Commander Kenya Army Lieutenant General Walter Koipaton on 19th July 2022 joined personnel of the 3rd Battalion, the Kenya Rifles in marking their Unit Day dubbed ‘Narung’ombe Day’ at Lanet Barracks, Nakuru County.
The event marked with pomp and colour began with the Chief Guest inspecting a quarter guard upon arrival and thereafter laying wreaths at the Unit’s monument in honour of soldiers who paid the ultimate price in defence of the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. The Unit’s soldiers popularly known as Scarlets thereafter conducted a monumental parade showcasing their Regimental Colour. The personnel also had the opportunity to be taken through the Unit’s rich heritage in a static display showcasing various aspects of the Unit since its formation.
Commander Kenya Army Lieutenant General Walter Koipaton who also served as the twentieth Commanding Officer of the Unit, while addressing the soldiers, he urged them to seize the opportunity of interacting with retired personnel to learn the rich history and achievements of the Unit.
Lieutenant General Walter Koipaton also thanked the families of the soldiers for supporting them during times of deployment as the soldiers stay away from their families because of duty.
‘Family members make many sacrifices of their own, face separation during deployments, and sometimes bear permanent loss – but there are rewards,’’ said Lieutenant General Walter Koipaton.
The Commander Kenya Army commended the 3rd Battalion, the Kenya Rifles soldiers for undertaking their combat operations diligently and selflessly; efforts that have contributed to the Kenya Army achieving its mandate of defending the Republic of Kenya against land-based threats.
The event was characterised with sharing of fond memories by former Commanding Officers of the unit and Sergeant Majors who have overseen the transition of the Unit from its infancy stages into a fully-fledged Unit. The longest serving Regimental Sergeant Major Retired Warrant Officer Class I Isaack Hassan urged the Unit personnel to be model soldiers by upholding integrity and standards of the highest level which have been built by their predecessors over the years.
Other speakers in the occasion hailed their predecessors as a trailblazers who set a firm foundation for the Unit which has seen the Unit lead in discipline, operational successes as well as moulding of military leaders.
During the event, retired service personnel of the Unit were presented with various tokens in honour of their devotion to service, exemplary service, selflessness in duty and bravery in various combat operations during their tour-of-duty. After the event, the personnel participated in a tree planting exercise, a tradition observed in all Kenya Army events which aims at improving tree cover in military cantonments in line with the Kenya Defence Forces’ Environmental Soldier Programme.
The 3rd Battalion, the Kenya Rifles is the senior most Unit of the Kenya Army. The Unit held this event as a way to enhance its espirit de corps amongst the soldiers.
The battle of Narung’ombe took place during the World War I and was one of the many fought by the 3rd King Africa Rifles now the 3rd Battalion, the Kenya Rifles. The battle was fought in Narung’ombe in Tanzania. The date of the battle was adopted as the regimental day of the 3rd Battalion, the Kenya Rifles to celebrate the Unit’s fighting spirit, gallantry, courage and devotion to duty.
The event was attended by Kenya Military Academy Commandant Major General Fatuma Ahmed, acting General Officer Commanding Western Command Brigadier Seif Rashid, Commandant Defence Forces Memorial Brigadier Maroa Gati and Defence Forces Sergeant Major Warrant Officer Class I Elijah Koranga among other serving and retired personnel of the Unit.