A total of two hundred sixty (260) senior Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) officers have honourably retired from active service after more than thirty years (30) of service to the nation and region.
The retirement ceremony was held on Tuesday at the Land Forces Headquarters in Bombo, Luwero district.
The retired officers included: 62 at the rank of Colonel, 65 Lieutenant Colonels and 133 Majors. This is batch twelve (12) for Financial Year 2022/23.
While officiating at the function, the UPDF Commander Land Forces (CLF), Lt Gen Muhoozi Keinerugaba, on behalf of the President and Commander in Chief of the UPDF, H.E Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, thanked the retiring Senior Officers for the great work done in preserving peace and stability both in the country and beyond.
He congratulated the retirees for making it to the end, saying their journey has been long and remarkable.
The CLF further thanked the retirees for their dedicated service to both the UPDF and country.
“You indeed defined the spirit of patriotism and self-service. These two elements have always been great pillars in the UPDF,” he said, adding that offices will always remain open to them for any assistance.
“This is a day of celebrations, it’s your day. Enjoy it fully and God bless you,” he noted.
He, however, warned them to be careful as they begin a new chapter of life into the civilian world.
Lt Gen Muhoozi enumerated the achievements made by Land Forces so far under his leadership including, improvement of troops welfare by constructing the operations center, completing the perimeter wall at the headquarters that covers the whole barracks, constructing new residencies for both Officers and Militants at the Land Forces Headquarters, among others.
In his remarks to the retiring officers, the Commandant General Headquarters, Maj Gen Dr. Lucky Joseph Kidega, saluted them for a job well done, urging them to uphold the UPDF Ideology of maintaining strict adherence to civil military cooperation.
He re-echoed this by requesting the retirees to follow Maj Dhyan Chand’s quote: “It’s my country’s duty to push me ahead, it’s my duty to push my country ahead.”
“Comrades, your sacrifice, devotion, diligence and contribution towards attaining peace and stability, social economic transformation of this country and Africa cannot be taken for granted. Your tireless efforts towards the development of this nation and Africa has registered greater achievements so far and is justifiable. Thank you very much for adding value towards the transformation of UPDF fraternity and institution as a whole,” Maj Gen Kidega noted.
He urged them to maintain discipline and desist from alcoholism on top of engaging in physical exercises and maintaining a balanced diet for their well-being.
“Employ our military ideology of civil military cooperation, you need to cooperate with them for a successful stay at home, lastly invest your retirement package wisely and I wish you all the best in your retirement, ” Maj Gen Kidega concluded.
The Adjutant General at Headquarters, Brig Gen Hassan Kimbowa, congratulated the retirees for their long service and wished them the best in their new journey ahead.
He later read out their names and issued out the certificates of service.
In his farewell remarks on behalf of the retirees, the senior most retiree Col Sam Karogo Murari, thanked the Commander in Chief and the entire UPDF leadership for the enormous support, courage and guidance rendered to everyone retiring today.
“We appreciate the love, team spirit and teamwork from our superiors, colleagues and our juniors; most especially our families, spouses and children who have been there for the success of our work,” Col Karogo appreciated.
“The journey has been a mountain and today we have reached the peak. We look down to the low land and see peace, stability and a vibrant economy,” he noted.
He commended the UPDF leadership for improving the welfare of troops and congratulated fellow retirees for completing their journey.
Col Karogo concluded by urging them to maintain cohesion and vigilance.
Batch twelve includes over 300 General Officers and Senior Officers.
The Generals will retire on 31st August 2022 at a special ceremony to be presided over by H.E the President at State House Entebbe.
The colorful occasion was also attended by UPDF Chiefs, Directors, local area and religious leaders from Luwero District, among others.