President Uhuru Kenyatta has commended the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) for its role in the renewal of key infrastructure projects across the country.
The President thanked KDF for the successful rehabilitation of the Nairobi to Nanyuki and the ongoing works on the Nakuru to Kisumu railway lines as well as the renewal of the Kisumu Port.
"We also recognise the contribution that our Defense Forces continue to make to our country as a whole, especially in utilising their skills and assets to spearhead selected strategic development projects.
"The rehabilitation works on the Nairobi to Nanyuki meter-gauge railway line, the work done by Navy engineers in the rehabilitation of the Kisumu Port, and the ongoing work on Nakuru to Kisumu line; are a few of such projects the Defence Forces have executed with excellence. For this reason, we are, indeed, proud of your contribution to the realisation of the Vision 2030 journey," the President said.
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He spoke Thursday at the KDF's Recruits Training School in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County during a pass out parade.
At the same time, President Kenyatta challenged Kenyans especially government institutions to emulate the efficiency exhibited by the military in the implementation of public projects.
"I urge all Kenyans and, indeed, all Government Agencies, to emulate this commitment of excellence from the Kenya Defence Forces," he said.
The Head of State applauded the military for its contribution to national and regional security saying KDF had achieved good progress in the fight against terrorism.
Beyond regional security and stability, the President said KDF continues to make the country proud by excelling at regional, continental and global levels.
"The continuous participation of our military in these missions reflects the confidence that the international community, through the United Nations and the Security Council, in particular, has in our Nation’s Defence Forces. This, indeed, is a true testimony of the high standards of our military training and professionalism," he noted.
To the new soldiers, he advised them to put professionalism and patriotism ahead of any other consideration as they discharge their mandate of guarding the country.
"We are charging you with the duty of protecting this nation from assailants and intruders...The training you have undergone is to empower you with the skills necessary to solve this problem...I urge you to apply yourselves in the most patriotic and professional manner at all times," the President told the new servicemen and women.
The President noted with satisfaction the growing number of women joining KDF saying his commitment as the Head of State was to ensure equal opportunities for all Kenyans.
"It is important for these young women, working alongside men, to find meaning and purpose in their work. When these young men and women joined the Kenya Defense Forces, from all parts of this great nation, they became one cohesive family," he said.
As part of the ceremony attended by the entire top military command led by the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces General Robert Kariuki Kibochi, the President awarded outstanding performers during the 8-month training.
Gabriel Kipanga and Lawrence Mutua from Kenya Army were awarded trophies for the best and second-best recruits respectively while Miriam Cherono of Kenya Navy bagged the best female award. Brian Njeru of Kenya Navy won the award for the best combat marksman.
The pass out parade was attended by Defence Cabinet Secretary Dr Monica Juma, Governor Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu) and Governor Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet).
Also present were Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya among other senior Government officials.