It was a moment of pride for the 19th Battalion, the Kenya Rifles (19 KR), as the unit received the Presidential and Regimental Colour during the 2021 Jamhuri Day celebrations held on Sunday, 12 December 2021 at the Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi County.
The Colours were presented by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Defence Forces Honourable Uhuru Kenyatta, while donning the ceremonial Kenya Army red tunic dress.
The ceremony began with the C-in-C inspecting a Guard of Honour mounted by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) services of the Kenya Army, the Kenya Air Force (KAF) and the Kenya Navy escorted by the KDF Band. The C-in-C was accompanied by the Chief of the Defence Forces (CDF) General Robert Kibochi.
The colour stands for the honour accorded to the Unit or Base, thus, it’s a well-guarded and treasured possession, since its loss might lead to disbandment of a Unit or the Base. The Colours embody the spirit of the Regiment and the exemplary service performed by a specific regiment.
The Presidential Colour is trooped when a Unit or Base performs a national ceremony in which Commander-in-Chief or Head State of a foreign Country is honoured with a military parade known as Guard of Honour. The Regimental Colour is presented to a Unit or Base at the same time with the Presidential Colour and it is displayed whenever the Unit or the Base performs a ceremony for General Officers who are accorded Half Guard Parades whenever they pay a courtesy visit.
Clergy from the Anglican and Catholic Bishops, as well as Muslim Kadhi led in the consecration of the two Colours. President Kenyatta thereafter presented the Colours to the Colour Officers, Lieutenants Siyad Abdullahi and Kevin Kimani, in the presence of the CDF, the Commander Kenya Army Lt Gen Walter Koipaton, the Commander Kenya Air Force Maj Gen John Omenda and the Commander Kenya Navy Maj Gen Jimson Mutai.
In his speech, the President congratulated 19 KR for the various missions and operations it has participated in. He further added “We must celebrate our Defence Forces because when they go to war in defence of our borders, they know too well that they will either return hoisting our national flag; or return wrapped in our national flag. This takes boldness and dedication, ” said the President.
19th Battalion, the Kenya Rifles, formed in 28 January 2011, is an Infantry Unit of the 6th Infantry Brigade. The Unit distinctive colour is Grey and its motto, ‘One Team, One Fight,’ denotes the closeness of all the Unit personnel in their stay and execution of tasks, where the Unit operates as one entity in all its assigned tasks.