Ghana Secondary Technical School’s (GSTS) association with the military can be traced to its early years when the school was temporarily closed in 1914 only five years after it began, following the outbreak of World War I. The buildings for the then Accra Technical School, were needed for military purposes and some of its staff had to join the Colonial forces. These buildings were loc ated in the premises of the Accountant’s General Office, currently the Kinbu Secondary Technical School. After the war, the school struggled to get its enrollment up, but by the 1930s the student population had grown to the point that plans had to be made to move it to a much bigger site.

In May of 1939 equipment were packed and transported by land from Accra to Takoradi, between June and August 1939. Formal classes began at the current site on 21st September 1939 under the leadership of Lt. Col. T.T. Gilbert as Acting Principal. As the school’s fate would be tied with the military, just six months later in August 1940, the school had to be closed down again and relocated at Elmina Castle, to make way for the Royal Air Force (RAF) with the outbreak of World War II. (A miniature propeller of an airplane hangs at the entrance of the main classroom block, the old Administration Block, to commemorate the occupation by the Royal Air Force). Fifty (50) students resumed classes in the Elmina Castle which had been modified to accommodate equipment and classrooms, in January 1941. This arrangement did not last. In May 1943, the School was closed altogether so the Castle and the School’s equipment could be used by the technical branch of the military. All staff and most of the students were drafted into the military until the end of the hostilities.

In October 1945, the Royal Air Force finally moved out of the School’s buildings in Takoradi, to pave the way for the return of the students to the present site under the headship of Major T.C. Watkins as Acting Principal. The war years, the staff and students that served and returned to the school as well as the headships of Lt. Col. Gilbert and Major Watkins, helped to consolidate a culture of discipline in the school that would endure for decades.


One thing the school suffered as a result of the closures was a drop in enrolment. However, by 1950, the numbers had started rising again with a student population of about 110 students. The courses offered then were Engineering and Construction with English, Mathematics and Science.


In 1953, the school was renamed Government Secondary Technical School (GSTS) and more traditional courses like Physics, Chemistry, Elementary and Additional Mathematics, Geography, French and Art were added to the curriculum. With peace and less interruption, GSTS begun to establish itself as a powerhouse of engineering and science. The school’s graduates began to take charge of technical areas in both civil industries and in the military in the then Gold Coast.




Not surprisingly, GSTS formed an Army Cadet Corps in January 1954 under the Ministry of Education, the first of its kind in the then Gold Coast. Although the cadet Corps was military focused and designed to prepare young students to pursue careers in the military, it was considered a civil and student organization. It however has its roots from the students who came back after World War I. The first group of school cadets were about twenty in number. As the cadet corps grew in strength and popularity, several of its members joined the military and also other civil institutions. Ghana’s independence in 1957, meant the country had to take charge of jts defense through its air own force and navy which are highly technical branches of the Armed Forces.





On 3rd November 1965, the late President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, announced that the Government Secondary Technical School would be adopted and turned into an Air Force Training College. According to this policy, GSTS students were to be given the opportunity as are appropriate and suitable, to prepare them for careers in the Ghana Air Force and Civil Aviation Authority. As preparation for that a gliding club, which thrived for many years, was established in the school. It appears this policy was born out of the fact that Giants who had joined the Ghana Air Force and Civil Aviation as Air Traffic Controllers were performing extremely well. Even though the Air Force Academy proposal did not come to fruition due to the Coup d’état of February 1966, members of the school cadet corps and even non-cadets continued to join the Armed Forces and other uniformed services in good numbers.


On 23 April 1971, Air Marshall M. A. Otu (formerly Lt. General) and Senior Officers of the Military Division of the Ministry of Defence visited the school to clarify the intention of the military’s involvement with the school. It was decided that the Sixth Form at GSTS would be used to educate potential officer cadets with the aim of enlisting them after their A Levels to the Ghana Military Academy and Training School, Teshie. As a result of the visit, in the 1972-73 academic year, the first batch of students from GSTS and other schools were admitted to GSTS to do a two-year military sixth-form course. These young military officers were sponsored by the Ghana Armed Forces. The program comprised of regular academic work sandwiched with military training during school holidays. The idea was to select and sponsor academically gifted students through university who would then go on to become career officers. This unique arrangement, would have made GSTS similar to the Nigeria Military Secondary School in Zaria, Kaduna or the United States of America’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. Unfortunately, it was short-lived as it was discontinued after the very first batch. Many of the graduates from this class went on to very successful careers in the military.




