Brigadier Julius Maada Bio is a Sierra Leonean politician who was the military Head of State of Sierra Leone from January 16, 1996 to March 29, 1996 under the NPRC military junta government.
Julius Maada Bio was born on May 12, 1964 in Tihun, a village in Sogbini Chiefdom, Bonthe District, just a few distance from the main commercial town of Mattru Jong, in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone. Bio is one of 35 children born to Mende Paramount Chief Charlie Bio II of Sogbini Chiefdom. Bio's father had nine wives. Bio is named after his paternal grandfather, who was also a paramount chief of Sogbini Chiefdom.
Bio began his primary education at the Roman Catholic Primary School in Tihun. After finishing his early years in primary school, Bio was sent to the town of Pujehun to live with his older sister Agnes, who was a primary school teacher in Pujehun. Bio completed his primary education at the Holy Family Primary School in Pujehun.
At the completion of his primary education, Bio's older sister, Agnes, enrolled him at the Bo Government Secondary School in Bo (commonly known as Bo School), a famous boarding school and one of Sierra Leone's most widely recognized secondary schools. Bio spent seven years at Bo School, rising to become school Prefect. Bio graduated from Bo School in 1984 with A-level at age 20.
After graduating from secondary school, Bio applied to enter Fourah Bay College in Freetown in 1985 at age 21. However Bio change his mind about college and instead enrolled in the Sierra Leone Armed forces military academy and was deployed for military training as a cadet officer at the Benguema Military Training Academy in Benguema, a town in the Western Area, just outside Freetown. He was directly under the command of Major Fallah Sewa, who was head of cadet trainings at the military academy.
Bio graduated from the Military academy as a Second Lieutenant in the Sierra Leone Army in October 1987 at age 22. His first posting as a soldier was at the Lungi Garrison in Lungi, Port Loko District in 1987. Bio was later sent to Kambia District as part of the Economic Emergency Unit, created by President Joseph Saidu Momoh to combat the deepening meltdown and criminality across Sierra Leone. In 1988, Bio was re-posted at Lungi to be trained by United Nations forces in aviation security. After the training, Bio was posted to Benguema as a platoon commander.
In 1990, the Sierra Leone Government sent to Liberia as a member of ECOMOG peacekeeping force to battle the rebels of the Liberian Civil War that was fighting to overthrow the Liberian Government. Bio and several other Sierra Leonean soldiers, including Captain Valentine Strasser, and Seargon Solomon Musa were deployed to Liberia as part of Sierra Leone’s contribution to ECOMOG. At the time, thousands of Liberians were fleeing to Sierra Leone weekly, exposing the country’s fragile security and adding to the economic hardship.
After a year in Liberia as an ECOMOG soldier, the Sierra Leone Government ordered Bio and several members of Sierra Leonean soldiers serving in Liberia to immediately return to Sierra Leone and report to the army barracks in Daru, Kailahun District as a member of a 600 battalion of soldiers set up by President Momoh in order to squash a rebellion by rebels known as the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) that had just begun in villages in Jaluahun Chiefdom, Kailahun District in Eastern Sierra Leone in March 1991. The soldiers included future NPRC members Seargon Solomon Musa, Captain Valentine Strasser, Lieutenant Sahr Sandy and captain Tom Nyuma.
He is married to Francess Bio with four children; Woni Bio, Agnes Bio, Charlie Bio, Ivan Bio.