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Tatoos, discoloured teeth: List of things KDF considers before recruiting

As the Kenya Defense Force (KDF) launches its latest recruitment drive, Vice Chief Lieutenant General Jonah Mwangi unveiled a comprehensive list of criteria that the force considers when selecting individuals to join its ranks.

Addressing the public on Wednesday, August 16, 2023, Lieutenant General Mwangi highlighted several factors that influence the selection process, shedding light on the stringent standards set by the KDF.

With the ongoing recruitment efforts aimed at bolstering the army’s capabilities, Lieutenant General Mwangi emphasized the importance of the selection process in maintaining the highest standards of personnel within the force.

The Vice Chief revealed that certain characteristics, such as stammering, tattoos, and teeth discoloration, could lead to disqualification from consideration for recruitment.

Elaborating on these aspects, Lieutenant General Mwangi remarked, “People who stammer don’t do it out of their own volition, but again, it is competitive. This is a career; it’s not just any job. It requires very good communication.”

Highlighting the significance of clear communication within the military, Lieutenant General Mwangi underscored that candidates should possess the ability to communicate effectively, particularly in high-pressure situations.

Stammering, he noted, could impede effective communication and therefore impact the candidate’s suitability for the armed forces.

Tattoos, often viewed as personal expressions, also found their place in the criteria list. Lieutenant General Mwangi explained that individuals with visible tattoos on their bodies would be disqualified on character grounds.

“Get this from me you are not going to get join the armed forces if you are spotting a tattoo,” he said.

The presence of tattoos, according to him, can provide insight into a person’s values and beliefs, leading to potential incongruences with the disciplined environment of the armed forces.

Furthermore, Lieutenant General Mwangi addressed teeth discoloration as another consideration. While candidates with significant teeth discoloration may not be accommodated within the service, he acknowledged that individuals from regions with high fluoride content in water could still be considered if the discoloration falls within the medium range.

This nuanced approach considers potential health factors that could affect dental conditions.

“From low to medium I think that can be looked at so that the medics would be able to say whether or not you are predisposed to any injury,” he said.

The Vice Chief’s announcement also served as a cautionary message to prospective recruits. Amid the recruitment period, the Kenya army has warned individuals to be vigilant against fraudulent schemes. Fraudsters, often operating during recruitment drives, seek to exploit individuals aspiring to join the KDF.