Kenyans in Foreign Armies: Lucrative Deals French Military Offers During Recruitment
Stories have been told of Kenyan youth who move to a foreign land, like France for example, and explore new careers serving as soldiers in those countries’ armies.
In return, the recruits get paid, fed, clothed, and medically cared for throughout their service with an initial contract, in the French Army, estimated to clock in at five years.
According to Forces.net, a global news outlet tackling military matters, those serving as legionnaires in the European country’s army enjoy a starting salary of Ksh185,188 per month (€1380) alongside bonuses for field training and missions abroad.
Legionnaires serve under an assumed name and remain anonymous unless they choose to serve under their real names after a year in the service.
An image of French Foreign Legion officers at a past parade.
Citizenship, race, religion, and military background do not matter. You also don’t need to know the French language.
How to Join and Requirements
Requirements include: being a man between 17.5 – 39.5 years, having a valid ID, a valid copy of a birth certificate, being physically fit, having healthy or treated teeth, being able to read and write in your native language, and not under Interpol’s pursuit.
An applicant, however, can be disqualified for medical conditions, poor hearing and poor eyesight.
Once approved, the recruits are required to show up in person at any recruitment centre in France that is open 24/7.
A Kenyan will need a passport as well as a visa, and be able to finance his trip and stay in France until he is recruited or rejected. Once recruited, their needs will be provided for by the Legion.
Formed in 1831, the French Foreign legion recruits foreigners to fight outside mainland France. In the recent past, the unit has seen action in Afghanistan and Mali. An example is Abraham Kiprotich, a Kenyan-born athlete who resides in France.
Men with minor criminal records, fraudsters, businessmen driven out of their home countries, or individuals unable to join their home armies for certain reasons have been known to start a second lives as legionnaires.
The unit is a good way to earn an income. It is also a pathway to French citizenship after a five-year service.
The legion has, however, been criticised for not recruiting women and is often considered a haven for people who are running away from the law in their home country.
Kenyans queue at a past job interview.