Initiation day brought up some questions and worries. Well, before I become lazy and procrastinate, I will try to answer some questions that I have been receiving on various platforms. The KDF is recruiting but many people don’t know the KDF, they know, Kenya Army, or just Army. I will try practicing what I have been taught. Answering peoples questions. I will try and do all the best I can for the questions.
Are you really in the Army because you don’t sound like one?
Yes & No, I was. This question has been asked many times. On social media and via texts it’s all about sounding. Face to face, it was more of I did not look like it. I was too young, I looked too soft, blah blah. (This is where I laughed quietly inside – If they only knew…) Being a Military person is all a matter of the heart. The soldier is inside, not on the outside. I write the way I do because of auto-corrects and grammar checkers. I cannot say I tell the story the best way, I am still learning & hope to be more fluent in my stories.
Isn’t what you are doing Illegal – Writing about the Military?
No. It is not. So far, I have made it within the limits of the standing orders (This might be Greek I know) but these are laws that govern people in the disciplined forces. They are just a bit stricter and made in a way to exist and play in harmony with existing civil rules. There are no government secrets that I let out in here & I don’t intend to. The stories are real and some others are baaaad twists but don’t expect Military secrets. You will not find any.
I applied for this and this, do you know anyone who can push my papers to get recruited?
No. I don’t know anyone. I am glad the KDF has cleaned up their act by ‘expelling’ the rogues in the system who had made it rough for people to fairly enlist as alleged. Corruption reports in the recent past was so much that village folk knew you pay to join the military. People still don’t believe that I don’t know anyone who can push their papers. After all, there is no pushing needed. It is as competitive as any other job.
By now you have risen in the ranks, Can you get me a slot in the Kenya Air Force?
Ahem, risen in the ranks. I would get admitted for laughing on this one. The only thing that rose while in the Military was my ambitions/ my goals or whatever you would call them. Yeah. 6 years on ground zero. That was then. I am a civilian now. The recruitment exercise is a foolproof exercise if protocol is followed to the latter. Assuming I am in a recruiting team, which I am not, I may let you pass with your cavity, but the chain of officers who you have to go through will not let you pass. It is a fine sieve.
What can I do to ace the Army Recruitment?
Well, at this point (Considering the exercise has already started) it might be too late. I don’t have a cheat sheet. But I tried asking around, before I went to the Stadium for the elimination. Two weeks prior, I used to run every morning to build my endurance. 5 kms is a very short distance but a very long one especially if all you do is watch movies and your diet consists of 50% junk. I was underweight, so I used to eat a lot. It almost worked for me but I still got to the stadium a few grams less and dropped by like 2.5kgs after running. The urine test. I asked an uncle of mine and he told me to do a lot of porridge over those two weeks and I made sure I did every day. For this, which I haven’t found the time to, the best thing is to find out what they look for in the urine test then whatever it is, avoid it. For the Military you just pee on a strip but for aviation purposes it’s a bit more intricate & you must do the cup thing. For women, off course they have to check if you are expectant or not. If you are prone to stitches, keep your stomach content within allowable limits before the exercise. For scars, body deformities et al., I have no clue on how to ace that. You may get a recruitment officer who will let your flat foot go, or two or three teeth with cavities like me go to the next stage. Depends on your luck. You can carry some snacks in a bag, but I am not promising you, you will get the chance to take a bite.
Don’t you think you are scaring people away from the Military especially with ‘Initiation’?
I don’t think so. Anyone who has it in their heart to join the Military will still join. In any case, several people thought that it was an exciting process to go through especially if it would be on a daily basis. There is nothing to be scared about. But if I was to be frank with you, you know what you are getting into. It is always a matter of life and death in this calling. A calling it is have it in your mind as you do it. ‘To serve the nation.’
How much is the starting salary in the Kenya Defense Forces?
