An Insight into the Battle-Hardened Gen.Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s 20 year military Career

Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba is a strong believer in the spirit of self-help, which has been demonstrated within the SFC where their belief rests in achieving a lot with little, but attitude and motivation.

Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operation Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba.File/Photo

By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho

Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba was born on April 24, 1974 in Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania to Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

Raised in a Christian family as a God fearing child, Muhoozi became born-again in his early years (secondary school).

In 1979 Muhoozi and his family moved back to Uganda after the overthrow of Amin.

In 1981 Muhoozi had to flee into exile (once again) to Kenya with his mother and sisters after the rigging of the 1980 elections and the start of the resistance war.

In 1982 they left Kenya for Sweden after threats to their lives (in Kenya) from the government of the day heightened.

In 1986 they moved back to Uganda in early 1986 after the victory of the NRA.

His Life & Education

In 1986 he joined Kampala Parents School (Primary school).

In 1988 Muhoozi joined King’s College Buddo (Secondary school).

In 1989 he joined St. Mary’s College Kisubi (Secondary school).

In 1994 he completed St. Mary’s College Kisubi and joined Nottingham University in the UK.

In 1997 Muhoozi graduated from Nottingham University with a BA in Political Science.

In 1994 he initiated cadre development courses that benefited numerous youth, especially at the university. 1994 Initiated “Frontline Magazine” together with other young patriots.

Muhoozi also actively participated in the formation of “Discussion groups/Cadre cells” in numerous schools, universities and institutions of higher learning, as well as participating in a number of community developmental projects.

In 1995 together with other young patriots he started encouraging young people to join the security services and serve their nation.

Many who joined at this time are serving with distinction throughout the security services. Therefore, he helped in popularizing service in our nation’s security forces.

In 1997 he travelled within the region to initiate contacts with other progressive young men and women at that time.

In 1999 Muhoozi married Charlotte Nankunda Kutesa and together they now have four children

His Military Career

In 1999 he joined the UPDF at the rank of officer cadet and graduated in 2000 from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the British Army’s officer training facility in Camberly, in the UK.

Sandhurst, is among the most renowned and prestigious officer training colleges in the world and its alumni includes, among others, leaders such as: Sir Winston Churchill of the UK; His Majesty King Abdallah bin Hussein of Jordan and H.E Lt. Gen. Sir. Seretse Khama of Botswana.

In 2000 Muhoozi was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and deployed in the Presidential Protection Unit (PPU).

He began as Head of Combat Readiness, in the office of the PPU’s intelligence office.

Muhoozi held this position until he was promoted to the rank of Captain in late 2001.

In 2002 he attended a Company Commander/Battalion Commander’s Course in Egypt.

In 2003 with the re-organization of the PPU into the Presidential Guards Brigade (PGB), Captain Muhoozi was promoted to the rank of Major and became the Commanding Officer (CO) of the fledgling Motorized Infantry Battalion, and a member of the Defence Forces Council.

He saw his first combat action in Soroti later that year.

The Motorized Infantry Battalion (which Major Muhoozi commanded) played a pivotal role in the defeat of the LRA in Soroti.

In 2005 he took command and trained with an infantry company in advanced infantry skills at Kasenyi Training School. That company was later integrated into 1 Commando Battalion.

2006 he supervised the training and organization of the newly formed 1 Commando Battalion in Barlege, Otuke County, Lira District.

In 2007 deployed with the newly formed 1 Commando Battalion to Bundibugyo to tackle the ADF.

1 Commando Battalion defeated the ADF at the battle of Semiliki National Park in March of 2007.

Later that year he enrolled at the Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth Kansas (USA).

In 2008 he graduated from Fort Leavenworth, the US Army Command and General Staff College.

Fort Leavenworth, also referred to as the “Intellectual Centre” of the US army, is a prestigious military college that boasts several famous alumni among whom include; President Dwight D. Eisenhower of the USA, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Jaafar Nimeiry of Sudan and Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani of Pakistan (former Chief of Staff of the Pakistani military).

In July 2008 he became the UPDF’s first paratrooper after graduating from the US Army’s Airborne School in Fort Benning, Georgia.

That same year Muhoozi was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and appointed Commander of Special Forces in the UPDF.

In 2010 he was appointed as the first Commander Special Forces Group (SFG). The Special Forces are a highly trained unit of the UPDF that includes airborne troops, commandos and marines.

SFG is responsible for counter-terrorism, direct action, VVIP protection and special reconnaissance among others.

In 2011 Muhoozi planned and supervised the entry of Special Forces into the UPDF campaign in Somalia, as part of the AMISOM mission.

Within a few weeks of the entry of Special Forces into Somalia the UPDF successfully expelled Al Shabaab from Mogadishu. That was in August 2011.

In September 2011 Muhoozi was promoted to rank of Colonel.

Early 2012 Col. Muhoozi enrolled at the South African National Defence College for the Executive National Security Program. He graduated from this program six months later in June.

In August he was promoted to Brigadier General and appointed Commander Special Forces Command.

In 2013 and 2014 Muhoozi was one of the senior UPDF commanders who deployed to South Sudan to support the Government of South Sudan after fighting broke out in Juba between rival factions of the SPLA.

The UPDF was able to stabilize the situation in Juba and Bor after smashing a rebel advance on the capital city in January 2014.

In 2017 Muhoozi was appointed Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Duties, a position he holds to-date.

Career Highlights

Some of the highlights of his military career thus far include:

Muhoozi as commander of SFC

In 2004 he successfully coordinated and participated in a hostage rescue operation in which three staff in the office of Minister for Water, Lands and Environment, Miria Mutagamba, were taken hostage.

In 2007 he commanded the decisive defeat of the ADF in Bundibugyo, in an operation where 80 enemy forces and the ADF’s third in command were killed in action.

In 2008 he was deployed as Second-In-Command of “Operation Lightening Thunder” in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This successful operation was organized to degrade the combat capacities of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army in Garamba, deep in the jungles of the DR Congo.

In 2009 he participated in training and commissioning the UPDF’s first paratrooper element. Uganda’s first paratroopers since 1976 (39 years ago).

His Personality

Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba is a critical listener, a problem solver and a humble people person who interacts with people from all walks of life (the military, politicians, the business community and avid reader (especially military/political books).

He authored a book titled ‘Battles of the Ugandan Resistance: A Tradition of Maneuver’.

He has written a number of articles for newspapers and magazines; He is a strong supporter of sports in general and has supported a lot of them.

In his childhood days he played basketball at SMACK and participated in martial arts; loves to travel and meet new and interesting people (from different cultures and backgrounds).

In the military; Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba is a keen supporter of welfare improvement initiatives in the army.

He was always available to offer advice to the Commandant PPU/ PGB. Under his leadership, the SFC undertook huge infrastructure development programs.

Accommodation and administration blocks were constructed, and training schools sprung up in various locations.It should be noted that most of this impressive work has been done by the SFC’s own construction unit, which Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba initiated and nurtured.

This culture has continued and the UPDF’s construction unit currently looks to SFC as a model.

Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba is a strong believer in the spirit of self-help, which has been demonstrated within the SFC where their belief rests in achieving a lot with little, but attitude and motivation.


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