel are recruited for particular service branches to satisfy specific needs. Enlistments last up to twelve years with various active- and reserve-duty options. Reenlistments are authorized for a total of eighteen years; unit commanders are empowered to extend this term of service on a case-by-case basis. Enlisted recruits for the technical services are required to possess at least a middle school or junior secondary school education. All personnel must pass a physical examination and be at least eighteen years old.

Data as of November 1994