In this article, we will be discussing Kenya Army ranks and salary scale. The Kenyan military structure is similar to that of the British Army since Kenya is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The article also adds the number of years one needs to have spent in the army to attain the ranks.



The rank of private is the lowest in the Kenyan Army. It is given to a new recruit of the Army after completing Phase 1 of training.


The rank of corporal is attained after spending between 6-8 years in the military. Your ability to lead is highly considered in order for you to get this rank. Corporals are given command of more soldiers and also equipment such as tanks and guns.


The next rank is that of Sergeant. This rank is gotten after spending 12 years in the military. Sergeants are the second in command of a troop consisting of up to 35 soldiers, with a responsibility for advising and also assisting junior officers in the mission.


This rank is attained after spending a few years as a sergeant. A senior sergeant commands a troop of up to 120 soldiers.


A Warrant Officer II is more involved in a senior management role focusing on the training, welfare, and also discipline of up to 120 soldiers. They act mostly as a senior adviser to the Major in command of the sub-unit and also may be selected for a commission as an Officer.


This is currently the most senior soldier rank in the Kenyan Army and it is achieved after 18 years of outstanding service in the military. They act as the senior advisors of their unit’s Commanding Officer, leading up to 650 officers and soldiers.

It gets more intresting…Kenya Army ranks and salary scale


Here are more: Kenya Army ranks and salary scale


This is the rank you are given during the initial officer training at Lanet.


This rank is the rank you are given on commissioning and held for up to 3 years. Second lieutenants are responsible for leading up to 30 soldiers in a troop, both in training and also on a mission.


Lieutenants also command a troop of up to 30 soldiers, but with their greater experience comes increased responsibilities than second Lieutenants. This rank is also held for 3 years in the military.


Captains are the second in command of a sub-unit numbering up to 120 soldiers. They are majorly involved in the planning and also decision-making processes with tactical responsibility for operations on the ground as well as equipment maintenance, logistic support, and also manpower.

Kenya Army Salary Scale shows the captain as one of the important officers in the force.


An officer of the Kenyan military attains the rank of Major after 8-10 years in military service. Majors command a sub-unit numbering up to 120 officers and soldiers with key responsibility of training them and also the administration of the camp operations.


Lieutenant Colonel’s command units of up to 650 soldiers, that contain four or five sub-units for 2 years. They are responsible for the overall management of the units under them.


Colonels serve as staff officers between the field commands at brigade level.


Brigadiers command a brigade or are sometimes chosen as directors of operational capability groups such as a director of staff.


Major Generals are responsible for making senior staff appointments.


A Lieutenant General is the second most superior rank in the Kenyan military behind the rank of General. Currently, this position is held by Lt. General Robert Kariuki Kibochi.


The rank of General is the most superior rank in the Kenyan Army.  A General is responsible for most senior appointments such as the Chief of Defense Staff, Vice Chief of Defense Staff and also Chief of the General Staff. This position in Kenya is currently being held by Samson Mwathethe.


Here, we list the salaries of all the ranks of the KDF as well as other benefits enjoyed by men of the military in Kenya.

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

So, now that we have established the exact order of army ranks from the lowest to highest as well as the KDF monthly salary, another fact you should know about is another great bonus of a job in the Kenyan army. This also depends on KDF ranks.

Even as a new recruit or a cadet in the Kenyan Army, you will not have any financial problems if you would live in army barracks.

Do you know that all employees of the army are able to buy all commodities for half price? For example, normally sugar which costs Ksh 120 in the regular stores is sold for Ksh 70 or even less in the barracks to men of the army.

As a Kenya Defense Forces soldier, you will be entitled to get hefty allowances from the government when you are deployed outside of Kenya on peaceful missions.

In this case, every KDF soldier receives from between Ksh 5,000 to Ksh 10,000 per day. This kind of hefty salary is surely worth joining the Kenya Defense Force for. However, the disadvantages of a military career are well known and common to almost every soldier in every country.

Promotion in the Army can also be quite a difficult task as there is fierce competition among soldiers. So, for you to get promoted easily, your career achievements have to be quite outstanding.



Kenya Army Salary Scale is an interesting one, wouldn’t you agree?

We have looked at all the ranks of the military as well as the monthly take-home pay of each rank. A career in the military can be quite glorious and enticing for those interested in pursuing such but getting into the Army can be such a tough task due to the strong competition for the few available spaces each time there is recruitment. For those who have made it in, the career is quite interesting.

There are several benefits to a military career, some of which have been discussed in this article. There are opportunities for you to serve on peacekeeping missions in foreign lands for which you will be paid handsomely per day.

If you are keen on pursuing a military career in Kenya, be on the lookout for when calls will be made for recruitment into the KDF and follow through with the application and recruitment process. If you get lucky and are selected, then you are on your way to achieving your dream as a soldier.