The Chief of training and recruitment of the UPDF, Brig Willis Byarugaba has said the UPDF is training younger officers to attain the necessary skills to consciously take charge of the security of the country in the nearby future.
“It’s our intention to have officers open their minds ideologically so that we groom patriotic officers who know where they came from, where they are and what they are deemed to do in future.” he said while passing out seventy one officers who completed a one month Political Education and Leadership course at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) Kyankwanzi on February 16, 2016.
Brig Willis Byarugaba stressed the value of National ideological training for all the future leaders of the UPDF adding that all military officers going for further studies must have enhanced understanding of Uganda and good leadership skills that will be useful to them when promoted to various levels.
“The Future of UPDF lies in your hands. We are preparing you to take over the mantle of the UPDF, and you cannot take over the mantle of the UPDF when your Ideology is wanting. That is why before you go for further promotional courses, we ensure we train you ideologically at NALI.” said Brig Byarugaba.
The Deputy Director of NALI, Lt Col AR Balisigara, said Kyankwanzi is a premier ideological training institute for senior leaders in Uganda and added that lack of ideological clarity is harmful to national cohesion and development.
“The Socio-economic transformation of Uganda has been hindered by lack of national ideological clarity among others. Ideological training is necessary for correcting the wrongs of the past.” He said and added that the training also “Enlightens Ugandans on the vision and mission of the country and gives leaders harmonised perceptions about what to do, how to do it and what is expected from them by the country.”
Lt Col Balisigara further said the just concluded course has not only imparted on the UPDF officers improved leadership and life skills including financial literacy, the spirit of patriotism and Pan-Africanism, but also educated them on geo-strategic environment that drives Uganda’s national interests.
The seventy one officers were drawn from all services in the UPDF, including those in missions abroad in Somalia and Central Africa. They comprised of officers at the ranks of Lieutenant Colonel, Major and Captain. They all qualified for Junior Command and Staff Course to be held in Jinja starting next month. Five Students who excelled included Maj Henry Obbo who was the overall best, followed by Capt Samson Dickens Opolot and Capt Samuel Kasede. Others are Capt Agnes Anywar Oyella and Maj Otim Ogwang.
Political Education was a key tool that contributed to the transformation of the NRA/UPDF into a disciplined people’s force. It was used in the 1986 liberation struggles and afterwards to inculcate and manufacture a strong and committed force of transformed military leaders who are equipped with necessary values and leadership skills, required at strategic, tactical and operational levels of command and administration in the force.