Major General Fatuma Ahmed’s journey to Kenya Airforce Commander

Major Gen Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed becomes the first woman in Kenya’s history to head Kenya Airforce.

President William Ruto promoted Major Ahmed to be the Commander of the Kenya Airforce on May 2nd 2024.

But how did Ahmed end up as a military official?

General Ahmed’s entry to the military wasn’t planned. She had gone back to her hometown to apply for an identification card, right after high school. Coincidentally the military happened to be carrying out a recruitment campaign at a stadium near the government offices where she was being served.

Out of curiosity she enquired about joining and ended up enlisting in the Kenya Military Academy as an officer cadet in 1984.

Ahmed was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Kenyan Women’s Corps.

From then on, she became a trailblazer climbing through the military ranks. After graduation, she was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Kenyan Women’s Corps.

The Kenya Women’s Corps by then operated as a separate entity from the other arms of the defense forces and only majored in issuing support services, rendering duties such as administrative work, logistics, medical, and communication operations.

Ahmed got the chance to join the Kenyan Air Force when the Women’s Service Corps was dissolved in 1999 and integrated into the Kenyan armed forces.

This paved the way for women to extend their services to participate in military duties and also enabled them to grow through the ranks.

At the Kenya Airforce headquarters, she served as the first female brigadier, following her appointment in 2015. Same year she earned the title of the Managing Director of the Defense Forces Medical Insurance Scheme.

She performed her duties with diligence leading to another promotion in 2021 as Major General and a further rank to Senior Staff Air in 2023.

She got a promotion in 2021 as Major General and a further rank to Senior Staff Air in 2023

Her achievements go beyond just that as the mother of three has earned several academic recognitions.

Ahmed holds a degree from the National Defense College and the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies.

She also holds a Diploma in Management from Strathmore University. Her rise through the military ranks has demonstrated the changing dynamics of gender roles where males and females can thrive equally.

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