WHINSEC visits Colombia’s Escuela Militar, supports Colombian cadet curriculum

The Colombian military school (Escuela Militar) battalion commanders and dean of education show the WHINSEC team the school’s campus.

Story by 1st LT Lauren Hansen-Armendariz, executive officer and instructor, Leadership Development Division, School of Leadership and Tactics

Photos courtesy of Colombia’s Escuela Militar (Military Academy)

BOGOTÁ, Columbia (Nov. 7, 2017) – Instructors of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation’s Leadership Development Division visited Colombia’s Escuela Militar, or ESMC, in Colombia’s capitol city recently to identify how WHINSEC’s program of instruction for cadets can enhance Colombia’s cadet training initiative.

From left, Capt. Joseph Macchiarella, WHINSEC’s Leadership Development Division (LDD), director; Colonel Carlos Alfredo Castro Pinzón, dean of military science at Colombia’s Escuela Militar; 1st Lt. Lauren Hansen-Armendariz, LDD executive officer; and Sgt. First Class Angel Robles, LDD instructor, look over the Military School’s yearbook.

The relationship between WHINSEC’s cadet training and ESMC’s cadet curriculum is particularly noteworthy because Colombia has made completion of the Institute’s Cadet Leadership Development Course a requirement for ESMC graduation and officer commission.

At the visit to ESMC, the LDD team met with the academy’s battalion commanders and Colonel Carlos Alfredo Castro Pinzón, dean of military science, to better understand their cadet developmental strategy and training objectives at WHINSEC. LDD and ESMC conducted a comprehensive review of the last two fiscal training years and exchanged concepts for updates, including contemporary combined arms training to enhance interoperability.

WHINSEC leadership instructors pose with the staff and faculty of the Colombian military school (Escuela Militar) during a visit there to more completely integrate the institute’s leadership instruction in the Colombian school’s curriculum.

To keep training relevant, WHINSEC courses undergo doctrinal updates biennially, especially to support current security objectives in the Western Hemisphere. This year, LDD’s doctrinal update process included analysis of how to maximize the parallel efforts of WHINSEC’s and ESMC’s curriculums.

The WHINSEC cadet training is integral to ESMC because it helps the academy retain the recognition as an institution of excellence by the Ministry of Education. Only 47 universities have been recognized in Colombia and ESMC is the only one from the Ministry of Defense.

Colombia sends more cadets to WHINSEC than any other country. In the last two years, 721 Colombian cadets have trained at WHINSEC, and 210 are projected to attend in the upcoming fiscal year.

The visit has prepared WHINSEC to complete the updated cadet curriculum by December of this year, with pilot programs potentially as early as July 2018.

To learn more about the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, visit www.benning.army.mil/tenant/whinsec.

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