Presentation and Consecration Of “Fighting Five” New Presidential Colour

Western Command (WESTCOM) Brigadier (Brig) Dickson Ruto and Commanding Officer 5 Kenya Rifle Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Kariara presenting new Colour to the Colour Officer Lieutenant Derrick Omondi Kute.

Western Command (WESTCOM) Brigadier (Brig) Dickson Ruto and Commanding Officer 5 Kenya Rifle Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Kariara presenting new Colour to the Colour Officer Lieutenant Derrick Omondi Kute.

It was a historic day at the 5th Battalion Kenya Rifles as the unit’s Military Chaplaincy consecrated the unit’s new Presidential Colour at Gilgil Barracks on Saturday, 9th June 2018.

Traditionally when a new Colour is presented to a Unit, the old Colour gets decommissioned. This is a tradition that is commemorated in a colourful military parade.

The Consecration Parade began with a Guard of Honour marching on with the old Colour to the centre of the parade square. The old Colour was then saluted for the last time before being decommissioned.

As the Parade Commander Captain OchiengOnyando marched towards the dais to request for the consecration of the new Colour, the Colour Party bearing the Old Colour led by Second Lieutenant Dennis Anangwa marched off the parade. The Chief Guest, the General Officer Commanding Western Command (GOC WESTCOM), Brigadier Dickson Ruto, then granted permission for the new Presidential Colour to be consecrated.

The consecration prayer was then presided over by chaplains from the Catholic, Anglican and Muslim faith and thereafter the Regimental Sergeant Major Warrant Officer Class One Samuel Siele took the new Colour and handed it over to the Chief Guest accompanied by the unit’s Commanding Officer (CO) Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Kariara.

The Colour was then handed over to a new Colour Officer Lieutenant Derrick Kute. The Colour was later displayed by the Colour Party and saluted for the first time.

The CO thereafter took the podium and thanked everyone for attending the historic moment for the unit. He gave a brief history of the Unit and its Presidential and Regimental Colour.

He mentioned some of the major historical events in which 5KR was called upon to perform the trooping of colour including the Pope John Paul II welcoming in 1980 and the 2003 presidential changeover from HE Daniel T. Moi to HE MwaiKibaki.

In his speech, Brig Ruto expressed his pleasure to grace the momentous event. He thanked 5 KR for their good job in the ongoing operations in safeguarding Kenya’s territorial integrity urging them to continue with their distinguished service to the country.

The Guard of Honour then marched past the dais in slow march presenting the new Colour to the members of the Regiment as they left the parade square.

The old Colour traces its history to 12th December 1964 when the founding father of the nation and President, His Excellency MzeeJomo Kenyatta handed it over to the Unit. The Parade Commander in that event was Lt Col L R M Matu. The first Colour of the Unit was handed over on 26th January 1924 when it was still 5th King’s African Rifles (KAR). It was handed over by His Excellency the Governor, Sir Robert Coryndon.

5 KR traces its history back to two Indian Companies that were sent in 1897 as Protective Troops to the then declared British Protectorate of Uganda following a Sudanese Mutiny.

5 KR becomes the second Unit in the history of the Kenya Defence Forces to consecrate a new Colour after the 7th Battalion Kenya Rifles which did that on 13th September 2016 making it a significant moment in the history of Kenya Defence Forces.

Regimental Colours trace back to the age of line tactics during ancient wars. As chaos ensued during a battle, the Regimental Colour served as a rallying point for the Infantry Unit and mark the location of the Infantry
Commander.

It was guarded strongly by the most elite soldiers of the fighting unit. Its capture by the enemy or fall during a battle signified loss and great victory to those who captured it.

This is why Regimental Colours are only reserved for infantry units. It has been a British infantry tradition since the 7th century and was adopted by most infantries of the Commonwealth countries as a major symbol of a unit.

Kenya Army infantry units are the only ones privileged to own a unit colour, while the Kenya Air Force and Kenya Navy have their Regimental and Presidential colours. Some of the distinctive features of a Presidential Colour are the Kenya Court of Arms,pure gold cap at the top and a stylish wooden handle.

Western Command (WESTCOM) Brigadier (Brig) DicksonRuto inspecting quarter guard at 5 Kenya Rifle main gates escorted by commanding officer Lt Col Joseph Kariara.

Western Command (WESTCOM) Brigadier (Brig) Dickson Ruto inspecting quarter guard at 5 Kenya Rifle main gates escorted by Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Kariara.

Chaplain Major Abdirahman (imam), Major Father Ndung’u and Captain Wanyonyi (Rev) blessing the new Color

Chaplain Major Abdirahman (imam), Major Father Ndung’u and Captain Wanyonyi (Rev) blessing the new Color.

Western Command (WESTCOM) Brigadier (Brig) Dickson Ruto inspecting the newly presented Colour.

Western Command (WESTCOM) Brigadier (Brig) Dickson Ruto inspecting the newly presented Colour.

Western Command (WESTCOM) Brigadier (Brig) DicksonRuto and Commanding Officer 5 Kenya Rifle Lt Col Joseph Kariara presenting new Colour to the Colour Officer Lieutenant Derrick Omondi Kute.

Western Command (WESTCOM) Brigadier (Brig) Dickson Ruto and Commanding Officer 5 Kenya Rifle Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Kariara presenting new Colour to the Colour Officer Lieutenant Derrick Omondi Kute.

Guard of honour mounted by the 5 Kenya Rifle soldiers.

Guard of honour mounted by the 5 Kenya Rifle soldiers.

Guard of Honour match past the dais with the newly presented Colour.

5 Kenya Rifle Guard of Honour match past the dais trooping the newly presented Colour.

 Lieutenant Derrick Omondi Kute returning the new Colour in its case.

Lieutenant Derrick Omondi Kute returning the new Colour in its case.