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Major Gen Fatuma who joined KDF by accident becomes 1st female Air Force commander

Major General Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed has become the first woman to hold the position of service commander.

Major General Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed during a past event

President William Ruto on May 2 appointed Gen Fatuma Gaiti to be the commander of the Kenya Air Force.

Lets look at her journey from joining KDF by accident to writing history.

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Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed was born in 1965. She finished her secondary school education at t Aga Khan High School in Nairobi in 1983.

Major Gen Gaiti embarked on her military career quite by accident.

Originally, upon completing her secondary education in 1983, she was simply trying to claim her identification card when she encountered a military recruitment exercise.

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She decided to try her luck and to her surprise she was selected to join the military.

She enrolled at the Kenya Military Academy as an officer cadet in 1984 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Kenya Air Force in 1985.

Fatuma Ahmed's career in the Kenya Defence Forces spans over several decades, during which she held numerous significant positions.

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Starting her career in the Women Service Corps, she transitioned to the Kenya Air Force in 1999 when the unit was integrated into the armed forces.

Throughout her career, she served as Battalion Second in Command, Staff Officer II Audit Personnel and Records, and Staff Officer I Personnel and Administration.

She rose to the rank of Colonel Personnel at the Kenya Air Force Headquarters and later became the Managing Director of the Defence Forces Medical Insurance Scheme.

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In August 2015, Fatuma made history by becoming the first woman to be promoted to Brigadier in Kenya.

Her groundbreaking journey didn't stop there; in July 2018, she achieved another milestone by becoming Kenya's first female Major General.

Her appointment to this rank was celebrated as a monumental achievement in promoting gender equality within the Kenyan military.

In 2023, Major General Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed was posted to National Defence College and appointed Senior Directing Staff Air.

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In addition to her military training, Major General Ahmed has pursued formal education to complement her roles.

She is an alumna of the National Defence University and the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies. She also holds a diploma in management from Strathmore University.

As of 2024, she reached another apex in her career by becoming the first woman appointed as the commander of the Kenya Air Force, setting a precedent for future generations.

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Major General Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed's career is a testament to her resilience, capability, and pioneering spirit.

She continues to serve as a role model for many, proving that with dedication and the right opportunities, barriers can be broken.

Her leadership roles and historic promotions have not only paved the way for other women in the military but also highlighted the evolving dynamics of gender roles within traditionally male-dominated fields.

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