In the history of Uganda, there was no established way of recognizing the people who had contributed greatly to the shaping of this country. In 2001, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Parliament of Uganda passed a Law stipulating the details of type of medals to be awarded.
UPDF Awards and Recognitions
The Order of Katonga
The highest and most rarely awarded military decoration for individual extra-ordinary instances of heroism in the army. Only Mwalimu Julius Nyerere has received it. The instances referred to are those that involve voluntary acceptance of additional danger beyond the call of duty and risk of life. The President (or where the President is the beneficiary, the Chief Justice) shall be the only person to make presentations of The Order of Katonga, and every time it is presented, the citation shall clearly indicate the reasons for the award. The Order may be awarded to an individual more than once on different occasions; and apart from order awarded on the very first time, a bar attached to the ribbon by which the order is suspended shall record each subsequent award Order of Katonga derived the name from a very decisive battle that signified the final victory of the NRA as it fought to capture power. NRA struggle ended, having crossed River Katonga.
The Rwenzori Star (Classes I to III)
The third highest military decoration of the army with three classes. The decoration shall be awarded for distinguished or exemplary military service, which shall include exceptionally meritorious service or great responsibility in military service. Under exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the President, the Ruwenzori Star maybe awarded to persons other than members of the military. The name Rwenzori star is derived from Mt Rwenzori which is highest Mountain in Africa but located in Ugandan
The Masaba star
The fourth highest military decoration. Awarded to a person under the same circumstances described as the Kabalega Medal, but is not as conspicuous The Masaba medal is named after Mt Elgon whose local name is Masaba. Its one of the Key physical features of Uganda
The Damu Medal
All officers’ men and women killed in action during the liberation struggles shall qualify for the Damu Medal.
Damu is Kiswahili for Blood and it was so named to represent the blood so shed by the wounded and killed in action for their country Uganda.
Awarded to any member of the military who was or is wounded in action against the enemy; With an opposing armed or hostile force of a foreign country; While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing force in which Uganda is not a belligerent party; As a result on an act of any such enemy or opposing armed force; As a result of any military operations while serving outside the territory of Uganda as a party of a peace- keeping force; As a result of terrorist attacks against Uganda; As a result of injury by the enemy while taken as prisoner of war; As a result of a military operation during the liberation struggles. All officers’ men and women killed in action during the liberation struggles shall qualify for the Damu Medal. Damu is Kiswahili for Blood and it was so named to represent the blood so shed by the wounded and killed in action for their country Uganda.
The Luwero Triangle Medal
Civilians who participated closely with the armed freedom fighters during the struggles against dictatorship also qualify for the award.
The Luwero triangle medal is awarded to anyone who was in the armed struggle between 1981 and 1986. Civilians who participated closely with the armed freedom fighters during the struggles against dictatorship also qualify for the award.