KDF recruitment drill leaves many disheartened

NYS graduates at Embakasi Garrison in Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Thousands of National Youth Service graduates gathered for Kenya Defence Force recruitment at Embakasi Garrison in Nairobi on Monday.

However, many of them, having travelled from various distant locations, were disappointed to find that they were not selected for military service. Some had spent the night at the recruitment centre, hoping to be accepted, but were not fortunate.

Faith Chebet, one of the candidates, expressed her frustration, saying despite meeting all the requirements, she was surprised to be disqualified.

To be eligible, prospective recruits needed to be former NYS trainees, possess a certificate of good conduct and have the necessary educational documents.

"Initially, the qualifying grade was D in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam, but when we arrived here today, it was changed to D+. That's not fair," Chebet said.

She alleged that some individuals were disqualified due to having brown teeth and body scars, which they had acquired during NYS paramilitary training.

"The government should take our paramilitary training scars into consideration. They should not disqualify us from becoming KDF officers," she said.

The NYS trainees also requested the military to prioritise individuals who are approaching the age of 30. The age limit for joining KDF for NYS recruits is 29.

Some of them said they had been attempting to join the military for the past nine years.

“We are seeking employment, and the government should consider hiring approximately 10,000 and then conduct the next recruitment after five years,” said Samson Otieno.