Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Joshua Korigo Barno, the first Kenyan Commanding Officer (CO) to head a military unit after Kenya gained independence.
Earlier this year, he was taken ill at his Kapsabet home, Nandi county. His family reached out to the Defence Headquarters to assist the ex-soldier who needed urgent medical attention.
The Directorate of Medical Services (DMS) organized for an ambulance that picked Lt Col (Rtd) Barno and rushed him to the newly established Eldoret Regional Hospital (ERH) at Moi Barracks, Eldoret.
The patient who had served with distinction in his prime years was received by Brigadier (Dr) Justino Mutisya, Senior Medical Officer at the facility where he underwent a series of tests to ascertain his ailment.
Lt Col (Rtd) Barno was consequently admitted at the facility for treatment and close monitoring by the medics where he is responding positively to treatment.
The 98 year-old ex-soldier was the first CO of the Nanyuki-based 1 battalion, the Kenya Rifles, which he took the reigns during the first Jamhuri Day on 12 December 1964.
The ex-soldier was enlisted into the then King’s African Rifles in 1948 as a cadet and commissioned as a junior officer and rose to the ranks to head a military unit.
On the spectacular day in Kenya’s history, Lt Col (Rtd) Barno was the parade commander of the first parade marking Kenya as a Republic, a year after she gained independence on 1 June 1963.
On the fateful day, 1 KR received and trooped it’s Regimental and Presidential Colours, making it the first fully-fledged military establishment.
Lt Col (Rtd) Barno headed the unit until 1966 when he was appointed as the Commander of Kahawa Garrison, where he served until his retirement in 1967, ending his 19 years of an military career.
The KDF under the leadership of the Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi has remained steadfast and committed to taking care of it’s veterans who served their motherland with dedication, valour, and patriotism
The leadership and the entire military fraternity wishes Lt Col (Rtd) Joshua Korigo Barno speedy recovery.