, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE CADETS COMMISSIONING PARADE, KENYA MILITARY ACADEMY, LANET, 20TH SEPTEMBER, 2013 Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, It gives me great pleasure to join you here and preside over this commissioning ceremony. Today marks the successful completion of thirty-six months' training by our young officers. The Defence Forces Officer Cadets formed up in front of us are a pioneer group. In addition to professional military training, these officers have concurrently undertaken a Bachelor of Science degree in Military Studies, which they commenced in October 2010. As they join the officer cadre of the Kenya Defence Forces in the service of our great Nation, we are happy to share the joy of their success and achievements. Let me take this early opportunity to reiterate my Government’s commitment to improving your as well as other officers in the Kenya Defence Forces. To this end, all salaries, allowances and welfare benefits which their families are entitled to shall be fully preserved. By successfully implementing the BSc. in Military Studies, we have stepped up our efforts to keep training standards in Kenya Defence Forces at par with the best in the world. It is right that we attain the best possible standard of preparation, for with it comes the heavy responsibility of defending our national sovereignty and territorial integrity. This responsibility is a tremendous trust bestowed upon each of you by the people of Kenya, in the expectation that you will never betray it. It is a sacred trust that only the highest calibre of professionals can be charged with. That is why you are rightly regarded as members of a noble profession. The success of your career as officers in the Kenya Defence Forces will demand continuous training, high levels of professionalism, ethics and personal sacrifice. It will also call for your integrity, discipline and loyalty to your country and the Government as prescribed in the Oath of Allegiance you have just sworn. These values must be demonstrated to your superiors, amongst yourselves and to your subordinates. Today you begin a challenging military career that will test all your professional skills to the utmost. You serve in a global, regional and local context that is constantly subjected to numerous novel threats. The evolution and proliferation of evil has virtually kept up with technological and intellectual progress everywhere in the world. Terrorism and intolerance have spawned newer and more challenging strategies for perpetrating atrocity and human suffering on various scales. Inevitably, the dynamics of military responsibility in response to these challenges demand a higher level of intellectual and leadership skills in officers. The degree programme has equipped officer cadets with the knowledge and skills that will underpin their professional growth and effectiveness as commanders and leaders of the Kenya Defence Forces. For this reason, I applaud the partnership between Kenyatta University and the Ministry of Defence for designing and successfully implementing the programme.

Kenya greatly appreciates the various efforts that regional leaders continue to make towards strengthening cooperation in all sectors. Our commitment to this cooperation must never be in doubt. My Government considers cooperation and integration to be indispensable in securing our region. In fact, the Jubilee Coalition sees its agenda for national transformation in the context of a Kenya at peace with itself, and with all its neighbours. Vision 2030 and all our development programmes require a stable country and region. I therefore take great satisfaction in noting that our respective militaries cooperate on diverse training programmes. This Academy is training cadets from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. I congratulate the officers from those countries who are among those commissioned today and wish them productive careers back home. It is my hope that our countries' cooperation will grow stronger. The Kenya Defence Forces continue to exemplify our best attributes as a nation. The unity demonstrated in its organisation, as well as its members' diversity and harmony testify that the Forces' successes in an amazing array of endeavours are not accidental. From internal and international peacekeeping, spearheading development projects and developing successful sportsmen and women, the KDF demonstrates that the most successful society must be united, inclusive and diverse while pursuing shared goals in a disciplined, efficient and loyal manner. All ethnic and religious communities of Kenya serve in the KDF. I note that a number of female officers have been commissioned today. My Government is committed to assuring equal opportunities for all Kenyans. The KDF is a perfect exponent of our national values in action. Their many fine achievements powerfully suggest the promise we will unlock when we all, as a Nation live up to our constitutional order Kenya certainly values the unique and exemplary contributions made by each one of you as you serve it, often in challenging situations. You make the noblest of sacrifices without hesitation to ensure that our Nation lives in peace. I send greetings to the entire KDF fraternity, including those presently serving outside Kenya in pursuit of peace and security. As I conclude, I must state that my Government treasures the role of our youth in national development. We are doing all we can to ensure that our youth get to actualise their aspirations without unnecessary hindrance. The young people who have been commissioned today will take up serious and challenging responsibilities. The challenge will be compounded by difficulties and suffering that HIV and AIDS have unleashed upon our society and the world. I encourage the young officers before us today to place themselves at the forefront in the fight against HIV and AIDS and to wage this war with the characteristic discipline and fortitude imparted by their professional training. Once again, I take this opportunity to congratulate the newly commissioned officers and wish them all the best in their careers. Thank you. God bless you

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