Major Kevin McCool, a 32-year-old British soldier, met an untimely demise just three days before the conclusion of his deployment in Kenya. The off-duty officer was enjoying a motorcycle trip away from the base, immersing himself in the local landscape as he prepared for his imminent return home.

Who was Kevin McCool?

Major McCool, hailing from Northern Ireland, entered the military after being commissioned from Sandhurst in 2014. His dedication to service led him across various regions, including Europe, the Middle East, the Falklands, and Africa. The latter became the stage for the final, unfortunate chapter of his career.

On the fateful day of 29th November, Major McCool embarked on one last ride up a local mountain, astride his scrambler motorbike. Little did he know that this routine excursion would turn into a tragic encounter. Joseph McCool, the bereaved father, revealed the harrowing details of the incident. According to him, two assailants ambushed his son with a gun, leading to a fatal outcome.

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“He went up a road, and two guys jumped out at him with a gun. It seems that he thought the gun was a dummy; he didn’t think it was real. He made the mistaken assumption that the gun was artificial, and they shot him,” recounted Joseph McCool.

Military Service and Achievements

Major McCool’s military journey was marked by a diverse array of experiences. He served in different capacities and locations, showcasing his versatility and commitment to duty. The British Army maintains a significant presence in Kenya, with a training support unit dedicated to honing the skills of personnel preparing for various missions.

Paying tribute to Major McCool, the Ministry of Defence emphasized his thriving in the military environment. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps echoed these sentiments, describing him as an “exceptional person and an exceptional soldier.” The soldier’s achievements extended beyond his military role, as he held the title of the 1,500m Ulster champion, represented Ireland in running, and displayed proficiency in musical instruments such as the piano, harp, and tin whistle.

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Joseph McCool, grieving the loss of his son, highlighted Major McCool’s multifaceted nature. “He won several military cross-country races and various sporting events. A very strong sporting guy,” he added. The father spoke of the army’s acknowledgment of Kevin McCool’s impact, stating that he was “loved” and “adored” by his colleagues.