Kenya Army Ranks and Salaries Structure: List of Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) Ranks & Meaning

Kenya Army Ranks and Salaries Structures: List of Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) Ranks & Meanings… See the complete Ranking Structure of the Kenya Defense Forces KDF – List of Kenya Army ranks and salaries of non-commissioned and commissioned officers.

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Kenya Army Ranks and Salary Structures: List of Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) Ranks & Meaning

Kenya Army Ranks, New Ranks of Kenya Defense Forces, Kenya Army Salary Structure, Kenya Army Allowances, Kenya Army Ranking Structure…Full Details Below…

It is important to have a knowledge of the Kenya Army Ranks just in case… Below is the list of all Kenya Army Ranks in their respective order.  Army ranking consists or subdivided into two part, the Non-Commissioned And Commissioned officers.

Commissioned Officers:  are the managers, problem solvers, key influencers and planners who lead Enlisted Soldiers in all situations. are responsible for leading and training enlisted.

Non-Commissioned Officers: is a military officer who is given authority by a commissioned officer, but he or she is not technically considered to be in command.

See Also: Kenya Navy Ranks And Kenya Air Force Ranks


The Kenya Army rank structure is similar to the British army ranks structure, they are arranged in descending order:


The Kenya Army has 10 ranks of officers which General is the higher rank among and Second Lieutenant is the lowest rank. Beneath is the complete list of Kenya Army officers ranks:

  1. General – ★★★★ [5 Stars]
  2. Lieutenant General – ★★★★ [4 Stars]
  3. Major General – ★★★ [3 Stars]
  4. Brigadier General – ★★ [2 Stars]
  5. Colonel – ★ [1 Stars]
  6. Lieutenant Colonel
  7. Major
  8. Captain
  9. Lieutenant
  10. Second Lieutenant
  11. Officer Cadet – [Lowest Rank]


There are 9 ranks in the Kenya Army for Non Commissioned officers. They are listed below:

  1. Chief Warrant Officer
  2. Warrant Officer Class I.
  3. Warrant Officer Class II.
  4. Staff Sergeant.
  5. Sergeant.
  6. Corporal.
  7. Lance-corporal.
  8. Private.
  9. Recruit – [Lowest Rank]

Kenya Army Ranks and Salary Structures: List of Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) Ranks & Meaning

KDF Service Men and Non-Commisioned Officers (NCO) Ranks Explained

  1. Private – is the lowest rank in Kenyan Defense Forces category. As a freshman soldier, you will have to pass Phase 1 Training.
  2. Lance Corporals. A private can become a Lance Corporal after three years of service in KDF, or pass the Phase 2. As a Lance Corporal, you will have the ability to manage a small team up to four soldiers. This team is called a section.
  3. Corporal position is achieved after six-eight years of military service. The promotion also depends on your leadership skills. As a Corporal, you will have the ability to manage a bigger amount of soldiers and military equipment – tanks and guns.
  4. Sergeant. After twelve years of good military service, a Corporal can be promoted to Sergeant. Up to 35 soldiers will be in your command.
  5. Staff/Color Sergeant. You can become a Staff/Color Sergeant after two years of work as a Sergeant. This is the highest position of soldiers and equipment manager. You will be able to command of a whole troop or platoon.
  6. Warrant Officer Class 2. As a Warrant Officer Class 2, you will have to be fully focused on training, prosperity, the discipline of up to 120 soldiers. Warrant Officer Class 2 can be promoted to Officer position.
  7. Warrant Officer Class 1. It is the main soldier position in KDF. It can be reached only after 18 years of brilliant military service. They are in command of up to 650 officers and soldiers.

Kenya army ranks and salaries – as a private you will be able to earn up to Ksh 30,000

Kenyan Defense Forces Commissioned Officers Ranks Explained

  1. Officer Cadet. This position can be gained after initial officer training Lanet.
  2. Second Lieutenant. The starting Kenyan Force Defense commissioned rank. Usually, it is held for up to three years, during which you will have to pass special training. A Second Lieutenant is responsible for up to 30 soldiers.
  3. Lieutenant. This position is held after three years of good service as a Second Lieutenant.
  4. Captain. Responsible for up to 120 soldiers and are involved in the planning and decision-making process.
  5. Major position is gained between 8-10 years of military service. Usually, as a Major, you will have the ability to manage up to 120 officers and soldiers and be fully responsible for their training and discipline.
  6. Lieutenant Colonel. Is in charge of up to 650 soldiers, that include 4 or 5 sub-units. Usually, this position is held for two years.
  7. Colonel. Is the lowest staff rank and mostly they are not field commanders.
  8. Brigadier. It is a Field Officer Rank. As a brigadier, you will be in charge of a brigade.
  9. Major General – is in charge of divisions and senior staff appointments.
  10. Lieutenant General – is in charge of Corps sized formations and is second most important rank in Kenyan Defense Forces.
  11. General – the top rank in KDF.


Did you know, that Kenya Defense Forces monthly salary is reviewed every four years by the government? Thanks to this, Kenyan military forces receive an increase in wages depending on the economic situation in the country. The last revision was being held in 2015, which means that the next increase will be in 2019.

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Kenya Army Salary Scale

  • The salary of new recruit is Ksh 7,172.
  • The salary of Privates is between Ksh 19,941 and Ksh 30,000.
  • The salary of Lance Corporals is from Ksh 26,509 to Ksh 50,000.
  • The salary of Corporal – Ksh 32,250 to Ksh 70,000.
  • The salary of Captains – Ksh 73,182 to Ksh 110,000.
  • The salary of Majors – Ksh 102,106- Ksh 150,000.
  • The salary of Lt. Colonels Ksh 130,735 – Ksh 180,000.
  • The salary of Colonels is Ksh 153,317 – Ksh 300,000.
  • The salary of Lieutenant Generals – Ksh 632,984 – Ksh 800,000.
  • The salary of Chief of Defence Forces – Ksh 894,897 – Ksh 1M.

So, now that you know the exact order of army ranks lowest to highest and the KDF monthly salary in 2017, you should know about another great bonus of job in the Kenyan army. It also depends on KDF ranks.

Even as a new recruit or a cadet, you won’t have any financial problems, if you would live in army barracks. Did you know that all the army employees are able to buy all commodities for half price. For example, normally sugar costs Ksh 120 in the regular stores. In the barracks, you will be able to buy the same amount of sugar for Ksh 70 or even less.

As a Kenya Defense Forces soldier, you will be also able to get hefty allowances from the government during the peaceful missions if you are deployed outside Kenya. In this case every KDF soldier receives from Ksh 5,000 to Ksh 10,000 per day. This kind of salary is surely worth joining the Kenya Defense Force position.

Disadvantages of military career are quite obvious and common for almost every soldier in every country. Army promotion can also be quite a difficult task, as the competition among soldiers is quite strong and the career achievements have to be outstanding.

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  1. Bill Asatsa Franco September 24, 2020
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