The Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) has explained why they’re particular about examining candidates’ teeth and body tattoos during recruitment.
In an interview on Citizen TV on Wednesday night, Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lieutenant General Jonah Mwangi discussed the reasons behind specific requirements like oral health and tattoos, which have sparked a debate among potential recruits.
Mwangi emphasized that while the military takes a somewhat lenient stance on dental issues, there are limits. Candidates need to meet physical and medical fitness standards, which are crucial for the armed forces.
He pointed out that recruitment officers might overlook minor tooth discoloration due to regional factors. However, if the discoloration is significant, it could lead to disqualification.
“In a recruit, we assess three main factors: you need to meet the right physical standards, be medically fit, and have the necessary documentation. We’ve observed that in certain parts of the country, the fluoride content in the water leads to mild to moderate teeth discoloration, while others experience severe discoloration,” he explained.
According to the Vice Chief of Defence Forces, accepting individuals who don’t meet oral health standards could result in future dental problems. This might lead to a trainee needing hospitalization instead of participating in training.
“Moderate discoloration might be manageable by our medical staff… However, severe discoloration indicates potential issues with bone structure, making you more prone to dental problems. A dental issue could land you in the hospital instead of training, which is a disadvantage.”
General Mwangi stressed that recruits with tattoos and certain types of birthmarks won’t be accepted.
Regarding tattoos, while Mwangi didn’t delve into the medical specifics, he indicated that large birthmarks might signify weaker skin, potentially causing injuries during training.
“Tattoos have been a topic of concern, but it’s mostly related to policy. The army recruitment policy states that candidates shouldn’t have tattoos, and this policy was introduced due to specific occurrences… However, let’s leave it at the policy level,” he clarified.
The Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) is seeking to hire General Service Officer (GSO) Cadets (both Regular and Graduate degree holders), Specialist Officers, General Duty Recruits, Tradesmen/women, and Defence Forces Constables.
The application process is entirely online for those interested in the roles of Specialist Officers and Tradesmen/women. The deadline for submitting applications for these specific positions is August 20.
Candidates who make it to the shortlist will receive notifications via print media from September 17 to 24, 2023.
The remaining group’s recruitment process will occur at different centers from August 28 to September 8.