Thursday, July 25, 2024

Why KDF recruits stand a higher chance of joining with D+ over grade B

Top-scoring students who dream of joining the Kenya Defence Forces after completing secondary school may have to lower their expectations of joining as privates.

A retired senior military officer confirmed that students with top scores face reduced chances of recruitment.

Former Garrison Commander at Kahawa Barracks and National Chief Recruitment Officer Brigadier (Rtd) Peter Magut once revealed to a local daily that the KDF does not bend its rules to favour high achievers like those students who scored B grades and above.

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“Anybody with grade B and above cannot make a good soldier because once they are recruited they will still want to pursue higher education,” he said in a past interview.

“So instead of enlisting candidates who will start seeking time off to go to university, we opt to recruit those with minimum grades.”

In the past, candidates who achieved a grade B but couldn’t attend university for various reasons had their hopes dashed at nationwide recruitment centres due to the military’s strict recruitment procedures.


The most favourable candidates to join the KDF’s ranks are those with grades between B- and the minimum requirement of D+, who may be considered for positions as privates, the lowest rank in the military.

However, students who scored higher grades still have a chance to join as Cadets. Over the years, KDF’s recruitment process has been evolving to eliminate corruption and ensure transparency.

“Ours is a transparent legal process and those who are lucky will get a one-page calling letter to join the training college and not the fake three-page letter,” said Brigadier (Rtd) Magut in the past at a recruitment exercise in Nakuru.


“These con men have changed their tactics such that in their invitation letter, they have included wisdom as part of the testing in the recruitment exercise which is not correct because those wishing to join the forces don’t go through any knowledge test.”

During the last KDF recruitment exercise from August 29th to September 24th 2023,  Defence CS Aden Duale sent warning shots to conmen planning to ruin the process.

He ensured SMS messages were sent to all Kenyans cautioning them “against falling for fraudsters and charlatans posing as recruiting officers”.

KDF recruitment: What it takes to join the Kenya Defence Forces

“Anyone, officers, guardians or the candidates themselves, who’ll be found breaking the law will be dismissed forthwith and made to face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

Some of the reasons one might get disqualified during the recruitment process include:

  1. Not having the right documents
  2. Having documents that bear names that do not match the names on the National ID
  3. Failing physical fitness tests, athletic drills.
  4. Having several teeth missing
  5. Having deep scars or tattoos
  6. Having a high Body Mass Index (BMI),
  7. Failure to attain minimum height requirements

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