Kenya’s Chief of Defence Forces (CDF); Highest Ranking Military Officer in Kenya

Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces General (Dr.) Julius Karangi is received by Service Commanders (from left) Commander Kenya Army Lieutenant General Joseph Kasaon, Commander Kenya Air Force Major General Samwel Thuita and Commander Kenya Navy Major General Ngewa Mukala at Nyayo Stadium during the 2014 Mashujaa Day Celebrations.

Any organized military has the power to command, power to protect, power to execute and the power to deliver results. Kenya’s army is not an exception.

The Kenya Defence Forces, also referred to as the armed forces of Kenya comprises of Kenya Army, Kenya Navy and the Kenya Air Force. Established under the 2010 Constitution of Kenya and its composition laid out in Article 241, the Kenya Defence Forces has been bestowed with the responsibility to protect Kenya both internally and externally.

The President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces heads the whole team. Just below the President comes the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF). This is the senior most position and the highest ranking military officer in the Kenya Defence Force.

He is the President’s military right man, as some would refer to him. He advices the President on matters concerning security before the President makes the final decision.

The CDF is further in charge of all the military meetings together with coordination of the Service Commander; Kenya Army, Kenya Navy and the Kenya Air Force,  the CDF and Commandant of Military Intelligence.

Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and the Chief of Defence Forces
Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (President Uhuru Kenyatta) and the Chief of Defence Forces (General Julius Waweru Karangi)

Meet General Julius Waweru Karangi. Kenya’s Chief of Defence Forces, Principal Adviser to the President since July 2011. He directly receives command from the President who is the Commander in Chief and then disseminates the commands down the hierarchy.

In his position, he is also in charge of the personnel assignments and has an oversight over resources and personnel allocated to the commands within the respective services.

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When called upon by the President, he also performs certain duties as instructed by the President from time to time. Otherwise, he gives commands, allocating roles, duties and responsibilities to officers answerable to him.

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