Colombian War College: More Than a Century Serving National Security and Defense
By Geraldine Cook/Diálogo July 06, 2021
Colombian Army Major General Luis Mauricio Ospina Gutiérrez, director of General Rafael Reyes Prieto War College (ESDEG, in Spanish), prioritizes strengthening the educational quality of the Colombian Military Forces’ General Command. He spoke with Diálogo about academic projections.
Diálogo: ESDEG was founded in 1909. What is its main contribution to military training in Colombia?
Colombian Army Major General Luis Mauricio Ospina Gutiérrez, director of ESDEG: It’s an honor for us to have 112 years in existence. ESDEG’s greatest contribution is becoming a graduate school with our master’s degrees in National Security and Defense, in Human Rights and International Law in Armed Conflicts, in Strategy and Geopolitics, and in Cybersecurity and Cyber Defense.
Diálogo: What is the profile of ESDEG students?
Maj. Gen. Ospina: We train senior officers who take the Advanced Military Studies, General Staff, and Military Instruction courses. It’s a school where majors or lieutenant commanders take their course to become lieutenants, colonels, or commanders. We also train generals and admirals, who come to ESDEG as colonels or captains; and civil society personnel are also invited to participate.
Once our students achieve their next level, specifically in the military field, they lead tactical units at the national level, smaller operational units, or sometimes task forces. We also provide training for our civil society leaders, who have positions in everything related to national security and defense.
Diálogo: What kind of academic cooperation does ESDEG have with other Latin American and U.S. institutions?
Maj. Gen. Ospina: We have created ties of cooperation and integration with all our counterpart institutions in the region. Based on the guidelines of our Ministry of National Defense, and with the assistance and direct support of our Military Forces’ General Command, we have generated 66 academic cooperation agreements. Of these, 35 are in force specifically in Colombia. We have 32 with international institutions, 14 of which are with Latin America and the Caribbean, and five with the United States, including the Inter-American Defense Board, the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, the Inter-American Defense College, the U.S. Army War College, and the U.S. Naval War College. We have managed to get closer to U.S. Special Operations Command South through the different events they conduct, especially in Colombia. It’s important to point out that we currently have three U.S. officers taking the General Staff course.
Diálogo: What is the advantage of ESDEG compared to other similar institutions in the region?
Maj. Gen. Ospina: We have 112 years of experience in the military field, training leaders in security and defense. Initially, we only had military students, and over time, civil society representatives involved in security and defense joined. At this time, we are seeking approval for our doctorate in Security Defense program, and we want to be able to maintain a projection not only nationally, but also internationally, that enables us to provide training at our school to all those who work in the security and defense field.
To watch the entire interview with Colombian Army Mayor General Luis Mauricio Ospina Gutiérrez, director of the General Rafael Reyes Prieto War College, please visit this link: https://dialogo-americas.com/articles/colombian-army-major-general-luis-mauricio-ospina-gutierrez-director-of-general-rafael-reyes-prieto-war-college/