Ulinzi Stars represents the Kenya Defence Forces (The Kenya Army, Kenya Air Force and Kenya Navy). The team was formed in 1995 when five military outfits, most of which were formed in the 1960s, were amalgamated to form one unit. These teams were Waterworks, Kahawa United (Kahawa Barracks, Kahawa, Nairobi), Silver Strikers (12th Engineers, Thika), Kenya Navy (Mombasa) and Spitfire (Kenya Air Force, Moi Air Base, Nairobi).
In that year the amalgamated team competed alongside fellow military side, Scarlet (Third Battalion of the Kenya Rifles, based in Lanet, Nakuru), with Ulinzi Stars closing the season ranked ninth in a league of 25 teams, as Scarlet were ranked 25th.
Prior to 1995, the Kenyan military was represented in the top-flight by at least three sides; Scarlet, Kahawa and Waterworks, with Scarlet and Kahawa, featuring the most.
Scarlet managed a second place finish in 1983, the best result registered by the military sides in the 1980s and 1990s.
Ulinzi gained strength at the turn of the millennium and ended up winning the league three consecutive seasons, in 2003, 2004 and 2005 but the team had to wait five more years until 2010, when under Benjamin Nyangweso, to win the fourth league title and in the same year, won the Kenyan Sports Team of the Year Award in 2010 at the Sportsman of the Year Awards (SOYA) gala.
The team went on to finish second in 2011 but in the same year, won the inaugural KPL Top 8 Cup after coming from behind to beat Western Stima 2 – 1 at Nyayo National Stadium.
Nyangweso would lead the team to the 2012 Top 8 Cup final but the quest for a second straight title went up in smoke courtesy of a 0 – 2 loss to Gor Mahia in a controversial clash at Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani.
Nyangweso was redeployed in 2012, leaving former goalkeeper Francis Onyiso in temporary charge of the team, guiding the side to a sixth placed finish before Salim Ali arrived in December to take charge.
Under Salim Ali, the team finished eighth in his first season – 2013, and in March 2014, the club parted ways with Ali and replaced him with Robert Matano, who had just won the league title with Tusker the previous season.
Matano guided the team to a fourth and second-place finish, in 2014 and 2015, respectively before being replaced by Nyangweso at the start of 2017.
Nyangweso guided the team to a seventh place finish in 2017 before being redeployed again and replaced by Dunstan Nyaudo at the start of 2018.
Nyaudo guided the team to a fourth placed finish in 2018 and in March 2019 would be promoted to the position of Technical Director as Nyangweso returned. The team finished 10th in the season before improving to finish fourth in the 2019/20 season which was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ulinzi have played at the Afraha Stadium since 2004, after moving from Thika.
The team doubles up as the Kenya national military football team, and represents the country in the military games regionally, in Africa and in the world.