Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) at Makenke Barracks ylast week sent into retirement over 100 soldiers, many of whom had aged while others due to ill-health had become inactive.
The sendoff was presided over by Col. John Patrick Otongo, the Division Operations and Training Officer (DOTO), who represented the 2nd Division commander Brig. Paul Lokech, who is on other state duties.
The function, at which 105 soldiers retired, was the seventh of its kind at the barracks.
According to the 2nd Division Spokesman, Maj. Peter Mugisa, 13 of those who were released were commissioned officers while the rest were senior noncommissioned officers.
The chief guest Col. Otongo in his remarks urged officers who are still in service, to always visit their homes and prepare for retirement, so that they are not taken by surprise when retirement sets in.
“To the remaining officers, retirement has come and we need to embrace it for quite a long period of time. We have not been doing this but it’s a very good practice; there should be entry and exit; we should all prepare as we are still serving, make sure that you always go home,” he said.
“None of us came from heaven; we all have homes, so let’s have our spouses be preparing homes so that when time comes to retire, you have a soft landing.
The division operations commander pointed that some of the officers are known of asking permissions to go home, but instead of going, they visit nearby towns to enjoy life.
“There are those ones who always get pass leaves and spend all their time here in trading centers of Makenke instead of going home. Tomorrow when his name appears among those who are retiring, he gets a stroke because he hadn’t prepared.”
On the other hand, Otongo cautioned the retirees against being unruly to the civilian community they are joining.
“Now that you’re going outside to the civilian community the same discipline you showed here in the army should be the same discipline expressed to the communities where you are going,” he urged.
He also advised them to keep prepared and remember that they are still part of the army when need arise they can be recalled for service.
“If any of you is going to engage in subversive tendencies outside there we shall bring you to our court (martial),” he added.