Under the merciless sun that shines down on the green landscape, characteristic of Tolemaida Military Fort, and calmly enduring a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius, a first lieutenant in Mexico’s Marine special forces was testing her rifle, a fundamental element for demonstrating her skills as a member of the assault team. Like her comrades, she affirmed that she is ready to represent her country, which is participating for the second time in this competition, where the elite men of the Armed Forces of the Americas face off against one another.
‘Supergirl,’ as her compatriots call her, has spent ten years in the ranks of the Mexican Navy and has always stood out for her athletic abilities, surpassing even many men in her branch of the service. “When I was at the university, I was an athlete, I was on the swim team and the track team, I participated in national competitions, such as triathlons and pentathlons,” the first lieutenant declared.
This young woman entered the Mexican Navy as a professional, having graduated with a licentiate’s degree, and she practiced her profession as an officer. Nevertheless, First Lieutenant Ángela Tabares’s dreams did not stop there. She always wanted to be part of the Marines, although at the time she entered the Military, women were not permitted in that area.
The years went by, and one day Ángela Tabares successfully completed the paratroop course, perhaps reason enough to be happy and satisfied, but it was still not enough for her, as long as she was eager to move up another rung in her Military career.
In December 2011, the application period began for all Military men and women who wanted to take the special-forces course, and 1st Lt. Tabares did not hesitate for an instant. She immediately put in her application and underwent all the tests demanded in order to choose the best.
One hundred and twenty Military personnel were selected, three of them women, but only two women started the course, and after seven months of an arduous and demanding training course, there were only 13 graduates, only one of them a woman, 1st Lt. Ángela Tabares.
Starting from that moment, she joined the select group of Marine special forces, and in this way, she fulfilled her dream to serve her country, not only as the professional woman with a university degree that she is, but now also with the opportunity to demonstrate all the physical, technical, and psychological capabilities that make her one of the best members of its elite forces that Mexico currently has.
She currently serves as a commander of an operational special-forces unit, the mission of which is to carry out public-safety tasks.
“The most important thing is willpower, and that’s not exclusive to men; we women have a lot of it. Without a doubt, we have spirit enough,” she said as she let a small smile escape.
In the course of the Fuerzas Comando 2012 competition, Tabares’s great hope was to represent her nation respectably with her team, as well as to establish good relationships with the other participants and strengthen ties of friendship with the other countries of the Americas, all with the objective of working together in the fight against drug trafficking, terrorism, and phenomena that threaten security.
Undoubtedly, ‘Supergirl’ is very clear about the fact that her primary objective for now is to adjust to working in a team. “It’s difficult; I’m the only woman in the special forces. These changes don’t happen overnight, they’ve been gradual, and I hope that little by little, they’ll accept it.”
Despite the fact that the new policies of openness in the Mexican Military should enable women to reach the rank of admiral or general in the future, for 1st Lt. Tabares, her primary goal is to acquire true professional development and demonstrate excellent performance. “For me, rank isn’t the most important thing, it’s experience and doing my job right, because I have a great responsibility, and I need to do things very well,” the first lieutenant in Mexico’s Marine special forces concluded.
*Name has been changed for security reasons.