The Brazilian War College (ESG, in Portuguese) received the 2018 William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Defense Education from the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. Each year, the center honors people or institutions that made substantial contributions to the fields of security and defense.
The award committee selects people and institutions with the highest standards of academic excellence that have showed an enduring commitment to educational programs on current and future security and defense challenges. Political, diplomatic, and military leaders of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru, among others, attended the award ceremony on September 20, 2018. Representatives from the U.S. Department of State and U.S. universities also attended the ceremony.
Brazilian Army General Décio Luis Schons, commandant of ESG, received the award from U.S. Army General Frederick S. Rudesheim, commandant of the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. “We hope to continue our bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the United States in the coming years,” said Gen. Schons, highlighting the values, such as respect for democracy and the rule of law, both countries share.
“My administration focused on increasing the institution’s international projection, so we hired 15 new Brazilian and foreign teachers, all with a doctorate, 13 for the campus at Rio de Janeiro and two for the one in Brasília. Investing in education and training for defense is currently essential for Brazil and the region,” Gen. Schons said.
The award, the officer said, is an incentive to continue to strengthen the policies adopted in recent years. “The school’s territorial expansion should continue to be one of the guidelines for our work. For example, in 2011, ESG expanded into Brasília. ESG continues to be the most important venue to define international relations strategies for Brazil,” Gen. Schons said.
William J. Perry Award
The award was named after former U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, who proposed the creation of a center for hemispheric defense studies in the mid-1990s, after the two first conferences of Defense Ministers of the Americas. The center was founded in 1997 as a regional academic venue, where countries could strengthen leadership in defense and security. It was renamed after Secretary Perry in April 2013.
Nueva Granada Military School of Bogotá, Colombia, received the award in 2017. The Guatemalan Security Council’s Technical Secretariat and Center for Defense Policy Studies, Mexico’s Superior Naval Studies Center, El Salvador’s Strategic Higher Studies College, and Chile’s Political and Strategic Studies Academy were also recognized with the award in past years under the center’s institutional category.
War College and international relations
ESG has been promoting international relations at the government and academic levels through regional and international coordination of armed forces, research bodies, and think tanks throughout its 69 years. About 8,000 defense specialists have trained at ESG since its inception.
The Joint Operations Doctrine Institute (IDOC, in Portuguese) in Rio de Janeiro works with ESG to standardize the doctrinal teaching of higher education institutions of the Brazilian Navy, Army, and Air Force. IDOC and ESG organize events, such as the Joint Operations Doctrine Seminar between Brazil and Paraguay, and the South American Regional Seminar Countering Transnational Threat Networks, promoted jointly with Colombia.
According to Brazilian Army Brigadier General Ramos de Andrade, who took part in the award ceremony, both institutions work in synergy with the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations to carry out joint projects in the future. “These activities enable us to evaluate and coordinate military diplomacy actions, and politically and strategically plan international security and national defense.”