Friday, March 5, 2010

The Emali Diary Part II (Day 8- Day 17): By Officer Recruit Benjamin Kinyili (Manager, Nyandarua Forest Zone)

Pic: The Author, seen here wth Commandant Col. (Rtd) J. Kimani

Day 8: 14/02/10
This was the Valentine’s Day and most participants attended church and went to Emali town for haircuts and the ladies visited the saloons for hair retouch in order to be well groomed. At 7.30 they all gathered at the mess for super and update then thereafter shining of the shoe to the mirror like standard and pressing of the uniform for Monday’s muster parade.

Day 9: Monday 15/02/10
As usual the day started at 4.30 a.m with the generator providing lights and each participant putting on the morning run track-suit ready for physical fitness exercise which starts at 5.00 a.m. At that dark hour of early morning, the participants have to run calling out one, two because everything here is done by number and they have to cover those kilometers before going to the drill grounds were several sit-ups, press-ups and other exercises have to be conducted before morning programme and breakfast.

During the drill lesson the officer were provided with cane sticks the symbol of authority which they will be expected to use all through their service execution.
Pic: Kifua mbele

Day 10: Tuesday 16/02/2010
The day started well as usual with morning-run, physical fitness, exercises, personal preparation, breakfast and finally muster parade. This day the muster parade, inspection was thorough and those officers whose boots were not shining mirror- like were singled out and given warning to improve their shoe polishing skills but all were well dressed with nicely ironed uniform.

The lessons were quick and slow march parade in preparation of the official opening of the course by the KFS Director the following day on Wednesday 17/02/2010.

The instructors raise the bar on everything we did to make sure we attained the required standards for the CEO i.e Director. They never left anything to chance, they to inspected our rooms to make sure the beds, wardrobe, shoe racks and suit cases attain the dressing order. The shoe shinning and uniform pressing were first to be confirmed to the required standard before the D-Day.

Day 11: Wednesday 17th/02/2010
The day started a notch higher than other days even the morning run and physical fitness exercises were with gusto and pomp closing them with hero-warrior song which reverberated in the whole college.

Extra inspection of the hostel was mounted and each individual thoroughly scrutinized to make sure that everything was in order even the muster parade was in its own class. We started with the drill at the black office in both quick and slow match and the staff for APSSC – Emali mounted a quarter guards for the CEO (Director – KFS).

The Deputy KFS Commandant Mr. Alex Lemarkoko together with the media persons arrived at exactly 9.00 am and they hand ample time to film the drill parade and interview the commanding officer.

We had a break at 10.00 a.m then waited for the Director – KFS who arrived at 10.30 a.m. The Director’s Opening speech was inspiring, encouraging and spirit uplifting with emphasis that for us as pioneers, we need to change the KFS Image, work with diligence, dedication, commitment and integrity following the KFS Vision, Mission, Mandate and the Strategic Plan 2009 – 2014.

The interactive session was very interesting, exciting with group photo session and luncheon. The rest of the day was enjoyable as we embarked on class work lessons.
Pic: What the male officers can do, these ladies want to do better! The ladies have been impressive.

Day 12: Thursday 18/02/2010
The day started with high spirit as the Duty Student (DS) assembled the Course participants for morning run and he had a challenge in giving commands “squad, stand at ease, stand chain”. The instructors had to bail him out and the physical exercise started well.

The class work was on management skills, effective communication and leadership which were delivered by the CO. Mr. Jokanger topped up the morning presentation with penal code procedure which was very interesting.
During the Lunch break, the course participants had a chance to watch to what the 1.00 O’clock television news showing the KFS Director’s Official Opening, interviews and the colorful the march past which they referred to as the early pass out parade. The participants felt that they have graduated while they are only starting saying that they were equal to the fourth estate press billing.

The afternoon started with the drill, followed by field craft and tactics then finally self defense which gave the course men/women a dose of Tae-kwon-do for self defense.

