Unlike other sectors of Kenyan economy, Kenya Defence Forces’ salary is reviewed after every four years by the government. Their salary increment largely depends on the economic situation in the country at the time of review. The next revision is expected to take place later this year.

It is a dream of every solider to rise the ranks once recruited to the forces. The ranks one is in dictates the salary. Here is the order of commissioned officers ranks lowest to highest and their salary from the previous salary review.

1 New recruit

Once recruited into Kenyan Military forces , a new recruit is able to earn up to Ksh. 7,172 while in training.

2 Cadet officer

For one to ascend to a cadet officer rank they must serve in the military forces for more than three years. A cadet officer pockets up Ksh. 24,520.

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3 Second Lieutenant

This is the rank one hold while undergoing a specialised training. It is the first rank for any commissioned officer. Second Lieutenant leads a maximum of 30 soldiers troop when in operation or training. Their salary is up to Ksh. 50,000 per month.

4 Lieutenant

This rank is achieved upon completing the 3 years specialised training. The Lieutenant is still leading a troop of 30 soldiers platoon. They are guaranteed a salary of between Ksh. 32,250 to Ksh. 70,000 depending on one’s high military experience.

5 Captain

The captain rank comes with critical responsibilities like decision making and planning processes. The Captain is in command of up to 120 soldiers who are in sub-units. Captain is responsible of their operational tactics and logistics. Furthermore, oversees maintenance of equipment and workforce. Captain pocket between Ksh. 73,000 to Ksh. 110,000 per month.

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6 Major

This position requires top leadership skills and high discipline in military forces. One gains promotion into the rank after serving in the forces up to 10 years. Major is in command of 3 Captains and 120 soldiers. Major exercises administrative duties. They are responsible for the welfare and training of their troops both in operation and in camp as well as managing their equipment. Major takes home up Ksh. 150, 000 every months depending on length of service.

7 Lieutenant Colonel

This officer is in command of 650 soldiers. Lieut Colonel is responsible for their discipline, welfare and military skills. The Lieutenant Colonel earn up to Ksh. 250,000 every month.

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8 Colonel

This is a non-field rank. It’s the lowest staff rank. Colonel is an operational advisor to the senior officers. They serve as staff officers at a brigade level. They take home up to Ksh. 280,000 monthly.

9 Brigadier

Brigadier is a field officer and director of staff. It requires hard work to rise to this rank. Their salary is Ksh. 350,000 and can rise to Ksh. 410,000 after years of good service.

10 Lieutenant General

In this rank one will be in charge of large troops formation. They earn between Ksh. 632,990 to Ksh. 800,000.

11 Chief of Defence Force

It is the most senior rank in military. The Chief of Defence takes home from Ksh. 890,897 to Ksh. 1m.


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