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Brazilian Army Appoints First Female Commander of an Operational Military Organization

Brazilian Army Appoints First Female Commander of an Operational Military Organization

By Dialogo
March 13, 2015





February 5, 2015 was an historic date for the Brazilian Army: for the first time, a woman assumed command of a Ground Forces Operational Military Organization (OM).

The officer, whose name is now written in the institution’s history books, is Major Yamar Eiras Baptista -- a 46-year-old physician and the commanding officer of the Oswaldo Cruz Field Hospital (H Cmp), an Operational Health Military Organization under the Brazilian Army.

H Cmp’s mission is to provide logistical health support to Troops mobilized in the Brazilian Army’s operations; it stands ready to serve using a basic treatment post or a complete hospital, with intensive care units, a surgical center and a laboratory for clinical analyses. Because it is mobile, H Cmp can also join civilians in Civic Social Actions (Aciso) as well as in emergency and disaster situations.

The Major is confident about leading H Cmp.

"Our plan, as determined by the Army Military Command, is to focus on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games," she said. "We are already preparing and reviewing the material to be used in providing the best possible support during the games. Our purpose is to be always ready to set up anywhere, from a treatment post to a hospital, as was done during World Youth Day (in 2013, in Rio de Janeiro).”

Currently, a complement of 77 Military members are posted to H Cmp. During Rio 2016, Major Yamar will receive a reinforcement of 18 additional service members.

Inspired by her father's Army service


Major Yamar is proud of what she has achieved in the Armed Forces.

"My appointment is in recognition of everything I have been doing. Nothing in the Army is ever instantaneous. You have to have had a career, and this appointment is the validation of my career. I feel even more committed to the institution now. My blood runs ever more green."

Service is indeed in her blood; Major Yamar was inspired by the Army service of her late father, Denny Eiras Baptista. He was the only other Military member in her family.

"I loved and greatly admired my father, so much so that my childhood dream was to be a Soldier like him. He was an infantry colonel in the Class of 1946."

As the youngest child and the only daughter – she has two older brothers – Major Yamar had a very close relationship with her father. Her birthday is May 24, the Brazilian Army’s Infantry Day and the birthday of their patron, Antônio de Sampaio.

"My father would joke, 'It’s fate. She has to join the military.'"

But the Brazilian Army did not accept female candidates until 1997, so Major Yamar started to think that she would never achieve her goal.

"For many years, it was an impossible dream. And my father always gave me strength, he always tried to encourage me, 'Go and become a doctor, because as a doctor you can treat Military service members.' Finally, in 1997, I had a chance, when the Army opened its doors to women as temporary service members. [Women could stay in the Army for up to five years, and were then discharged.] I did the adaptation stage and later, in 1998, I took the Officer Training Course."

She graduated from Universidade Sul Fluminense, in Vassouras, a municipality in the interior of the Rio de Janeiro State.

Served in Haiti and Dominican Republic missions


Upon joining the Brazilian Army, Major Yamar, a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, had the opportunity to take various specialized courses -- some of them abroad, such as Aviation Medicine in Germany, International Armed Conflict Law in Switzerland, and a Physicians Course with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

She also participated side-by-side with officers from Colombia, the United States, and Canada in Beyond the Horizon-Dominican Republic 2014, a joint foreign military interaction/humanitarian exercise sponsored by U.S. Southern Command in the province of Barahona, Dominican Republic. In 2007, she was a member of the Brazilian contingent of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

"In Haiti, I was a doctor for a Marine Company. My primary function was to provide healthcare support for the Troops. But while I was there, there was a flood, a windstorm… and in that time of public need, which requires humanitarian action, we ended up providing first aid to the local population. But the function of a physician in Haiti was to provide healthcare support to service members."

In addition to being the first female Officer to assume command of an operational military organization, Major Yamar is known for being the only female Jump Master in the Brazilian Army.

She served in the Parachutist Brigade for three years; where she was the chief of the Health Section and commanded the Parachutist Health Detachment, which supports the Parachutist Brigade in its operations.

"Jump Masters are service members who confirm that the equipment is okay and are responsible for the jump team’s training and discipline. They are responsible for ensuring the service members jump from the correct place, at the correct time," said the Major, who has more than 100 jumps on her record. "As a physician in the jump zone, I was part of the precursor team."






February 5, 2015 was an historic date for the Brazilian Army: for the first time, a woman assumed command of a Ground Forces Operational Military Organization (OM).

The officer, whose name is now written in the institution’s history books, is Major Yamar Eiras Baptista -- a 46-year-old physician and the commanding officer of the Oswaldo Cruz Field Hospital (H Cmp), an Operational Health Military Organization under the Brazilian Army.

