The Kenya Navy is one of the arms of the Kenya Armed Forces that came into existence in 1964. This unit has its headquarters in the city of Mombasa and is currently led by Major General Jimson Longiro Mutai. The Navy has grown in its operations over the years and is running 18 vessels that belong to different classes. The Navy has also enlarged its reach to set up a base in various locations, including in Mombasa, Shimoni, Kilifi, Msambweni, Malindi, and Manda. However, irrespective of all the numerous locations they operate from, the Kenya Navy follows the same ranking system for officers.
Rank Structure of the Kenyan Navy
The Kenya Navy is notable for having its ranks named in a similar manner as the Kenya Army instead of using the usual Royal Navy names as seen in several Commonwealth countries. However, despite, the difference in the titles given to officers, they still perform the same duties as their counterparts in the Royal Navy.
As of now, the ranks in the Kenya Navy are classified into the following:
- Second Lieutenant (generally known as Midshipman)
- Lieutenant (generally known as Sub-Lieutenant)
- Captain (generally known as Lieutenant)
- Major (generally known as Lieutenant Commander)
- Lieutenant Colonel (generally known as Commander)
- Colonel (generally known as Captain)
- Brigadier (generally known as Commodore)
- Major General (known as Rear-Admiral)
- Lieutenant General (known as Vice Admiral)
- General (known as Admiral)
Salary Payments In The Kenya Navy
The remuneration given to various officers in the Kenya Navy is based on the ranks they occupy and as expected, the higher your rank, the more you get to earn as salary payments.
Below is an estimation of the remuneration for the various offices are:
- Second Lieutenant (generally known as Midshipman) – from Ksh102,000 and above
- Lieutenant (generally known as Sub-Lieutenant) – from Ksh102,000 and above
- Captain (generally known as Lieutenant) – from Ksh154,000 and above
- Major (generally known as Lieutenant Commander) – from Ksh902,000 and above
- Lieutenant Colonel (generally known as Commander) – from Ksh902,000 and above
- Colonel (generally known as Captain) – from Ksh902,000 and above
- Brigadier (generally known as Commodore) – from Ksh902,000 and above
- Major General (known as Rear-Admiral) – from Ksh925,000 and above
- Lieutenant General (known as Vice Admiral) – from Ksh925,000 and above
- General (known as Admiral) – from Ksh925,000 and above
Are Kenyan Naval Officers Entitled To Other Allowances & Benefits?
Being part of any division of the Kenyan Armed Forces comes with several fringe benefits and Naval officers are not left out in this scheme. The allowances due to them are numerous and cover diverse needs or situations.
More so, the major reasons allowances are given to officers include making payments for extra work they undertake as well as reimburse them for expenses they might have incurred while carrying out their duties. Some of these allowances include:
1. House Allowance
This is a fringe benefit that is due to Naval officers according to their ranks as stated in the Kenyan Government Circulars which are issued periodically. The sum due to officers is hereby prone to fluctuate from time to time.
2. Commuter Allowance
All officers in Job Group ‘T’ and below shall be eligible for commuter allowance where they are not provided with government transport. The rates of the allowances will be determined by the government from time to time.
3. Extraneous Allowance
This allowance is usually paid to officers who are given extra duties to perform in addition to their routine work. Most times, they have to work beyond the official work hours and for this, they are compensated with the ‘Extraneous Allowance’. The government is also saddled with the responsibility to determine the rates of this allowance.
4. Acting Allowance
In a situation that an officer has the required qualifications for a higher post, it is likely that he might start off by acting to hold the position until it is officially advertised. So, while the officer is acting as the holder of the position, he will be eligible for the payment of acting allowance which is 20% of the basic salary.
5. Special Duty Allowance
This is a fringe benefit in which the Naval Officer gets paid an additional sum of up to 15% of his basic salary for his extra duty. More so, in this case, the Naval officer might not have all the necessary qualifications for the position.
6. Hardship Allowance
As the name implies, this is extra pay that is given to officers that are deployed to regions that were labeled as ‘Hardship Areas’. These fringe benefits are not fixed, rather it is determined by government officials periodically.
7. Leave Allowance
All Kenyan Naval Officers are entitled to get a leave allowance paid once every year. More so, the rate of the allowance is set by the government at various intervals.
How Do Officers Get Promoted In The Kenya Navy?
Officers in the Kenya Navy like their counterparts in other units of the Kenya Defence Forces are entitled to get promoted from a lower rank to a higher one as their years of service progress. As of now, an officer’s educational level plays a crucial role in his/her promotion as it has been established in the early 2000s that all Kenya officers are meant to get a degree.
More so, officers with outstanding performances can get recommended for promotion and if deemed fit, they will be moved to a higher rank. There are also no preferential treatment given to officers hence factors like gender, and ethnicity are not considered during a promotion process.
The Functions of the Navy in Kenya
The establishment of the Armed Forces Act in Kenya outlined the crucial duties or roles which all arms of this body are to perform. With regards to the Navy, it is known that their functions mainly revolve around issues that have to do with averting all forms of sea threats and so far they have done a pretty good job as the nation has witnessed minimal sea threats. Notably, they were praised for gaining control over the port of Kismayu where the al-Shabaab terrorist unit operated from. They have also recorded other remarkable feats like the successful rescue of the MV Mtongwe Ferry which had sunk, discovering weapons that sunk in the Rongai dam in Nakuru, and rescuing of a National Youth Service car at Garissa Bridge amongst others.
With the above exploits of the Naval team in mind, it is clear that the unit has been working to fulfill its stipulated duties which as of now include:
- Defending the nation, citizens, as well as their resources from both international and local aggression
- Provision of internal security by working alongside the police force
- Ensuring that they make tangible contributions to all operations linked to foreign peacekeeping
- Supporting the civil officials during emergencies
- To give the nation a sense of pride, and confidence by rendering outstanding performances during ceremonial functions