How To Easily Join Kenya Defence Forces (2023)

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To Join Kenya Defence Forces, you must be one of the very best the country has to offer. Serving the nation as military personnel is one of the most fulfilling and noble careers in the nation. The country highly depends on men who serve in the armed forces for security, protection of sovereignty and assistance of civilian authority in case of disasters or civil unrest.

Military personnel are provided with the opportunities to serve the cause of freedom and peace all over the world. This comes with high-level training among the best institutions in the world.

Join Kenya Defence Forces

But how can one join Kenya Defence Forces?

The Ministry of Defence through its official website, official social media pages and mainstream media announce the recruitment dates for Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers.

General Conditions to be met

Those willing to join must meet minimum KDF requirements; the general conditions to be met are:

(1) Be a Kenyan citizen with no dual citizenship.

(2) Be in possession of a valid Kenyan National Identity Card. Additionally, 4 Copies of the National Identity Card and PIN certificate will be required.

(3) Age – Between 18 and 26 years old for GSO Cadets, General Duty Recruits and Tradesmen/women with Certificate/Government Trade Test, not above 30 years for Specialist Officers, Tradesmen/women with Diploma, and not above 39 years for Chaplains/Imams.

(4) Be physically and medically fit in accordance with the KDF standards.

(5) Have no criminal record.

(6) Minimum Height: (a) Men 1.60m (5ft 3in). (b) Women 1.52m (5ft).

(7) Minimum Weight: (a) Men 54.55 Kg (120 lb). (b) Women 50.00 Kg (110 lb).

(8) Female candidates must NOT be pregnant at the time of recruitment and during the entire duration of training.

Join Kenya Defence Forces
Recruitment to Join Kenya Defence Forces

Minimum academic qualifications include:

(1) General Service Officer (GSO) Cadets.

Those intending to Join Kenya Defence Forces as General Service Officers (GSO) CADETS, Must hold a minimum mean grade of B (Plain) in KCSE with at least C+ (Plus) in English, Mathematics, and one Science subject.

The training period for this category covers three (3) years leading to a BSc degree in Military Science and Security Studies upon completion. The degree is offered by Kenyatta University, however, it will now be offered by the National Defence University of Kenya.

(2) General Service Officer (GSO) Cadet – Undergraduate Degree Holders.

Prospective GSO cadets, and degree holders, Must hold the minimum requirement to qualify as a General Officer Cadet and be a holder of an undergraduate degree from a recognized University/institution in any of the disciplines listed.

The training period for this category will be eleven (12) months.

(3) Specialist Officers.

Those intending to Join Kenya Defence Forces as specialists Must hold a minimum mean grade of B (Plain) in KCSE with at least C+ (Plus) in English, Mathematics, and one science subject.

Must be a holder of an undergraduate degree from a recognized University/institution and be registered with a statutory body where applicable.

The training period for Specialist Officers is six (6) months.


(4) Special Duty Officer Cadets

This is a special category of officers cadets and its recruitment is not done annually like other positions.

Service Members of the substantive rank of Sergeant (with certain specialized skills/trade) and have served for at least 10 years may apply to join the officers’ cadre. This is upon recommendation for commissioning by his/her commanding officer. With training and commissioning, they become Special Duty Officers (SDOs) as outlined in the KDF Act.

The training period for Specialist Officers is six (6) months. They are mostly trained alongside Specialist officers.

(5) Servicemen/women (General Duty) Recruits.

Those intending Join Kenya Defence Forces under this category Must hold a minimum mean grade of D (plain) in KCSE.

The training period for Specialist Officers is six (6) months.

(6) Tradesmen/women.

Prospective candidates willing to apply and Join Kenya Defence Forces as Tradesmen/women must satisfy the conditions and requirements given below.

  1. Technicians. A minimum mean grade of C (Plain) in KCSE, a relevant Diploma or above from a recognized Institution and be registered with the relevant statutory bodies, where applicable.
  2. Artisans. A minimum mean grade of D+ (Plus) in KCSE and either a relevant certificate with Government Trade Test Grade II or Craft II from a recognized Institution.

(7) Constables

  1. Be a retired Kenya Defence Forces Service Member or a retired National Youth Serviceman/woman.
  2. Be between the ages of 30 and 55 years old for retired KDF and between 35 and 45 years old for retired NYS.
  3. Possess a Discharge Certificate with a minimum rating of “Very Good” in conduct.
  4. Must have served for at least 9 years in Colour Service and retired honourably from KDF.

Corruption and Bribery

In the entire recruitment process, bribery and any other acts of corruption are against the law and anyone who is caught deceiving the candidates or aiding in recruitment malpractice shall be arrested and prosecuted.

In 2021, 36 youths were arrested at the Recruits Training School in Eldoret after they allegedly reported joining Kenya Defence Forces with fake calling letters.

The suspects were apprehended by the military police who handed them over to the National Police Service (NPS) for interrogation and further action.

They were arraigned in court and faced charges of attempting to deceive the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF).

Con Artists

In 2021, Isaac Serem disguising as a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) service personnel was arrested at Soy area in Eldoret for suspicion of recruitment fraud.

The suspect, while in possession of a fake KDF calling letter, was attempting to con a female victim Ksh. 400,000 in the pretext of securing her daughter a slot in the just concluded KDF countrywide recruitment exercise.

Read: Kenya Army’s Brave Commanders Of All Time (22)


Rogue Military Officers

On Monday, 7th February 2022, Two Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers were charged with being involved in recruitment malpractices in a Court Martial sitting at Lang’ata Garrison.

Corporal (Cpl) Eric Nzioka and Senior Private (Spte) Isaac Mwangi Maina were accused of multiple charges of receiving over Sh2.9 million cumulatively from unsuspecting Kenyans with fake promises that they would influence their recruitment into the military.

KDF Officers before Court martial tried to con those who wanted to Join Kenya Defence Forces

Over the years, several other officers have been charged by court martial over recruitment fraud. If you intend to join the military you are advised to avoid being a victim of con artists.

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Barry Ipapo

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Barry Ipapo

Security professional || Law and Governance Enthusiast || Technologist
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