On April 28, 2023, President William Ruto promoted Lieutenant General Francis Omondi Ogolla to the rank of General and appointed him Chief of the Defence Forces (CDF).
Subsequently Gen Ogolla swearing in ceremony and investiture of ranks was held on Saturday April 29, 2023 at State House, Nairobi.
During the low-key event, Ruto expressed confidence in his pick for the military leadership. Vice Chief of Defense Forces (VCDF) Lt General Jonah Mwangi was also sworn in.
The new changes comes following the retirement of General Robert Kibochi (Rtd), a veteran military man from the Kenya Army.
Gen Francis Ogolla career
Prior to his appointment as CDF, Gen Ogolla served as vice chief of the defense forces prior
He enlisted in the Kenya Defense Forces on April 24, 1984. On May 6, 1985, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to the Kenya Air Force.
Gen Ogolla trained as a fighter pilot with the USAF and as an instructor pilot with the Kenya Air Force (KAF).
He received training in a variety of other disciplines, such as counterterrorism, accident investigation, and image intelligence.
He advanced through the ranks to become a Major General, and on July 15, 2018, he was named Kenya Air Force Commander, a position he has held for three years.
Gen Ogolla’s prior positions in training, command, and staff included those of deputy commander of the Kenya Air Force and base commander of Laikipia Air Base.
He also served as commanding officer of the Tactical Fighter Wing, Chief Flying Instructor at the Kenya Air Force Flying Training School, and Operations Desk Officer at Kenya Air Force Headquarters.
In addition, from 1992 to 1993, he worked in the former Yugoslavia as an observer and military information officer.
From 1994 to 2004, he led the Military Christian Fellowship, and from 2018 to 2019, he co-led the Association of African Air Chiefs.
General Francis Ogolla education
Gen Ogolla is a graduate of the National Defense College of Kenya and the École Militaire de Paris.
He has a diploma from Egerton University in both international studies and military science.
Gen Ogolla also holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in Political Science and Studies of Armed Conflict and Peace from the University of Nairobi and a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Nairobi.
Gen Francis Ogolla’s wife
Gen Ogolla is married to Aileen and together they have two children and a grandson.
Gen Francis Ogolla tribe
Gen Ogolla is a Luo.
Gen Francis Ogolla age
Gen Ogolla was born in the early 1960s
Gen Francis Ogolla predecessor
Gen Ogolla’s predecessor is General Robert Kibochi (Rtd).
He was appointed Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces on the 4 May 2020.
Gen Robert Kibochi was enlisted into the Kenya Defence Forces on 18 May 1979 and underwent Officer Cadets Training until 30 March 1980 and commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant and posted to Signals Battalion.
He has held various command and staff appointments including Vice Chief of the Defence Forces, Commander of the Kenya Army, Assistant Chief of Defence Forces in charge of Operations, Plans, Doctrine and Training at Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Chief of Strategic Plans and Policy, Director International Peace Support Training Centre, Col Operations Requirements (CIS) and Commander Corps of Signals.
Other appointments held include Chief of Staff at the Eastern Africa Standby Force, SO1 Records at Headquarter Kenya Army (HQ KA), SO1 Comms HQ KA, SO1 Mobilization DHQ, SO1 Comms CIS DHQ and SOII Operations and Training at the HQ of the Corps of Signals.
Gen Kibochi has a PhD degree in Peace and Conflict Management, Masters Degree of Arts in International Studies, Masters Degree in Computer Based Information Systems, Bachelors of Technology in Communication and Electronics Engineering.
His other professional training include; National Security Studies at the National Defence College (Kenya), Army Command and Staff Course (UK), Overseas Telecoms Engineering Course (UK), Signal Officers Degree Telecommunications Engineering Course (India), Sub Unit Commanders Course, Platoon Commanders Course, Regimental Signal Officers Course among other training courses.
He served with the United Nations as Commander of Kenyan Contingent in the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) from 2000 – 2001; while his decorations include Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart (EGH) and Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) among others.
Gen Robert Kariuki Kibochi was born in Nakuru on 15 August 1959. He is married to Tabitha and blessed with four daughters and a grandson.