By Kigotho Mwangi
Lieutenant General Robert Kariuki Kibochi is the current Vice Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces following his elevation and appointment on July 13, 2018.
Lt. Gen R K Kibochi was enlisted into the Kenya Defence Forces on May 18, 1979 and underwent Officer Cadets Training until March 30, 1980 and commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant and posted to Signals Battalion.
He has held various command and staff appointments including his immediate former appointment as Commander of the Kenya Army, Assistant Chief of Defence Forces in charge of Operations, Plans, Doctrine and Training at Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Chief of Strategic Plans and Policy, Director International Peace Support Training Centre, Col. Operations Requirements (CIS) and Commander Corps of Signals.
Other appointments held include: Chief of Staff at the Eastern Africa Standby Force, SO1 Records at Headquarter Kenya Army (HQ KA), SO1 Comms HQ KA, SO1 Mobilization DHQ, SO1 Comms CIS DHQ and SOII Operations and Training at the HQ of the Corps of Signals.
Lt. Gen. Kibochi has earned Master’s Degree of Arts in International Studies, Master’s Degree in Computer Based Information Systems, Bachelors of Technology in Communication and Electronics Engineering, and is currently pursuing a PhD degree in Peace and Conflict Management.
His other professional training include: National Security Studies at the National Defence College (Kenya), Army Command and Staff Course (UK), Overseas Telecoms Engineering Course (UK), Signal Officers Degree Telecommunications Engineering Course (India), Sub-Unit Commanders Course, Platoon Commanders Course, Regimental Signal Officers Course among other training courses.
He served with the United Nations as Commander of Kenyan Contingent in the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) from 2000 – 2001; while his decorations include Moran of the Order of the Golden Heart (MGH) and Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS), among others.
Lt. Gen Kibochi was born in Nakuru on August 15, 1959. He is married to Tabitha and blessed with four daughters and a grandson.