WO1 Aswan Bin Matata, the Special Forces Command Sergeant Major. PPU Photo
Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1), Aswan Bin Matata a.k.a Leous, is the Special Forces Command Sergeant Major (CSM); he has served in Special Forces from 1993 to-date. He joined the National Resistance Army (NRA) towards the end of the liberation struggle.
The Command Sergeant Major (CSM) is responsible for enforcing the discipline of troops in the Special Forces, ensure hygiene and sanitation is highly maintained, and implement orders and guidelines as prescribed by the Commander of the Special Forces (CSFC). The Command Sergeant Major is the senior most enlisted man (or other rank) within Special Forces.
Aswan was recruited into the National Resistance Army on November 15, 1986 from Maracha District, West Nile at the tender age of 16. He says his motivation to join the NRA arose from the courage and commitment exhibited by the then kadogos (under aged soldiers), whom he saw fight alongside their senior NRA soldiers, in the quest for peace and stability.
Having served the forces now for nearly 35 years, Aswan 48, remains energetic and healthy, something he attributes to group and individual physical fitness, restraining one’s self from promiscuous tendencies and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes.
After nearly one year of strenuous military training at Mbarara Military Training School, WO1 Aswan got deployed to 37 Battalion then, under the command of the late Lt Col Ssenabulya. For 7 years, from 1987 to 1993, the battalion operated in Teso Sub-Region battling remnants of the defunct Uganda Peoples’ Army (UPA) led by Eregu, Jesus and the likes of Max Omeda before shifting their operation base to Karamoja to curtail cattle rustling that had turned endemic with neighbors’ paying the heaviest price.
Bin Matata at SFC Hqs in Entebbe PPU Photo.
In October 1993, he was transferred to the Presidential Protection Unit (PPU) where he is serving to date. He is very privileged to have served under various commanders some of whom are now very senior in the UPDF hierarchy.
The late Lt Col Akanga Byaruhanga (1993-95) was his first commander followed by Maj. Geofrey Muheesi (1995-96), now Maj General, Lt Col George Mayeko (1997-98), now Col, Col Dick Bugingo (1998-2000), Col Leopold Kyanda (2000-05), now Brig and Chief of Staff Land Forces, Lt Col. Willy Beinomugisha (2005-07), now Col and Commandant Military Police, Maj. Muzeiyi Sabitti (2007-09), now Brigadier and Deputy IGP, Maj. Johnson Namaya (2009-10), now Col, Brig Muhoozi Keinerugaba (2010-2016), now Maj Gen and Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations as well as the current Commander of SFC, Brig Don Nabasa.