President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday said Kenya’s military training programmes are designed to serve security needs of both the country and the region.
The President said some of the most challenging crimes that trouble nations are cross-border in nature and perpetrators shift bases whenever they come under heat in one country.
The Head of State spoke at the Kenya Military Academy in Lanet, Nakuru County, where he commissioned new cadet officers who completed a rigorous three-year training program that involves academic as well as character development and field training.
President Kenyatta said the training standards at the Kenya Military Academy are recognised in the region and the whole world. The academy trains cadet officers from several African countries.
“The spirit of joint training reflects the true spirit of regional security partnership as enshrined in the East Africa Community Treaty,” the President said.
He said the regional dimension of the training by the academy is informed by the fact that the threats to security posed by terrorist groups and related international crimes know no borders.
“Whenever these groups are pursued, they quickly shift their operations either within the boundaries of nations or beyond,” said the President.
The President said Kenya has always made it a priority to boost regional security and that is one of the reasons it has been involved in stabilising countries affected by conflict.
He said Kenyan troops will continue operating in Somalia until after the threat posed by the forces destabilising the country and the region are neutralised.
“In pursuance of this objective and that of the international community, our troops will continue being part of AMISOM until such a time that this objective has been achieved,” the President said.
President Kenyatta reiterated that a country’s prosperity depends on how well it balances the crucial factors of peace, security, governance and sound economic policies and development programmes.
He said that is why military officers are encouraged to observe personal courage as they protect the country despite adversities they might face.
“Courage calls for self-confidence, moral ascendency, self-sacrifice, honesty, fairness, initiative, decisiveness and dignity.
“These values need to permeate all sectors of our society, inadequate measures, in order to enable us to vanquish the evils of terrorism, political intolerance, corruption and lawlessness,” the President said.
The newly commissioned officers have graduated under the revamped Bachelor of Science in Military and Security Studies programme, a unique undergraduate degree offered by the Ministry of Defence in collaboration with Kenyatta University.
The programme is designed to produce junior military leaders not just for the Kenya Defence Forces, but also allied countries. The programme is anchored on three pillars, namely; professional military training, academic training and character development.
During the colourful commissioning ceremony, the Head of State awarded cadets who excelled in various fields during the course of their three-year training.
The best officer cadet in leadership and command and winner of the Sword of honour was Cadet Officer Brian Omondi of the Kenya Army while the runner up and winner of academic studies award was Cadet Officer Naisula Kanai of the Kenya Air Force.
The winner of the professional studies award was Cadet Officer David Ekunoit Ekai while the runner up in the category was Junior Under Officer Joseph Kiarie Mathai.
Peter Samoire Mugundui of Kenya Air Force was the best cadet in character development with Simon Ndugire Ngeteta of Kenya Navy coming second.
The best Allied Officer Cadet in order of Merit and winner of Commandant’s Award was Cadet Officer Eliakim Mathew Ezekiel from the Tanzania People’s Defence Force.
The commandant of the Kenya Military Academy Major General Albert Kendagor said the cadets have undergone rigorous training that has transformed them from civilians into military officers ready for leadership roles in the Kenya Defence Forces.
The commissioning ceremony was also attended by Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai among other senior government officers.