Francis Omondi Biography, Age, Early Life, Education, Career, CDF, Legacy, Awards, Personal Life, Family, Wife, Children, Net Worth, Instagram

Francis Omondi Biography

General Francis Omondi Ogolla (12 February 1962 – 18 April 2024) was a Kenyan military officer who led the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) from April 2023 to April 2024.

Francis Omondi Ogolla Biography
Francis Omondi Ogolla Biography
Born 12 February 1962
Nyanza Province, Kenya (today Siaya County)
Died 18 April 2024 (aged 62)
Sindar, Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya
Allegiance  Kenya
Service/branch Kenya Air Force
Years of service 1984–2024
Rank General
Commands held
  • Chief of the Defence Forces
  • Commander of the Kenya Air Force
  • Vice Chief of Defence Forces

Francis Omondi Ogolla Career

Ogolla joined Kenya’s Defence Forces in 1984. He started his career as a second lieutenant in the Kenyan Air Force and later trained as a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force.

In 2018, he was appointed Commander of the Kenyan Air Force, and later Vice Chief of Defence Forces.


He was named Chief of Defence Forces by President William Ruto in April 2023, following the retirement of General Robert Kariuki Kibochi.

At the time, Ogolla’s appointment sparked outrage after the head of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission accused him of being a member of a national security council delegation that attempted to influence the outcome of the 2022 general election against the eventual winner, Ruto, who defended Ogolla citing his qualifications.

Ogolla attended and graduated from the École Militaire de Paris, the National Defense College of Kenya, Egerton University, and the University of Nairobi.


He was honored with various awards, including Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (EGH) and Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS).

Francis Omondi’s Personal Life

Ogolla was married to Aileen and had two children and one granddaughter.

Francis Omondi Death

Ogolla perished in a helicopter crash in Sindar, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, on April 18, 2024, at 2:20 p.m. Nine additional military members perished, and two were injured.

The Bell UH-1H Huey II was flown by the Kenyan Air Force’s 53 Tactical Helicopter Squadron.

The incident occurred while they were on a mission to reopen schools in the North Rift region after bandit attacks, as well as to evaluate soldiers engaging in stabilization efforts.

President William Ruto has ordered three days of national mourning for his passing, starting on April 19. Former President Uhuru Kenyatta, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Ahmed Mohamed Islam, President of Somalia’s Jubaland State, also offered their condolences.

A memorial service for Ogolla was conducted in Nairobi on 20 April, followed by a state funeral in his hometown of Ngiya, Siaya County on 21 April.


Who Is Francis Omondi?

On April 28, 2023, His Excellency Dr. William Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, promoted Lieutenant General Francis Omondi Ogolla to the rank of General and appointed him Chief of the Defence Forces (CDF), following Section 9 (2), (a) of the Kenya Defence Forces Act.

General Francis Ogolla’s swearing-in ceremony and rank investiture were held on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at State House in Nairobi.

Before this assignment, General Francis Omondi Ogolla was the Vice Chief of the Defence Force.

Gen Francis Omondi Ogolla joined the Kenya Defence Forces on April 24, 1984, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on May 6, 1985, and assigned to the Kenya Air Force.

He trained as a fighter pilot with the United States Air Force and as an instructor pilot with the Kenyan Air Force.

He also received training in other areas such as imagery intelligence, counterterrorism, and accident investigation.

Gen Francis O Ogolla is a graduate of École Militaire de Paris and Kenya’s National Defence College. He possesses a Diploma in International Studies and Military Science from Egerton University, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Armed Conflict and Peace Studies (First Class Honors), and a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Nairobi.

He ascended through the ranks to become a Major General and was appointed Commander of Kenya Air Force on July 15, 2018, a position he has held for three years.

Previously, he served as Deputy Commander of Kenya Air Force, Base Commander at Laikipia Air Base, 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.

He also worked in the former Yugoslavia as an Observer and Military Information Officer from 1992 to 1993, as Chairman of Military Christian Fellowship from 1994 to 2004, and as Co-Chair of the Association of African Air Chiefs from 2018 to 2019.

He married Aileen and has two children and a grandson. His hobbies include reading and golfing.

How was General Ogolla buried?

In a solemn ceremony, Ogolla was buried without a casket, wrapped in a sheet as he had requested. The valiant General was laid to rest at 3 p.m. in his Ng’iya home.

Who will be the next CDF after Ogolla?

President William Ruto promoted Lieutenant General Charles Muriu Kahariri to the rank of General and named him Chief of Defence Forces. He now takes over the position left vacant by the death of General Francis Ogolla in a helicopter disaster.

Who is the wife of CDF Francis Ogolla?

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9— Aileen Ogolla, wife of the previous Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen Francis Ogolla, on Tuesday handed over the leadership of the Military Wives Association of Kenya (MWAK) to Grace Kahariri, the spouse of the current CDF Charles Kahariri.

Who is CDF Ogola’s son?

Joel Rabuku Ogolla has emerged as the most talked-about person on social media. Rabuku is the son of the late Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General Francis Ogolla. Rabuku was only known by his name until Friday when he arrived with his family members to welcome President William Ruto.

Why wasn’t Ogolla buried in a coffin?

The late General Ogolla envisioned a simple ritual burial akin to Muslim rituals, in which he would be wrapped in sheets, a decision made to reduce what he viewed as unnecessary pressure on the family.

How much did the casket for General Ogolla cost?

Gen Ogolla’s simplicity is obvious in the plain flag-draped casket, which cost barely Sh6,800 and will not be buried today, as he prefers.

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