“WHINSEC has marked my life. It has taught me a lot, and I have put into practice what I was taught here,” said Brigadier General Javier René Barrientos Alvarado, Honduran Air Force commanding general, as he expressed his gratitude for his induction into the Hall of Fame of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), based at Fort Benning, Georgia, on May 7, 2021. “WHINSEC educates many service members, and we can take that education and put it into practice in our countries […]. Education is the key to our military institutions,” he added.
WHINSEC is a higher education center for U.S. and international military officers, as well as members of interagency organizations. WHINSEC created the Hall of Fame to recognize international graduates who have achieved the highest ranks in their armed forces, or those holding a position involving equivalent responsibility in a multinational military organization.
Brig. Gen. Barrientos, who was sworn in as commander in March 2019, took several courses at WHINSEC in 2007-2008, including the Command and General Staff Officer course and the Joint Interagency Operations course.
U.S. Army Colonel John Dee Suggs, WHINSEC commander, presided over the event.
“More than 25,000 students have passed through the doors of WHINSEC and returned to their countries, each taking with them a small part of WHINSEC, of the institute’s soul,” said Col. Dee Suggs at the ceremony. “We ask you [Brig. Gen. Barrientos] that as you continue in the highest levels of leadership, that you also continue to push for human rights, constitutional rights, good practices, and the rule of law.”
Brig. Gen. Barrientos is the 21st officer to receive this military honor at WHINSEC. He began his military career in 1983, and his dedication to the military earned him the rank of infantry second lieutenant in 1985. A year later, he entered the Captain Roberto Raúl Barahona Lagos Military Aviation Academy of Honduras, where he graduated with honors.
In 2010, he completed special operations military studies at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, and enlisted as a military volunteer to support the U.S. government in the initial cleanup and recovery efforts at Ground Zero, following the Twin Towers attack on September 11.