Synergy and Exchange Among Military Officers From Partner Nations
Por Dialogo julho 01, 2010
Since education and training are necessary to move up the ranks in a military
career, Diálogo will publish a profile each quarter of a highlevel military academic
institution. The first profile country is Brazil, a nation recognized
internationally to be among the best in officer and Soldier training and
Gen. João Camilo Pires de Campos and the staff of the Brazilian Army Command
and General-Staff School are not just educating the Brazilian military leaders of
tomorrow, they believe they are preparing their replacements.
“We train our replacements here; therefore, our students need to be better
than we are,” the commandant of the Brazilian Army Command and General-Staff School,
or ECEME (Escola de Comando e Estado-Maior do Exército do Brasil), told Diálogo.
Gen. Campos’ motto
Gen. Campos’ motto is shared by all the teachers and students at the ECEME,
an institution recognized as a center of excellence in the field of military
sciences and one of the best in the world in the areas of education, research and
doctrine, with programs considered equivalent to a doctoral program by the Brazilian
Ministry of Education.
The ECEME, also known as the Escola Marechal Castello Branco, is in the Praia
Vermelha district of Rio de Janeiro. It is the highest level educational institution
in the Brazilian Army, with a mission to prepare military leaders, top
administrators and general-staff officers, in addition to contributing to the
evolution of military doctrine.
ECEME cooperates with the general and section commands in the development of
doctrine for the training and use of the land force. It is a direct subordinate to
the Training and Continuing Education Directorate of the Army Education and Culture
Department. The ECEME also conducts research and collaborates with other
institutions and organizations while benefitting from a history of foreign student
“Students from abroad have been with us for quite some time,” Gen. Campos
said. “There is a great deal of synergy, which brings with it affection and
Gen. Campos said that in the 1920s, students were instructed by foreign
teachers. In 1938, after a visit by George C. Marshall, who would become a legendary
World War II U.S. Army general, there came to be a very significant exchange of
students. Gen. Campos said that in the school’s early days, more foreign students
would study at the institution than Brazilians. That tendency has now
The ECEME now has among its teaching staff instructors from Argentina, Chile,
Ecuador, Paraguay, the United States and Spain. The student body is made up of
cadets from Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, the United States
By 2009, ECEME had trained a total of 618 foreign officers, including 28 from
Argentina, 37 from Bolivia, 21 from Chile, 28 from Colombia, 21 from Ecuador, 57
from Paraguay, 31 from Peru, 23 from Uruguay, 103 from Venezuela and 69 from the
United States. It had also trained officers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,
Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The students from abroad follow the same
program as domestic students, known as the Command and General-Staff Course. The
main focus is the training of land forces.
“In this aspect, there is not only an exchange of knowledge but also a
reinforcement of relationships,” Gen. Campos explained. “It is crucial that the
students from abroad are with us because they learn, teach and — most importantly —
Brazilian officers who have completed a mandatory year of study at ECEME may
also study abroad. Civilians are not authorized to study at ECEME. However, in
recent years, retired military personnel have been admitted to the school,
especially in the area of research and investigation.
Although it is not mandatory that Brazilian Army officers attend ECEME in
order to reach the rank of general, it is extremely difficult to reach that rank
without having sat at the institution’s desks. Moreover, there is a selective exam
for admission to ECEME. In 2010, 800 candidates applied, but only a little more than
100 were accepted.
“If I had to choose one factor differentiating the ECEME from other military
institutions of the same level, either in Brazil or abroad, I would say that it is
the will and determination of the officers who come to study here,” Gen. Campos
Gen. Campos said Brazilian officers are trained from a very young age, with
the school coaching the same young person from early in his career until he becomes
a colonel and has a command.
“During this entire process, we are with him, in his cognitive formation, in
his emotional formation, and the element of willpower and determination as well. In
this context, there is each officer’s desire to advance and improve themselves,” he
said.“The examples we have from our former students are as good as they can be, both
as instructors and in the missions in which they participate. The feedback is always
The Captain’s House
The Officer Advanced Training School, or EsAO (Escola de Aperfeiçoamento de
Oficiais), was established in 1920 and is in the area of Vila Militar (Military
Villa) in the Deodoro district of Rio de Janeiro. Its programs are equivalent to a
master’s degree in the Brazilian national educational system, and its mission is the
advanced training of captains, providing them with unit command and leadership
capabilities and qualifying them to perform general-staff duties not restricted to
the Army General-Staff cadre. The school also trains Marine officers from the
Brazilian Navy and friendly nations.
The school’s commandant, Gen. Mario Lucio Alves de Araujo, said the
“Captain’s House,” as it is affectionately known, receives 25 to 30 students per
year from friendly nations, who are encouraged to enroll as a means of strengthening
the relationship between Brazilian and international forces.
“The interaction among the officers from abroad and the Brazilians who attend
the EsAO takes place in a way that’s very beneficial for all of us,” he said of the
learning and camaraderie that develops in both directions. “Institutional
relationships are of great importance, but interpersonal relationships make the
difference when we work together.”
Gen. Araujo spoke of his work as a military attaché in Uruguay, where he met
general officers of the Uruguayan Army who had attended the school.
“When they saw me, they showed great affection, not for me, but for my Army
because they recognized the seriousness of our institution as a result of their
experience with the EsAO,” he said.
The school’s deputy commandant, Col. Geisel Saturnino dos Santos, agreed that
international exchanges are beneficial as a means of developing best
“These officers bring back knowledge about the ways other armies are looking
at tactics, such as the use of small elements and the use of combat units,” he said.
“During our work, we request information from officers from friendly nations in
order to learn how other armies would solve a specific military
With 149 officers on its permanent staff, the school trains approximately 500
captains annually in its on-site program (Cavalry, Artillery, Engineering,
Communications, War Material, Quartermaster Corps, and Health). An additional 620
students enroll in distance-learning classes. Over the course of its history, the
school has trained 22,156 officers.
Programs of study
• Politics, Strategy, and High Administration of the Army
• Advanced Military Studies
• Command and General-Staff Course
• Leadership and General-Staff Course for Quartermaster Officers
• Management for Military Engineers
• Leadership and General-Staff Course for Medical Officers
• Command and General-Staff Course for Officers from Friendly Nations
• General-Staff Administration and Support
• Preparatory Course for the Army Command and General-Staff