The President of the Republic of Uganda and Commander-in-Chief of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF), H.E General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has passed out 4325 recruits of intake 16/19-20 who successfully completed their basic military training at Recruits Training School (RTS), Kaweweta, Nakaseke District.
The passed out included 636 female soldiers, the largest number ever recorded in a single intake.
In his address, the Commander-in-Chief congratulated the new soldiers upon successfully completing their training and advised them to live responsible lives. “Remember life is very important and your health too. Please don’t spoil your lives with alcohol and umalaya (promiscuity),” said Gen Museveni, adding that with self-discipline, they can go very far in the Army.
The Commander-In-Chief noted that the UPDF is now a professional institution that attracts citizens of various academic qualifications and professions. He was delighted by the quality of education of the new soldiers.
“Among the new soldiers are a number of master’s degree holders, Degree, Diploma, Certificate and other professional certificate holders.
“When we have an educated army, teaching is easy; they can easily learn,” said Gen Museveni.
He re-echoed the need to pay scientists higher salaries and promised to make a follow up to that effect. He emphasized that the country needs scientists to defend the health of the citizens as well as boost development through value addition, industrial production among other values that can be accrued from well-motivated scientists.
The Minister of State for Defence in charge of General Duties, Hon. Col (Rtd) Charles Engola thanked the parents of the new soldiers for entrusting the UPDF with their children for national service. He urged the soldiers to ensure they put their duty first and other things follow.
In his speech, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General David Muhoozi told the newly passed-out soldiers to remain loyal, patient and enthusiastically vigilant to defend the country. He hailed the Commandant and instructors of Kaweweta Recruits Training School (KRTS) for a job well done in producing high quality soldiers within the stipulated timeframe.
The CDF thanked the President for his continued guidance and giving direction towards refining the professionalization and capacity building in the UPDF.
He noted that over the years, the UPDF has built capacity to respond to both military and non-military threats. “Asides from ensuring the country’s security, the UPDF has been central in disaster control such as floods, locusts and COVID-19. As we continue developing capacity through training and equipping, we will be able to do more,” said Gen Muhoozi.
The Commandant of KRTS, Brig Gen James Ruheesi, congratulated the graduands upon completing of the Basic Combat Training Course. He noted that 65 trainees could not cope with the training and so fell out of the training. Ruheesi reminded the new soldiers that the training they have undertaken is meant to inculcate in them soldiery qualities and proficiencies necessary for successful military service.
Private Muhimbura Belton emerged best overall student while Private Zirimenya Daniel was the best in the field. Pte Tino Sharifah was the best female student and Pte Mutekanga Joel emerged best in class.
Present at the pass out were the Senior Presidential Advisor on Defence Lt Gen Proscovia Nalweyiso, the Commander Land Forces, Lt Gen Peter Elwelu, the Joint Chief of Staff, Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu, Commander of Special Forces, Maj. Gen James Birungi, the Chief of Staff Land Forces, Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda, Chief of Staff Air Force, Maj Gen Charles Okidi, 1 Division Commander, Maj Gen Sam Kawagga, Chief of Personnel and Administration, Maj Gen George Igumba, Chief Political Commissar, Maj. Gen Henry Matsiko and other senior UPDF officers and civil leaders from Luwero and the host district, Nakaseke.