Brazilian Army Honors Diálogo with Emperor’s Grenadier Medal of Merit

Brazilian Army Honors Diálogo with Emperor’s Grenadier Medal of Merit

By Dialogo
April 01, 2013

The Emperor’s Grenadier Medal of Merit is one of the Brazilian Army’s most
prestigious awards. It is periodically bestowed on civilian or military personnel
who have stood out for their accomplishments during joint activities with the
Brazilian Army.

On January 31, this esteemed medal was awarded to three individuals, one of
which is Diálogo’s own senior editor, Marcos Ommati. Ommati was
recognized for his superior contributions in promoting a closer relationship between
the United States Southern Command and the Brazilian Armed Forces. As senior editor
of Diálogo magazine and website (,
Ommati’s coverage in Haiti and the 2011 Military World Games, showed a
positive light on the contributions of the Brazilian Military and foster greater
mutual understanding between hemispheric neighbors.

The two other awardees that day were Alexandre Muller and Lieutenant Colonel
Leonel Junqueira. Muller was one of the people responsible for introducing Krav Maga
– a mixed martial arts self-defense technique originated in Israel and adopted by
Special Operations Forces around the world – in Brazil. He was recognized with the
medal for customizing a Krav Maga security and self-defense training course for
members of the Brazilian Army.

Junqueira, a veteran of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force during World War II
in Italy, was distinguished for his actions during confrontations with rebels who
attempted a communist coup in 1935. In his acceptance speech, the 98-year-old
veteran remembered his fallen comrades at the Battle of Praia Vermelha, and those
who fought bravely alongside him against Nazi-fascism, especially Sergeant Max Wolf
Filho, one of the most important names in Brazilian Military history.

The award ceremony was presided by Colonel Alfredo de Andrade Bottino,
commander of the 1st Guard Battalion, at the Brazilian Army’s 1st Guard Battalion
headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. “It’s not only a pleasure, but an honor to recognize
such distinguished gentlemen who, throughout the years, helped to elevate the name
of the Brazilian Army not only nationwide, but also in foreign countries,” he

The medal’s base is a circle of bright rays radiating the heroism of the 1st
Guard Battalion in all directions, imposed on a golden cross pattée, symbolizing the
Portuguese caravels. The top arm displays a green coffee branch on the right side
and a tobacco branch on the left, reminders of the Brazilian Empire’s riches, both
joined at the center by a capital letter “G”, reminder of the Masonic Order to which
Dom Pedro I, founder and first ruler of the Empire of Brazil, belonged. Each side
arm displays the figure of a dragon, symbolizing the protection of infantry cavalry
soldiers, and on the bottom arm, a ribbon displaying the words “Para o Povo, Pela
Nação” – For the people, by the nation.