President Yoweri Museveni who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces, on the weekend passed out 4325 recruits into the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) at the Recruits Training School (RTS), Kaweweta, Nakaseke District.
But Museveni warned the fresh recruits to guard against the promiscuity and alcohol, which he said may be more dangerous to their lives besides bullets.
It is said that during training, soldiers are warned to guard against 3Ws: War, Women and Wine or alcohol.
Uganda’s relative stability, has however lessened the threat of ding in wars by soldiers.
Instead, as Museveni warned, diseases obtained through promiscuity and consumption of too much alcohol, now pose more dangers to soldiers than war.
This year’s recruits 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.
Museveni 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.
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.
Muhoozi 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.
“Aside 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 grandaunts 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.