I don’t think I should be answering this. I will let you find out how much you get paid. During my time I used to get something below Ksh 10,000/- It was an allowance. I mean you had everything else. Food, Shelter, clothing, medical amenities. Everything under the roof. In a place where you are given even underwear, why would you care about how much you are going to be paid. I know what you are thinking… If its peanuts, go home. But over the years, the salary will increase depending on the line of career within the military you take, your experience, location and whether you will be in the air force, army or navy. I have a friend of mine who had enlisted as a tradesman. He was fresh from civil engineering school and he had already started getting some contracts and he thought he would be paid well. After the first two weeks of orientation, he heard had confirmed that he would never touch Ksh 100,000/- even in 10 years. He decided to call it quits. We heard of a missing recruit several days later. He is now a successful contractor in Nairobi. He wouldn’t be making, the money he is making now. Now, truth be told, if you are going to enlist because you will be a millionaire, forget it. If you are selling all your cows to say thank you to your uncle because he will get you a slot for you to be a millionaire… Forget it.
I have some money somewhere, do you have someone you can talk to/ How much do you think I might need to get into the Army?
I always laugh at this one which has been on many people’s mouths and minds for a while. 1. The process is free and fair. 2. Dear friend, I don’t know how badly you “need” this job but if the slot is not yours do not fight it. Do something worthwhile with the money. If you have years before 25, you can go to college with the money then come back and register as a tradesman – probably college life will expound your mind and you will look at life from another perspective. Remember I said this is a calling. Over the years, it’s the people who thought they would be paying for the best job on earth that came to be the most unsatisfied and fairly unproductive. Being a calling, I have always said the career belongs to those who deserve it. I mean, what is the point of buying your way through with bow legs/ extreme flat feet or weak bones but the day you try to jump from a moving truck you break them and become a cripple for life? Makes no sense.
A relative has promised me a slot in the Army but I am still in campus, do I drop my studies or do I continue?
Dropping your studies to enlist in the military is the worst decision you can make. Well, a few people have made it big when in the military after dropping their studies and even managed to continue with their studies, but that is not always the case. Now, for starters (Bubble burst moment) eeerrr… with a lot of caution: The Kenyan system is yet to adopt modern modes of operation. Meaning, your degree will mostly be unused. If you leave your studies at that point, that will be the end of your campus education at least for like another 7 or so years. If you are a commoner that is. But if your relative is strong enough, you can secure a study leave as soon as you pass out. Just study to the end of your campus life and then if you will still be into the military. Go ahead and enlist. Summary – Graduate first.
I am a graduate, can I enlist? Do you think, I have a chance?
Yes you do have a chance. But I don’t want you being too frustrated. Within time you will start feeling underutilized because a graduate who is 1 year in the military has nothing to tell a superior who has been in the system for 20 years. Again we all know the arrogance that being an “unprocessed” graduate brings into some of these places. You will always end up fighting with authority and trying to bring ‘your sense’ into a system that is rigid to your papers & probably mental capacity. You remember that Ochuka 82 thingy… I always thought it has something to do with a brilliant mind that has been highly underutilized & in my few years I experienced so many of such. That is how you get too may drunkards, single parents attached to these people who try to find ways to pass the frustration out into the world. This is where someone will tell you instead of wasting each other’s time here…
Is the Kenya Army BlogSpot Website real?
As far as blogging is concerned, it is real. I also get my recruitment updates from there. But the job is not in there. For the service men and women recruitment, there are no application forms to be filled. Just appear at your county stadium early on your recruitment day. For the GSO Cadets and Specialists, drop off your papers at the DOD gate in Hurlinghum.
And then there is this other one that came up in my new life…
After I am done with my flying license, can I be enlisted as a Cadet to fly for the Air Force?
Frankly, I don’t know the answer to this one. Just as a graduate who wonders if they will be picked for the military service after their graduation, plays out the same for a pilot with minimum hours but no experience. But my two cents, if you wanted military aviation, go directly to military aviation. At least in Kenya. The other way round will be one hell of a hustle. I have never heard of it any way – because you will have to start from scratch – well, unless if you have been flying jets in Jordan or Israel. I see it this way, spend like two and a half years in flying school, then enlist as a cadet, you will have to do 3 years of military science first… That is a loooong time in the aviation industry. Assuming they take you as a specialist officer? That is the part I can’t answer because I have never seen them ask for pilots. In any case, Military Pilots are home grown. For the military standards to be maintained.
All the best in the service to the nation.
|F5 Tiger II – Trainer Version of the F5|
The writer is a former airman who after taking a ride in a jet fighter went rogue after being possessed by the flying bug. Anything you take too seriously here is your own fault. But again, I might be making some sense in some of those words…