On leaving school he joined the army and became a non-commissioned officer in the French colonial army.
In Europe he served with the French army in the last stages of the 1939-45 War and was stationed in Germany after the ceasefire. Commissioned in 1949, he became a second lieutenant in the French army, serving in Algeria. He was posted to Paris and qualified at the Ecole Supérieure de Guerre—the Senior Staff College.
On his return to Madagascar after independence he served in the newly created Madagascar Army as a senior officer. He was promoted colonel and then rose to be brigadier-general in 1971 on his appointment as Inspector-General of the Armed Forces.
When he entered the cabinet he gave Priority to creating a viable network of toads since 60% of the country was accessible by road during the rainy season between November and April. He took charge of road construction programmes—many financed by foreign aid—so that he could show results from the government’s determination to Provide efficient communications.
In effect Minister of Works and Communications, responsible for roads, railways, ports, shipping, civil aviation, posts, telegraphs, building and maintenance. The trouble-shooter of the new administration, assigned to calm the Soviet-style “National Congress” which sat from June to September 1972 with the aim of revolutionising Madagascar’s institutions. A tough operator, he was sent to solve the strikes at Tamatave port in December 1972 which paralysed imports and exports.
As Military Governor of Tananarive at the time of the May strikes, he was an important factor in calming the May rebels. A man of marked pro-French sympathies as a result of long service in the French army, he belongs to the conservative wing of the government. His last appointment before entering the cabinet was Inspector-General of the Armed Forces.