The GSTS cadet corps has over the years had sporadic military support for equipment and training. For many years, training was provided by the Ghana Army from the Myohaung Barracks (2BN) next door to the school, and later at Apremdu near Takoradi. The training included physical endurance, discipline, leadership training and shooting and marksmanship drills.  Compass marching through jungles and map reading were practical exercises that complimented classroom work in Geography.  The Cadet training reinforced the school’s motto of “Mente et Manu”(With hand and brain), as it provided sound mind in healthy bodies for the practical and technological skills that were instilled by the school’s curriculum. Through this early training, graduating students from the school’s cadet corps have continued to join the Armed Forces in their numbers and also excelled. Interestingly, maybe due to the environment many more non-cadet Giants have also joined the armed forces and other uniformed civil institutions.




Since 2002, the structure of the Cadet corps in the country has changed significantly. It is now under the Ministry of Youth and Sports as the National Cadet Corps (NCCG) an amalgamation of Army, Navy, Air force, Police and the Fire Cadet. The sheer numbers of cadet corps around the country has limited the ability of the military to sponsor school cadet corps. For this reason, the GSTS cadet has seen a decline in readiness in the past few years. Giants are however recommitting themselves to revamp the cadet corps to its former glory.


Our history especially that of the cadet corps, can be summed up as service to the nation. This commitment to serve our country is engrained in each Giant. This can be measured by the number of Giants that have served our nation in uniform (military and civil) most of them alumni of our cadet corps. We cannot list all the Giants that have served in this short article. We however hope to compile a complete list and fully document the role of GSTS in the Ghana Armed Forces.



GSTS has perhaps produced more officers and men for the Ghana Armed Forces than any single school in Ghana. Below is a partial list (a more complete list will be provided later) of some notable Giants cadets and non-cadets who joined the Military in no specific order are (Only retired officers are currently listed):


The late Brig-Gen. J. R. K  Acquah (Rtd) (Former CAS), Brig-Gen. SO Ampey (Rtd), Col. Paul Nyarko (Rtd), Col. Akai Nettey (Rtd) ,  Capt. Prof. J. Antonio (Rtd),  Brig-Gen. G. Amamoo (Rtd),  Brig-Gen. Otchere (Rtd), Lt. Col. Baah (Rtd), Late Brig-Gen Mankata (Rtd), Maj. Fred K. Sam (Rtd), Brig-Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd), Brig-Gen George Adjei, Brig-Gen Emmanuel Okyere (Rtd) –(National Security Advisor), Brig-Gen G. Amamoo (Rtd), Maj. Gen. Joseph N. Adinkra (Rtd) (Former CAS),  Capt. Asare (Rtd), Brig-Gen Nana Acheampong (Rtd),  Col Normanyo (Rtd), Maj. Mensah-King (Rtd), Maj. Danso Nyarko (Rtd), Force Sgt-Maj. Essien (Rtd),



Wg Cmdr Robert Owoo’ 63 (Rtd), Grp Capt. Quansah (Rtd), Col. Kofi Abaka Jackson (Rtd), Air Vice Marshal Philip Ayisa (Rtd), Wg Cmdr William Kekrebesi (Rtd) -(Past President -GAA), Gr. Capt. Ralph Ayisi (Rtd), Flt Lt Christ Bonuedie (Rtd), Wg Cmdr Amonoo Coleman (Rtd), the late Air Cmdr George Doke (Rtd), the late Grp. Capt Kofi Abraham (Rtd), the late Grp Capt. Akondoh (Rtd), Sqn Ldr JB Azaria (‘63) (Rtd), Sqn Ldr Ayi (‘63) (Rtd), the late Sqn Ldr Akakpo (Rtd).





Commodore Steve Obimpeh ’62 (Rtd) (Former CNS), the late Rear Admiral Tom Annan (Rtd)’62 (Former CNS), Commodore JK Oppong’62 (Former CNS), Commander AK Johnson (Rtd), Vice Admiral Matthew Quarshie (Rtd)  (Former CNS and CDS), Rear Admiral Mohammed Munir Tahiru (Rtd), Rear Admiral Peter K. Faidoo (Former CNS), S/ Sub-Lieutenant Richard Mante Ofori-Brown (Rtd), Commodore Addison (Rtd), the late Capt. Daniel Ashitey (Rtd) (GN), Lt Cmdr PSK Kumako (Rtd).


Our cadets have also gone on to serve admirably in uniformed and non-uniformed civil institutions. Some include: Captain Kofi Kwakwa (Gh Airways), Ing. Kwasi Kwakwa (GPHA), Chief Engr Frank Akoto (Black StarLine), Kwame Brenya (Private Businessman), Kwabena Obeng (Private Businessman), Osafo Antwi (Private Businessman), Capt A N Kwaw (Black Star Line), Capt B K Dzide (BSL), Capt Teye (BSL), Capt Ishmael Quansah (Tricky Shadow, BSL), Capt George Kumi (Buster, BSL), CK Djameh (Chief Engineer, BSL)


Gt. Amos Ofori-Quaah

Gt. Kwasi Kwakwa

Gt. William K. Kekrebesi

Gt. Richard Ofori-Brown

Gt. Steve Abban

Gt. Tetteh Abbeyquaye