Day 13: Friday 19/02/2010
The morning run and physical fitness was taken full on by the participants they enjoyed it all through. To brighten the “member’s day” the press ups, sit ups jumps, breath ins and breath outs were done with ease. The muster parade was excellent with well pressed uniforms, shining shoes and well dressed lines for parade. By this day the bonding had really taken effect because you could not differentiate the course participants who have paramilitary background and novices because the gap had been reduced by the dedicated and commited drill instructors who made sure that all participants are in the same level. The marching using the rifles was excellent and everyone enjoyed all through doing the quick, slow match and saluting with rifles.

The class work on leadership, weaponry safety handling and servicing was very interesting to all participants. The day ended at a very high note and upbeat spirit, since the following day’s programe was shelved. Intense lobbying and rescheduling of Saturday to allow personal activities was agreed. The measurement and fitting of Number one uniform for officers which was to be done on Saturday 20/02/10 was finally postponed to Wednesday 24/02/10 also the insurance group talk was as well rescheduled.
Pic: The Nairobi Conservancy Team of HOC Charity & Asst. Commandant Col. (Rtd) Otieno

Day 14: Saturday 20/02/10
After the intense lobbying and rescheduling of the day’s activities, the officers had ample time to do their personal activities, re-energize, refocus, rededicate and redirect their energies on the coming week’s activities.

Day 15: Sunday 21/02/2010
Most of the participants attended church service to seek divine intervention, God’s blessings and spiritual connection as they embarked on the routine and tedious work ahead of them in the third week. All the officers had to visit salons and kinyozi for haircuts and sprucing to look neat in the week ahead.

In the evening the following day’s programe was read-up by the chairman with good part being that no morning parade, morning run, physical exercise and muster parade. The sad part was that the warming up time was brought forward to 4.00 a.m and participants to have taken breakfast by 5.00 a.m ready to leave for Lukenya Administration Police Rifle Shooting Range with full uniform.
Pic: Mau Conservancy HOC, Cosmas Ikiugu salutes 
Pic: Thumbs up! The Commandant is clearly impressed 

Day 16: Monday 22/02/2010
Participants were excited and ready to make history by visiting a firing range, using the rifle and aiming the bull-mark as sharp shooters and marksmen/women. At 5.00 a.m all the officers were ready for the journey to the Range in uniform and the water in the drinking bottle pouch.
The safari to the Lukenya Range took two and half hours and it was humbling for all officers to board the truck lorry to have a feeling of the field which the staff undergo when going for operations using the same mode of transport, but the officers enjoyed it all through with smiles and upbeat spirits.

What followed was individual best effort to score the highest marks in consistency, grouping and application which required one to target the bulls’ eye for highest score and all rounds to be very close to one another to score the highest mark of 45. The participants were all above average apart from two who needed extra remedial coaching to be above average. Elizabeth Wambugu was picked for her exemplary marksmanship. She confessed that this was a latent skill.

At 2.00 p.m the exercise was through then we broke into four groups for lunch again  another milestone was recorded   for the first time, some officers had to consume compo-ten (ration made for ten people for one meal) which comprised of biscuits, tinned meat, canned peas, canned beans, pine apple blueband margarine. You could have seen the officer’s excitement on their faces as they shared the experiences of the range practice having stories to tell and back to the lorry truck for their journey to Emali having accomplished the task in style.

Day 17: Tuesday 23/02/2010
The day started as if it was after a long holiday weekend having not done the morning run, physical exercises and muster parade for three straight days. People had forgotten the requirements and some had to be given disciplinary action of going to Emali for not shinning their shoes to mirror like polish, tucking in their shirts and not shaving the beards, but the order was later reversed when the officers were given stern warning to rectify.
The drill at the black office was exciting as the officers trained on present arms parade saluting which was quite mechanically synchronized to perfection. The law lesson on murder, man-slaughter and presumptions of the party was thrilling. The tactics lessons on organizing section for assault were highly interesting and the officers immensely contributed their experiences in the field. The weaponry lesson on loading, making ready, filling, unloading and safety was extremely understood by taking practical work.

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