General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi is a high-ranking military officer in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) who currently holds the position of Chief of Defense Forces, the most senior position in Uganda’s military. He assumed this role on 24 June 2021, succeeding General David Muhoozi, who was appointed State Minister of Internal Affairs.
Prior to his current position, General Mbadi served as the Deputy Chief of Defense Forces from January 2017 to June 2021, holding the rank of Lieutenant General. He replaced Lieutenant General Charles Angina, who became Deputy Commander of Operation Wealth Creation. From May 2013 to January 2017, he served as the Joint Chief of Staff of the UPDF, before being replaced by Major General Joseph Musanyufu.
Wilson Mbadi joined the Uganda military in 1986 and was commissioned in 1991 after completing a one-year Officer Cadet course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom, where he graduated at the top of his class. In 1992, he attended the Platoon Commander’s Course at the Uganda School of Infantry, then located in Jinja, and in 1994, he attended the Uganda Junior Staff College, also in Jinja.
He continued his education in 1998 by attending the Mobile International Defence Management Course in Lusaka, Zambia, and the Company Command Course in Tanzania. In 2001, he attended the Combat Group Command Course at the Armored Corps Center and School in Ahmadnagar, India, performing exceptionally well. In 2004, he attended the Senior Command and Staff Course at the National Defence College, Kenya (NDCK), and also completed the Peace Support Operations Course (PSTC) at Karen, Kenya.
In 2005, he successfully completed a Diploma course in Strategic Studies at the University of Nairobi, and in 2007, he graduated with a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, United States of America.
Between 1987 and 1989, he worked as a Junior Non-commissioned Instructor at Kaweweta and Kabamba Recruit Training Schools. In 1991, he served as the Officer in charge of Career Planning. He later served as the Director of Supplies in 1997/8 and held the positions of Armoured Brigade Logistics Officer and Brigade Administrative Officer in 1999 and 2000, respectively.
In 2001, he became the Directing Staff at the Uganda Junior Staff College in Jinja before being appointed as the 503 Infantry Brigade Operations and Training officer in 2001/2002. He served as the Armoured Brigade Operations and Training Officer between 2002 and 2003 before commanding the Armoured Brigade in an acting capacity. He took full command of the 507 Brigade in 2005 before becoming the Principal Air Staff Officer (Personnel and Administration) at Uganda Peoples Defence Air Force HQs in 2006.
In 2007, he was appointed as the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the President of Uganda and served in that capacity until December 2012 when he was appointed as the Commander of the 4th Infantry Division of UPDF, based in Gulu. He was appointed as the Joint Chief of Staff of the UPDF in May 2013.
In addition to being the Chief of Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Wilson Mbadi holds other important positions within the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). He is the Inspector General of UPDF and also serves as the Chairman of several committees, including the UPDF Medals Committee, UPDF Dress Committee, Defence Forces Duty-Free Shop Board of Directors, Senior Command and Staff College Control Board, Uganda National Defence College Steering Committee, and MoDVA Projects Preparation Committee. He is also a member of the Kyoga Dynamics Board of Directors.
Previously, Lt. Gen. Mbadi served as the Chairman of Uganda Military Engineering College and as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Enterprise Corporation Limited from 2013 to 2016. He was also a member of the Standard Gauge Railway Board of Directors from 2015 to 2018.
Lt. Gen. Mbadi is married and has children. He is a practicing Christian.