EXCLUSIVE: Inside Intense KDF Physical Fitness Training for Recruits

  • KDF Soldiers During A Mission
    KDF Soldiers During A Mission
  • The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) recruitment process is hailed as one of the most rigorous training programs, which test the recruits' might and will.

    For the successful recruits, they occasionally undergo a body assessment in order to gauge physical fitness. 

    The physical training is an integral part of the military whereby their missions revolve around the fitness of the soldiers when encountering rival groups. 

    KDF 78 Battalion engage in a cleaning exercise in Isiolo Town
    KDF 78 Battalion engage in a cleaning exercise in Isiolo Town.

    For those who failed the test, they would enroll for the remedial programme for one year. This entails commitment towards prescribed nutrition and physical exercise to attain required standards of physical fitness and body weight.

    "The physical fitness and weight control programme will nurture a physical fitness culture that will ensure personnel individually acquire and maintain desired military appearance, body composition and fitness standards for mission readiness," read part of a document seen by Kenyans.co.ke

    According to the documents, men have to maintain a waist circumference of less than 100 centimetres while for women- 90 centimetres.

    The permitted waist hip ratio for men should also be less than 0.95 while for women it has to be less than 0.85

    Those enrolled in the remedial programme are expected to attain the stipulated weight limits or risk being discharged from KDF should they fail to meet the minimum threshold.

    Further, those enrolled in the remedial programme shall not be eligible for promotion, career progression courses or deployment to foreign missions.

    Passing the recruitment process is a feat in itself as it involves a lot of physical training that requires mental and physical perseverance. The trainers take the recruits through intense workouts such as crawling on the ground in a technical format as well as operating guns.

    The whole training routine is divided into various sections including Career Development, Marksmanship (which are skills in shooting), Drill and Duty, Field Craft and Physical Fitness lessons.

    "The skill sets that we impart them include both defensive and offensive to ensure that we give them the ability to protect themselves from the enemy.

    "We believe that our soldiers, man to man and woman to woman, are the best," stated Colonel Meshack Kishoyian who is among the recruiters.

    KDF officers in a military operation in Laikipia in November 2021