General Henry Odillo, born 13 June 1959; joined the military on 12th December 1978 after completing secondary school education at Mtendere Juniorate. He was commissioned to the rank of Second Lieutenant on 24th November, 1979 and rose through the ranks to the present rank of General.
Some appointments he held as a junior officer, between 1979 and 1986, were: Platoon Commander and Acting Officer Commanding Recce Squadron; Combat Support Battalion – Dowa.
He was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1984. Major (1986); Lieutenant Colonel (1994); Colonel (1998); Brigadier General (2010); and finally General (22 July 2011). As a senior officer, he held appointments such as Officer Commanding – Recce Squadron, Officer Commanding Recruits Wing at Malawi Armed Forces College (MAFCO) in Salima, Battalion Second in Command and later Commanding Officer Support Battalion, Deputy Chief of Staff, Defense Advisor to the United Kingdom (2001-2010), Brigade Commander, Acting Chief of Staff, and finally Defense Force Commander.
General Henry Odillo also served as Assistant Aide de-Camp to the first President of Malawi Ngwazi Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda in the late 80’s and has done a number of courses in his distinguished career like Officers Administrative course, Royal Armoured Corps Troop Leaders Course (United Kingdom), Eland MK7 Gunnery and Radio, Infantry Officers Advanced (USA), Command and General Staff Course (USA) and he holds a Bachelors degree in International Relations (London). He has recently graduated from National Defense College in Kenya. After completing National Defense Course, Gen. Odillo attended African Land Forces Summit in Washington Dc from 10-14 May 2010.
Apart from African countries, Gen. Odillo has visited France, Greece, Israel, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom, united States of America and Vietnam.
Gen. Odillo is decorated with Commendable Act Medal, Nacala Corridor Campaign Medal, Efficiency Medal, Malawi Silver Jubilee and Command and General Staff Course Medal. He is entitled to the symbol ‘osc’ on graduating from the Comand and General Staff Course (USA) and ‘ndc’ from National Defense College (Kenya).
General Odillo is married with three children and hails from Sawali Village, T/A Msamala, Balaka District in Malawi.