His Life


Late Colonel (Rtd) Joseph Tanko psc, DSS, mni was born on the 1st day of November 1958 in Tudun Wada, Kaduna South, Kaduna State. He was the 3rd child in the family of Nine children of late Mr. and Mrs. Tanko Faign of Gidan Mana, Kachia LGA, Kaduna State. He attended LEA Primary School Tudun Wada Kaduna from 1965 to 1971. He was awarded certificate of outstanding performance by Brigadier Abba Kyari, The Military Governor of Kaduna State on graduation from primary school. 
Joe (as he was fondly called) attended Government College Malali, Kaduna from 1972 to 1977, and was the head boy of his class. He worked briefly with NIPOST before he proceeded to the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, as a member of the 23rd Regular Course. He was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry Corps of the Nigerian Army, on the 1st June 1981. Interestingly Col Tanko was the first student from FGC Kaduna to attend NDA.
In the course of his military career, he was privileged to have attended many courses, some of which include:
Mortar Platoon Commander Course at Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI), Jaji in 1981, Young Officers Course at NASI Jaji in 1982, Physical Training Officers Orientation Course at Army School of Physical Education, Zaria in 1983, Basic Airborne Course, Fort Benning, Georgia, USA IN 1984, Infrastructural Technology at Nigerian Army School of Education, Ilorin, in 1985 and Airborne Detachment Commander’s Course  (Special Forces) on Counter Terrorism water –borne Operations, Airborne – Operations, Jungle –Warfare, Desert/Mountain Warfare and Weapon Second Line Medic, Communication – USA in 1987.
Other courses attended are: Junior Division Staff Course, AFCSC Jaji in 1990, Advanced Airborne at US Army Infantry School, Fort Benning USA, in 1992, Maintenance Officer’s Course (Rigger/Maintenance), Fort Lee, USA in 1992, Pathfinder and Method  of instruction course, at Fort Benning USA in 1992, Senior Staff Course at FSCSC, Jaji, in 1996 and Senior Executive Course (NIPSS) in Kuru, Jos, in 2008.
Col Tanko is a member of several professional bodies and has won many awards, which include: Member National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (mni), NIPSS, Kuru, Jos, OLMEE Medal Award, Certificate, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, US Certificates, Army Jump Master School Fort Benning Georgia, USA, and Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI) Training Management Award.
Some of the high points and achievements in his military career include: his Training and leading Nigerian contingents to Liberia, South Africa on Exercise Airborne Africa Team, which came 2nd place out of 18 countries including: USA, UK, Germany, Holland, India and Pakistan in 2004. He commanded troops to repel more than 3,000 strong rebels in a counter attack to regain Freetown in Sierra Leone in 1999. He was one of the pioneer Airborne Instructor for the armed forces from 1986 to 2007, where he rose from basic Instructor to Chief Instructor for 18years without any record of casualty and he conducted the 1st October Annual Independence Parachute Jump Demonstration from 1986 to 2007

As a support to humanity, he owned an NGO in Kaduna known as Let Calvary Love Lead Foundation, which is geared towards helping widows and the needy (a personal experience of God’s Love). He was happily married to his wife Grace and they have four lovely children.
(Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you in post humous remembrance a fine gentleman officer, a loving husband and devoted father, Late Col Joseph Tanko. May his gentle Soul rest in peace. )