Col. McCoy, with more than 37 years of military service, spoke with Diálogo about his challenges, working together with the National Police, and civil-military actions, among other topics.
Diálogo: What is your most important challenge as commander of the Honduran Army?
Colonel Dennis Rolando McCoy Martín, commander of the Honduran Army: Mymost important challenge is to serve both the country and our fellow citizens in the best possible way. One of the objectives is respect for human rights, likewise the well-being of our people, of our soldiers, and officers, and with all of this to ensure that the Army can always strive to fulfill the mission that it has been entrusted.
Diálogo: What are the priorities of the Honduran Army in terms of supporting the National Police in the fight against narcotrafficking and illegal criminal activities?
Col. McCoy: We are under the Constitution of the Republic, Article 74, which indicates that we are here to support the institutions based on what may be requested of our institution. The Army is continuouslyinvolved in the fight against narcotrafficking and other organized crime activities, in support of the National Police. Therefore, our priority is based on the coordination of each of the activities, in order to be able to achieve the objectives set by both institutions.
Diálogo: Why are transnational criminal organizations still present in your country?
Col. McCoy: Crime is no longer specific to one country; it has mutated and has spread throughout the length and breadth of several countries, which means that borders are permeable, and a series of illicit activities are introduced. Therefore, it is by working together at the international level that we can help to reduce this scourge.
Diálogo: How do you work and coordinate tasks in civil-military operations?
Col. McCoy: The Honduran Army always carries out civil-military actions throughout the country. We are constantly active to provide each [citizen] with the necessary support, in this case, medical care and also social care. So far [August 2022] we’ve assisted more than 80,000 people throughout the country, and our goal is to reach more than 300,000 this year. How do we carry out these activities? Through coordination, while being present in each of the regions of the country; though activities that are of a humanitarian nature and always coordinated with the population, so that they can see in their Armed Forces, and in this case in the Army, that we are always attentive to them and determined to give them the necessary support.
Diálogo: Among the military tasks is to support the population when natural disasters occur. How does the Army prepare to face these emergencies?
Col. McCoy: Fist of all, there is training that seeks to provide our members with the knowledge and skills, as well as the resources, to be able to carry out this support, since the Honduran Army has years of experience of constant collaboration. We are the first to arrive and the last to leave when a natural disaster occurs in any region of the country. To give a few cases, we gavesupport in 2020 with hurricanes Eta and Iota, which caused a lot of mourning and pain in our country, or what also happened in 1998 with Hurricane Mitch.
Diálogo: What kind of coordination do you do with your counterparts in the United States?
Col. McCoy: I could tell you that relations are very close. First of all, we have a very high level of friendship and understanding, and this helps so that the coordination in each of the activities that we carry out in both countries, in both armies, is effective at the moment of conducting operations that are aimed at protecting our country and our citizens.
Diálogo: What progress has been made in the professionalization of the Army’s noncommissioned officers (NCO) in Honduras?
Col. McCoy: I was deputy director of the NCO School in 2014, and I understand what the training of NCOs consists of. Since 2014 to date, enormous progress has been made in terms of education and training, as well as the infrastructure where they are housed and carry out their entire career. We have important goals for this year and the coming years to improve NCOs capabilities, since they are the ones who will be leading our troops as part of Army operations.
To see the full interview with Colonel Dennis Rolando McCoy Martín, commander of the Honduran Army, please click on the following link: https://dialogo-americas.com/articles/a-conversation-with-colonel-dennis-mccoy-2/#.YyM0_nZByUk