On December 11, 2018 In Statements and Speeches

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted to be here with you today as we witness this splendid event.  It is a great pleasure for me to preside over this recruits’ passing-out parade. Formed up before us here are fine young men and women who passed an exacting recruitment process and not only endured, but successfully completed a rigorous training process. Today, they emerge as fine young service men and women ready to give their all to their beloved motherland. I note with appreciation that the number of female recruits has continued to rise steadily, year after year.  This year’s parade has a substantial female component, which testifies to our Nation’s commitment to equality and equal opportunity regardless of gender.  I am proud to observe that even in the disciplined forces, we are on the forward march to realising the promise of our Constitution and our people’s aspirations. Ladies and Gentlemen, As new servicemen and women, you join the ranks of highly disciplined professionals whose hallmark is integrity and selflessness.  The Kenya Defence Forces are a highly esteemed international brand.  KDF enjoys a substantial, decades-long reputation in peace-keeping throughout the world Recently, the KDF has demonstrated its formidable capabilities in bringing security and stability in neighbouring Somalia. You therefore have a challenge to embrace the traditions of this fine institution and match or even surpass the achievements of your predecessors. In order for you to succeed, you will be required to bring into practice your best personal qualities, and the values and lessons imparted to you over the last 7 months.  The qualities and values that make successful individuals are the same values and qualities which make formidable armies and great nations Although the challenges before you are great, I am confident that the KDF chose you from among the best, and started you on the long and rewarding journey of training and personal development.  You are called upon to protect our national sovereignty and territorial integrity with valour and integrity You are role models to many younger people who hope to grow into courageous, disciplined professionals of integrity, like you. You will have to confront and overcome personal challenges with the same zeal as you will be required to face the enemy.  The Nation expects you to overcome HIV/AIDS, alcohol and drug abuse in order to protect your personal health, but also to encourage many other young people to lead responsible lives. Ladies and Gentlemen, Your careers as soldiers in the Defence Forces demand continuous learning and immense personal sacrifice to render you effective and successful Apart from integrity and discipline, absolute loyalty will be required of you.  You must be loyal to your Nation and Government, just as you swore today.  You must also be loyal to your superiors and peers.  From here, you proceed to various units, formations and services to begin your careers according to your abilities.  I encourage you to apply yourselves with dedication and aim to succeed. This Nation takes justifiable pride in the high standard that our Defence Forces have set and maintained for decades.  We are proud, not only of your achievements, but also of the assurance that no matter what, you cannot, will not and shall not fail Kenya ever. I urge each one of you to do everything necessary to protect and enhance the reputation of the Kenya Defence Forces, and to prove yourselves worthy of the great trust placed on you by the Nation. Ladies and Gentlemen, The standard of the parade and turnout displayed today is impressive and highly commendable.  I congratulate the Chief of Defence Forces, the Commandant of this College, the Officers and the entire service members for good work.  The displays before us went beyond mere marching and routine, and amply demonstrated excellent command and management, efficient coordination, impeccable organisation and superb discipline. It showed many individual soldiers aggregating into a unified machine where each individual contributes diligently to the effective running of a coordinated whole. Well done! The impressive skills and qualities demonstrated to us today are in great demand all over our region, continent and, indeed, the world. This is why our Defence forces play a major role in United Nations peacekeeping missions in Africa, Europe and Asia. The African Union and the United Nations Security Council continue to show solid confidence in the capability, professionalism and integrity of our Nation’s Defence Forces.  I urge the new servicemen and women to keep up this very enviable standard. Ladies and Gentlemen, Our Defence Forces symbolise the great promise of our Nation.  It is an institution which embraces Kenyans from all communities and backgrounds without discrimination, and brings out the best in them. It is an institution whose essence is unity and foundation of diversity.  It is inspired by utmost integrity and professionalism.  It is sustained by patriotism and selflessness.  As I have said on other occasions, our Defence Forces represent our National Values in action.  As a Nation, we recognise, admire and respect this.  We also appreciate the fact that you are often called to serve in the most dangerous conditions and even pay the ultimate price for the sake of your Nation.  I want to emphasise here today that we do not take this for granted. Our people are also grateful that you continue to demonstrate selflessness by sharing your talents in giving communities amenities to develop, especially in the arid and semi-arid areas. I take this opportunity to commend all the members of the Kenya Defence Forces for their professional conduct throughout Operation Linda Nchi and the Somalia Operation.  Your exemplary conduct in service under the African Union enabled us to support the civil authority effectively. As I conclude, I urge you to achieve the highest standards required by the service in order to enjoy a meaningful youth full of personal achievement and contribution to national well-being.  Do not waver in pursuit of excellence.  Do not stint in your march to success.  Do not flinch in any encounter with personal or professional challenge.  Do not tire in serving your country.  We are with you in thought, support and prayer. As new soldiers, I wish each of you prosperity and good luck in your careers, now and in future.  May God bless you now and always. Thank you very much.

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