The Ghana Navy on Tuesday introduced the wearing of gorgets by senior naval officers to clearly differentiate the ranks at a ceremony
at the Naval Headquarters in Accra.
A gorget is a crescent-shaped piece of armour for protecting the throat.
The Naval ranks from captains to admirals would wear the gorget at the tip of the collar of the uniform for acknowledgement of their high office, as is being done by colonels and generals and above in the Army and senior officers in the Air Force. Gorget originated from the French word ‘gorge’ meaning ‘throat’, which was part of a soldier’s body armour.
It has since evolved to become an insignia worn by officers of specific seniority in most modern armies especially those in the Commonwealth. Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa, the Chief of Defence Staff, in a speech read on his behalf by Air Vice Marshall Maxwell Mantsebi-Tei Nagai, Chief of Air Staff, said the uniforms identified the officers as a community of servicemen and women.
He said the uniforms were standardised for easy recognition among services in view of the accessories and accoutrements attached to them. Lt. Gen. Akwa said this would help determine the status of the individual service personnel wearing them to earn the appropriate courtesies and protocols. He commended the Chief of the Naval Staff and the entire Ghana Navy for the giant strides made towards harmonising the dressing in the Ghana Armed Forces.
“I hope the introduction of the gorgets will not only make it easy for all ranks, especially the Army and the Air Force to accord the right courtesies to the Senior
Naval Officers, but will also raise the morale of the Ghana Navy Officers,” he said.
Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo, the Chief of the Naval Staff, said times had changed and the Ghana Navy needed to change as well in line with contemporary
practice. Quoting the 19th Century Irish Playwright, George Bernard Shaw, Rear Admiral Faidoo said: “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
The Navy has, therefore, changed its mind on the wearing of gorgets to bring progress, he said.
Major General William Azure Ayamdo, the Chief of Army Staff, commended the Navy for the progressive change.
The ceremony was graced by service chiefs and senior military officers.