The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General Francis Ogolla on 21 September 2023 officiated the annual KDF Sergeant Majors’ seminar at the Humanitarian Peace Support School (HPSS), Embakasi. Under the theme: “One Force, One Mission” with a focused approach towards mentorship and leadership. The seminar brought together KDF command together with KDF Sergeant Major to discuss various aspects of leadership in order to collectively tackle the existing complex security environment.
The CDF addressed the KDF Sergeant Majors on Leadership in KDF, expectations and policies. He urged them to develop and master five leadership traits. These include vision, leadership by example, taking care of subordinates, self-discipline and calmness during crisis. He assured them that one who develops these traits will suffice as a good leader. Gen. Ogolla further emphasized that the leadership expects every KDF member to be responsible, have integrity and achieve positive results. “Every time you do things in a normal way, you will only attain the status quo. Put extra effort,” said Gen. Ogolla.
During his remarks, the Army Commander Lieutenant General Peter Mbogo Njiru challenged the Command Sergeant Majors to reflect on the significance of leadership and mentorship in their role as the custodians of training, discipline and traditions within the Kenya Defence Forces. He went ahead to encourage the service members’ leadership to embrace mentorship to become role models of the soldiers under their command. “Demand feedback for tasks and be accountable in your areas of responsibility,” He said.
In his address, the Assistant Chief of Defence Forces, Personnel and Logistics (ACDF P&L) Major General David Kipkemboi Keter underscored the importance of the Sergeant Majors in developing the military as a whole. This, he said, helps in shaping the young Officers and service members through inculcating in them the knowledge required of them to be good soldiers. “The profession of arms is special in its role and the sensitivity of the task to defend the country,” he said.
A KDF Sergeant Major is a leadership appointment bestowed upon a servicemen/women who has attained the rank of Warrant Officer Class One (WO1). They are the senior most enlisted service personnel who act as advisors to various commands. In this hierarchy the Defence Forces Sergeant Major (DFSM) is the senior most and highest office among enlisted Service members, who acts as the advisor to the CDF on welfare matters of soldiers and their families. He also oversees drill and discipline across all cadres.
Guest speakers at the seminar included retired Defence Sergeant Majors.
In attendance were the Chief of Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla, Service Commanders, Assistant Chief of Defence Forces Personnel and Logistics, Maj Gen. Keter, Chief of Systems Brigadier Apollo Ogolla Aloka, Chief of Compensation and Welfare Brigadier John Wekesa Khaoya, Commandant IPSTC Brigadier Joyce Sitienei, Senior Officers and Officers.