President of the Republic of Uganda and Commander in Chief of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces, General (Rtd) Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has today commissioned 295 Officer Cadets at Uganda Military Academy, Kabamba, Mubende district.
“I congratulate you on finishing the course and I wish you prosperous careers where you are heading. The UPDF has now covered many aspects of National Defence. When we started, we had only infantry people but now, we have all the arms and we are working on launching a satellite,” said President Museveni.
He said that the UPDF is becoming more comprehensive in terms of capacity to deal with all types of threats which will be reinforced once Uganda launches its satellite. “You the young people are lucky to join a force which is already advanced in development,” H.E Museveni added.
The President cautioned the newly commissioned officers to avoid alcoholism, promiscuous lifestyles that affect their health and urged them to embrace knowledge by undergoing courses and reading widely as he equally emphasized patriotism.
Of these, 55 Officer Cadets were Intake 02/2020 -23 under the 3 year program with Bachelor of Defence Studies while 236 were Professionals of Intake 06/2023 Short and 4 Cadet Officers who completed courses from military academics from Kenya, Jamaica and Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja said that the presence of the President is a motivation to the officer cadets and all the service men and women to work harder and with commitment towards defending Uganda’s national sovereignty.
Minister Ssempijja congratulated the officer cadets for earning a prestigious position as officers of the gallant UPDF. “It is important to note that you have been commissioned into the joint forces. This means that you are expected to work more closely together across the service branches to deter every threat of our nation,” Hon. Ssempijja added.
The Chief of Defence Forces, General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi in his remarks said that he has no doubt that the course has prepared the officer cadets to be proficient junior officers to be leaders or commanders at junior level and exposes them to more training opportunities in their career progression.
The CDF applauded the President for his strategic and visionary leadership that has made the UPDF grow into a professional, effective, efficient and accountable force that is anchored on strong civil-military relationship, nationalism, patriotism, Pan-Africanism and ideological awareness to achieve its mission as enshrined in the Article 209 of the Constitution in order to achieve socio-economic transformation.
General Mbadi reminded the newly commissioned officer cadets about the evolving challenges that Uganda faces.
“You must be aware that our countries in the region are faced with new security challenges ranging from terrorism, transnational threats, insurgencies, cyber crime and predatory imperialism. Therefore, you must be ready to effectively be part of the solution to these challenges,” added Gen Mbadi
Colonel Wycliff Keita, the Commandant of Uganda Military Academy – Kabamba said that the cohort of professional cadets represents quality of the young generation of citizens that are taking patriotic choice and are highly qualified to serve their country under the UPDF and noted that the second intake of the 3 year program attracted cadet officers from the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of South Sudan and the United Republic of Tanzania.
“These officers have been trained in military knowledge and skills but also exposed to political economy and a symbiosis of our responsibility in the wider socio-economic, information and diplomatic spheres of State power. Having successfully completed a blend of Officer Cadet training, enhanced intellectually and ideologically grounded, we have the confidence in their individual and collective ability to overcome many challenges in their way to lead men and women of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces,” said Col Keita.
The Best Officer Cadets in both intakes were awarded in different categories.
Present at the commissioning were: Minister of State for Defence in charge of Veteran Affairs, Hon. Huda Oleru, Commander Air Force, Lt Gen Charles Okidi, Deputy Commander Land Force, Maj Gen Francis Takirwa, Division Commanders, Service Chiefs, Generals and Senior Officers.