When a soldier wears his uniform, it is to signify his willingness to perform his duties undeterred.
The pride of any military officer/serviceman is to serve his country with distinction, honour and fidelity.
A famous quote in military circles goes “No man is a man until he has been a soldier.”
That is the story of Lieutenant General Francis Omondi Ogolla who rose to the rank of Lt Gen and was appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Forces on 23 July 2021.
An image of Ecole Militaire (left) and the image of Napoleon Bonaparte (right)
Ogolla who joined the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) on 24 April 1984 attended ÉcoleMilitaire de Paris, the same military training College as Napoleon Bonaparte a famous French Emperor, military commander and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution.
Napoleon Bonaparte was trained in the academy in 1784 an academy for trainee officers from noble families without strong financial backgrounds.
Ogolla equally holds a Diploma both in International Studies and Military Science from Egerton University, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Armed Conflict and Peace Studies (First Class Honors) and a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Nairobi.
He is a trained fighter pilot as well as an instructor pilot with United States Airforce (USAF). Additionally, he is also trained in other fields including imagery intelligence, counter-terrorism and accident investigation.
In 2018 he was appointed the Commander Kenya Air Force a post he served for three years before rising to become Vice Chief of Defence Forces.
Among other ranks and positions he has held include; Training, Command and Staff including Deputy Commander Kenya Air Force, Base Commander Laikipia Air Base, Commanding Officer of Tactical Fighter Wing, Chief Flying Instructor at Kenya Air Force Flying Training School and Operations Desk Officer at Kenya Air Force Headquarters.
Ogolla is well placed in line to be the Chief of Defence Forces a position that is rotated among the three services ( Kenya Army, Navy and Airforce).
The position has already rotated amongst the Navy and the Kenya Army. Gen Kibochi the current CDF is from the Kenya Army while his predecessor, Gen Samson Mwathethe, was from the Kenya Navy.
Former CDF General Samson Mwathethe (left) hands over KDF flag to CDF General Robert Kibochi at the Defence Headquarters in May 2020
accident terrorism fight