It has been a long journey encountered with a lot of challenging moments, scenarios and activities. I had no idea about the military neither did I have a close relative nor friends who had served or were serving in the military and therefore I had never interacted with the military in any way before. I remember in high school as we discussed about the future careers, it was the first time I heard about cadets. I was told that it was about military leadership and those who joined the course had a chance to learn many skills and later become pilots, captains among others. In addition, a cadet was an all-round character who can handle any occurrence or situation developed in a military operation, being the leader. This motivated me and developed insatiable interests in me and it was during that time I swore to myself I would become a military leader.
Due to the high level of expectations and the unending desire to emulate the famous movie stars such as “RAMBO” always a hero who fought selflessly, I applied for cadet recruitment after school 2014. Unfortunately, when the list of the shortlisted youths appeared in daily newspapers and the Kenya Defense Forces website, I was not among the shortlisted. I later joined university to undertake a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Technology. The desire to join the military was alive though. I completed my first year, but while in campus, another advertisement was out and I applied. I was restless, but fortunate to be shortlisted for the cadet selection process. It took around two weeks and at the end, I was recruited for a cadets’ course in the Kenya Military Academy.
Definitely, I cannot fail to mention our physical training instructors, who really motivated us throughout the selection process. One day during the minor obstacles challenge one told me, “you will be a cadet”. I did not understand why he said so, but I felt it was a father’s blessing bestowed on me and that way I made my first military friend. After the selection, process ended all the recruits were given a break for one week to prepare for cadet training.
On 12 October 2015, we happily reported to the Kenya Military Academy for training. Least expected, the training started at the gate where we got a warm reception. Dressed in a suit and a tie, had a watch and a chain on my neck and ready for my future tasks I found our very able sergeant majors that brought my morale to the foot of my shoe. Still surprised I was handed over to some two more instructors who required me to execute their instructions even before they issue them maybe I was to scan them. I rolled and crawled in muddy water and there was no chance for questions, but only taking several heavy breaths. This was just a beginning or it was like a drop in an ocean and the sweet part of it was still folded. I prepared for harder tasks.
Since then I have crossed deep valleys, rivers manned by crocodiles, forests dominated by lions and cheetahs, jumped over steep cliffs and encountered all weather conditions. All this is in pursuance of selflessness for the good of the nation. Selfless training is not an easy task, it requires full commitment, high level of self-motivation and ruthless determination to succeed. It involves spending sleepless nights in shivering cold, spending days without taking a meal, running unlimited races with undefined ends and encountering life risking scenarios that demands conquering of human fear and embracing the courage of a lion or a leader. During all this as a soldier, you are allowed to cry, scream and even sing in your vernacular language but not to give up. It is all meant to make a soldier understand the sacrifice and selfless service that he or she is required to make to execute their duties of defending his or her motherland and as an officer who is defending his men in battle and the country back home. I appreciate everyone who has made me understand my duty and its price. It is not an easy task and all of us must be ready to make a sacrifice. Leave all that we love behind and protect the nation. We must be ready to pay the ultimate price of a warrior and make our nation prosper. All of us must embrace KMA values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.