H Cmp’s mission is to provide logistical health support to Troops mobilized in the Brazilian Army’s operations; it stands ready to serve using a basic treatment post or a complete hospital, with intensive care units, a surgical center and a laboratory for clinical analyses. Because it is mobile, H Cmp can also join civilians in Civic Social Actions (Aciso) as well as in emergency and disaster situations.

The Major is confident about leading H Cmp.

"Our plan, as determined by the Army Military Command, is to focus on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games," she said. "We are already preparing and reviewing the material to be used in providing the best possible support during the games. Our purpose is to be always ready to set up anywhere, from a treatment post to a hospital, as was done during World Youth Day (in 2013, in Rio de Janeiro).”

Currently, a complement of 77 Military members are posted to H Cmp. During Rio 2016, Major Yamar will receive a reinforcement of 18 additional service members.

Inspired by her father's Army service


Major Yamar is proud of what she has achieved in the Armed Forces.

"My appointment is in recognition of everything I have been doing. Nothing in the Army is ever instantaneous. You have to have had a career, and this appointment is the validation of my career. I feel even more committed to the institution now. My blood runs ever more green."

Service is indeed in her blood; Major Yamar was inspired by the Army service of her late father, Denny Eiras Baptista. He was the only other Military member in her family.

"I loved and greatly admired my father, so much so that my childhood dream was to be a Soldier like him. He was an infantry colonel in the Class of 1946."

As the youngest child and the only daughter – she has two older brothers – Major Yamar had a very close relationship with her father. Her birthday is May 24, the Brazilian Army’s Infantry Day and the birthday of their patron, Antônio de Sampaio.

"My father would joke, 'It’s fate. She has to join the military.'"

But the Brazilian Army did not accept female candidates until 1997, so Major Yamar started to think that she would never achieve her goal.

"For many years, it was an impossible dream. And my father always gave me strength, he always tried to encourage me, 'Go and become a doctor, because as a doctor you can treat Military service members.' Finally, in 1997, I had a chance, when the Army opened its doors to women as temporary service members. [Women could stay in the Army for up to five years, and were then discharged.] I did the adaptation stage and later, in 1998, I took the Officer Training Course."

She graduated from Universidade Sul Fluminense, in Vassouras, a municipality in the interior of the Rio de Janeiro State.

Served in Haiti and Dominican Republic missions


Upon joining the Brazilian Army, Major Yamar, a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, had the opportunity to take various specialized courses -- some of them abroad, such as Aviation Medicine in Germany, International Armed Conflict Law in Switzerland, and a Physicians Course with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

She also participated side-by-side with officers from Colombia, the United States, and Canada in Beyond the Horizon-Dominican Republic 2014, a joint foreign military interaction/humanitarian exercise sponsored by U.S. Southern Command in the province of Barahona, Dominican Republic. In 2007, she was a member of the Brazilian contingent of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

"In Haiti, I was a doctor for a Marine Company. My primary function was to provide healthcare support for the Troops. But while I was there, there was a flood, a windstorm… and in that time of public need, which requires humanitarian action, we ended up providing first aid to the local population. But the function of a physician in Haiti was to provide healthcare support to service members."

In addition to being the first female Officer to assume command of an operational military organization, Major Yamar is known for being the only female Jump Master in the Brazilian Army.

She served in the Parachutist Brigade for three years; where she was the chief of the Health Section and commanded the Parachutist Health Detachment, which supports the Parachutist Brigade in its operations.

"Jump Masters are service members who confirm that the equipment is okay and are responsible for the jump team’s training and discipline. They are responsible for ensuring the service members jump from the correct place, at the correct time," said the Major, who has more than 100 jumps on her record. "As a physician in the jump zone, I was part of the precursor team."


I want to hear good news about our [country] Brazil. No one likes to comment on the good things much. God bless you all. The nomination of a female soldier is very good, showing society that in Brazil, whoever is most prepared has to take on [the role]. Congratulations. It's about time giving women the right to take part in the Brazilian Army. It made me happy finding this out. Congratulations to Major / Dr. Yamar for the credibility, confidence and competence to assume the command of an operational military organization of the Brazilian Army. A major challenge. Congratulations, Major Yamar. These are the kind of authorities Brazil needs, who are honest, fearless, active and committed to taking command of a military organization of our beloved Brazilian Army. My congratulations to Major Yamar and her brilliant work. Selva (Jungle) Amazon, Brazil. With much pride, I'm hoping to relay all the dignity of her father in my daughter, Malor Yamar. Congratulations, friend Maj. Yamar! I'm very proud of your accomplishments.

Military. We are some blue berets. I was on Mission Suez. My friend on Mission Haiti. We have something in common. I PQDT 11455. We always see each other during our Brazilian Army's events. Brazil above all! Hugs.
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