The Kenya Defense Forces is currently recruiting up over 4,000 servicemen and women. As is it happens during every recruitment exercise, thousands of youths have turned up to try for their chances to join the military. Few will be selected and thousands will be rejected.
The rejections are usually based on flimsy grounds, including claims that a candidate has lost one tooth, is an inch shorter, runs too fast and other ridiculous factors. This sort of rejection is one that Sergeant Winnie Adipo is all too familiar with. Four times she tried to get a chance at the military, and in all the four chances she was rejected.
She was so desperate that if she had money to bribe her way to the KDF training camp, she would have done it. “”At one point, I got someone who was connected to the government and was demanding for a Sh. 200,000 bribe, yet I only had Sh. 1,000 in my pocket,” she said in a feature that was first published by Tuko.
But when all hope seemed lost for her, she applied to join the prestigious US Air Force and was accepted. Her journey started after she applied for the diversity lottery visa, which is known as the US Green Card, and relocated to the US in 2015. One year later she was accepted by the US military.
“Being African and a woman in the military took a lot to push my way up, but things are easier these days courtesy of programs like diversity inclusion and leadership which offer more opportunities to explore,” she said.
Winnie Adipo has now risen through the ranks and currently occupies the position of Staff Sergeant at the US Air Force pilot training base.
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