I want to leave an effective military, respected world over and which will deliver on its mission, wherever and whenever.
Words from General Francis Ogolla as he marked 100 days since he took the command of the country’s military after his promotion and subsequent appointment as chief of defence forces by President William Ruto following the retirement of his predecessor General Robert Kibochi.
In an exclusive interview with channel one’s senior anchor and reporter John Kioria, Ogolla said his success will be judged on how the Kenya defence forces effectively perform their duties.
“in the last one hundred days, I have been able to elaborate on my vision, which has crystalized with the one force, one mission phrase. To be able to bring everybody together, to understand what our role is and focus on the one mission we have; of defending the sovereignty of the republic of Kenya.” Said General Ogolla.
Saying that he is focused on empowering and modernizing KDF, Ogolla submitted that militaries across the globe evolve with threats to national security changing each day.
“And when we realise that some of the equipment or strategies that we have had some gaps, we modernise to close these gaps so that we are always capable of defending the republic,” observed Ogolla.
And amid claims of corruption during recruitment of those seeking to join the Kenyan military, Ogolla says watertight measures have been put in place to ensure the recruitment is free and fair even as he warned the public against attempts to join the military through the back door.
“I would not want a soldier who has paid his way into the service. How will you serve, how will you defend your country if you paid to join?,” posed Ogolla.
He said the Kenyan military is progressively increasing the number of female officers, which currently stands at 17 percent, in line with its gender policy.
Prior to this appointment, General Francis Omondi Ogolla was the Vice Chief of the Defence Forces. He joined the Kenya Defence Forces on 24 April 1984 and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant on 6 May 1985 and posted to Kenya Air Force. He trained as a fighter pilot with USAF and as an instructor pilot at the Kenya Air Force (KAF). He also trained in other fields including imagery intelligence, counter terrorism and accident investigation.