Uhuru Presides Over Trooping Of Colours

The presidential colour is the highest honour bestowed upon a military unit in recognition of exceptional service to the country in both peace and war.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to preside over his final Trooping of the Colour ceremony on Friday.

The event will be held at the newly constructed Ulinzi Sports Complex in Lang’ata.

The presidential colour is the highest honour bestowed upon a military unit in recognition of exceptional service to the country in both peace and war.

The event is significant for every Kenyan military unit, and it is documented in the unit’s history.

The practice of “Trooping the Colour” originated in 17th-century England, when the Queen’s Colour, a symbol of sovereignty, was displayed in a lavish ceremony.

Following independence, the presidential and regimental colours replaced the Queen’s.

The colours represent the spirit of the regiment because they bear the battle honours and badges bestowed upon it in recognition of gallant deeds performed by its troops.

Trooping of the Colours is performed on two occasions by infantry units, air force bases, or naval bases, with the first occasion involving the presentation of both the Presidential and Regimental Colours to a unit, known as Consecration and Presentation of Colours.

The Unit Quarter Master and Regimental Quartermaster, escorted by SNCOs, lay the Colours before religious leaders prayed and anointed them. Following prayers, the Commander-in-Chief presents the Colours to the Colours Officers, who then display them.

The second occasion is when an Infantry Unit, Air Force base or Naval base is tasked with conducting a Colours presentation in which only the Presidential Colour is involved.

There is a strict drill for marching in and out, as well as handling the flags. The Colours are kept under lock and key and are only removed for ceremonial displays on rare occasions. The Presidential Colour is marched during the trooping of the Colour Parade under the escort of the Colour Party SNCOs, who hand it over to the Unit Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM).

The RSM then passes it to the Colour Officer. The Colour Officer is a Lieutenant who commands the Color Party.

The Colour is paraded before the troops after receiving National Honours. The parade formally receives the Colour and then troops the Colour in both slow and quick time before the Commander-in-Chief.

During trooping, every soldier on parade has a close view of the Colour as it passes, paying the highest honours possible by presenting arms in salute. The ceremony is one of symbolic trust given to the Unit in military tradition.

All infantry units and bases in Kenya are presented with Presidential and Regimental Colours.

When the Unit Base performs a National Ceremony in which the Commander-in-Chief or Head of State of a foreign country is honoured with a Military Parade, also known as Guard of Honour (GOH), the Presidential Colours are trooped.

The Regimental Colour is also presented to a Unit along with the Presidential Colour, and it is displayed whenever the Unit performs a ceremony for General Officers who are granted Half Guard Parades during visits. When a unit is designated to troop its Colors, it becomes an honour for the Regiment because it is now able to display its Colors in a ceremony known as “Trooping of Colours.”

As the Presidential and Regimental Colours represent the Unit’s honour, they are handled with the utmost care and saluted as a sign of respect whenever one comes into close proximity to them.

As a result, whenever the Colours pass by, people are asked to stand and those in the discipline/Uniformed Forces salute.

Each Colour is carried by a commissioned officer and is escorted by two armed Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs).