President Museveni, who is also the commander in chief of the armed forces has hailed the UPDF as an educated army .
Museveni made the remarks on Sunday as he passed out 4325 recruits who have successfully completed their basic military training at the Recruits Training School (RTS), Kaweweta in Nakaseke District.
The group included 636 female soldiers, the largest number ever recorded in a single intake.
In his address, the President noted that the UPDF is now a professional institution that attracts citizens of various academic qualifications and professions, adding that 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,” Museveni said.
He re-echoed the need to pay scientists higher salaries and promised to make a follow up to that effect.
According to the President, the country needs scientists to defend the health of the citizens as well as boost development through value addition and industrial production among other values that can be accrued from well-motivated scientists.
The commander in chief also congratulated the new soldiers upon successfully completing their training but 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),” he said.
The Minister of State for Defence in charge of General Duties, 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.
The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen.David Muhoozi told the newly passed-out soldiers to remain loyal, patient and enthusiastically vigilant to defend the country.
He also 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 Kaweweeta commandant, Brig . James Ruheesi 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.
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 and the Chief of Staff Land Forces, Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda.
Others were Chief of Staff Air Force, Maj Gen Charles Okidi, first 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.