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History as first female officer leads cadets at military parade

Officer Cadet Mary Nduati of Kenya Army led the commissioning parade of Officer Cadets (GSOs) at the Kenya Military Academy, Lanet on March 31, 2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

History was marked at the Kenya Military Academy in Lanet, Nakuru County, yesterday as a female officer took the lead of the commissioning parade for new officers for the first time.

The parade was also unique in that the commissioning officers were the first cohort of graduate General Service Officer (GSO) cadets as compared to other GSOs who joined as undergraduates for a one year professional training programme.

President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the commissioning of new officers accompanied by Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi and Governor Lee Kinyanjui.

Officer Cadet Mary W Nduati of the Kenya Army who was commissioned to the rank of a Second Lieutenant set history by becoming the first female Senior Under Officer to lead a commissioning parade at the academy.

Her role in the cadet leadership exemplified the efforts of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to offer equal opportunity based on merit and gender as the new 168 officers joined the various services.

Nduati was recognised as the Best Officer Cadet in Leadership and Command, making her the winner of the Sword of Honour handed to her by President Uhuru.

The second best officer cadet in leadership and command went to Officer Cadet Newton Kiptoo Kiptanui of Kenya Navy who was awarded with the Commandant’s Award.

The President lauded the KDF leadership in its efforts to transform training for the Kenyan troops, the latest being the National Defence University-Kenya (NDU-K) that was commissioned recently. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta awards the best officer cadet in leadership and command Mary Wanjiku Nduati during the commissioning parade of General Service Officer Cadets (GSOs) at the Kenya Military Academy, Lanet on March 31, 2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

“The Defence University is now running and will offer academic and professional development of personnel across our security sector. This will prepare Kenyan troops adequately for contemporary and future security environment,” said Uhuru.

He underscored the inclusion of academics in military training, will go a long way in building strong and cohesive multi-agency teams to successfully address emerging security matters.

“To better secure the region, Kenya will continue the exchange programme with other countries in military training in which South Sudan and Mozambique are the most recent to join our exchange programme,” said Uhuru. 

The President noted that the cooperation embodies true pan Africanism that will foster peaceful relations within East Africa and beyond.

He added that the government has also undertaken far-reaching reforms to support the welfare of the security forces and facilitated them to effectively keep the country safe and secure.

“Public investments in the security sector have secured the modernization of training, keeping it abreast with the challenges of an ever-evolving security environment,” he said. 

KMA Commandant Major General Fatuma Ahmed pointed out that the institution has continued to offer value-based training to churn out competent military officers.

“This academy ensures the officers commissioned are professionally, physically, intellectually, socially and morally-oriented to military life,” said Ahmed.

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