Ghanaian Lt. Agatha Kpamina, a soldier with the Ghana Armed Forces, was recognized in mid-April as the first female from one of U.S. Africa Command’s partners – Ghana – to attend and complete the Infantry Officer Basic Leader Course (IBOLC) at Fort Benning, Georgia, said Mark Irish, chief of the MCoE’s International Military Student Office.
Medal of Honor recipient retired Capt. Florent “Flo” Groberg, a graduate of the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) Officer Candidate School and IBOLC, told the graduates that getting the infantry blue cord is like joining a fraternity, a society that expects your best.
“I am proud of myself,” said the 28-year-old officer who spent the last seven months learning different protocols and troop leading procedures.
The infantry blue cord is a U.S. military decoration worn over the right shoulder of all infantry-qualified U.S. Army soldiers.
“Rely on your teammates,” Groberg said. “Because guess what? They'll be there to pick you up. They'll be there to guide you. They'll be there to make sure you make it through.”
Mark Irish, chief of the MCoE’s International Military Student Office, presented Kpamina with the Infantry blue cord and Capt. Jordan Hill, a company commander within the 199th Infantry Brigade, presented the Foreign Military Badge that can be worn on her official uniform.
“It was tough training, but doable,” said Kpamina, whose next tasks include an exam for promotion to captain and assuming her new position as a platoon commander for the Ghana Army Recruit Training School.
“I will train recruits to be soldiers. And be a role model for females.”
Kpamina attended IBOLC through the International Military Education and Training program, which exposes foreign students to U.S. professional military organizations and procedures and the manner in which military organizations function under civilian control.