By Marcos Ommati / DiÃ¡logo
December 21, 2021
The Agulhas Negras Military Academy (AMAN, in Portuguese), in Resende, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, is the higher education institution responsible for the training of career officers of the Brazilian army (EB, in Portuguese). The school recently hosted the combined exercise of the U.S. Army and EB CORE 21 / Southern Vanguard 22. Dialogue spoke with EB Major General Paulo Roberto Rodrigues Pimentel, commander of AMAN, at the end of the exercise on December 16.
Dialogue: Is it common for AMAN to organize military exercises?
Major General EB Paulo Roberto Rodrigues Pimentel, Commander of AMAN: We often lend our exercise area to other military organizations in Brazil, but this was the first time with a foreign army.
Dialogue: On November 27, 391 aspiring officers graduated from AMAN, including seven foreigners: one from Guyana, one from Paraguay, two from Senegal, one from Timor-Leste and two from Vietnam. Does this happen all the time?
Major General Pimentel: AMAN has established international prestige. Thus, friendly nations have been coming to us for many years for their cadets to attend school. On average, there are about 10 cadets per year.
Dialogue: What is the process used by countries to select the cadets to study here?
Major General Pimentel: It varies by country. Some of these cadets had no experience of military life. They pass tests, land among the top contenders (eventually) and countries send them here. Uruguay, for example, always sends a cadet who is already a qualified officer. They come here after completing the Military Academy and stay with us for a year. It varies according to the needs of each country.
Dialogue: What about the doctrine?
Major General Pimentel: Basically, we are all soldiers. The rationale, the rationale and the ethics are the same. However, when they return to their country, they obviously have to readjust to the local doctrine.
Dialogue: As of November 27  graduation, women, for the first time, graduated from AMAN after five years of classes. Can you tell me about the adjustment process to get there?
Major General Pimentel: This project started a long time ago. It is a project on the integration of women in military training. There was a period of adaptation of the infrastructure prior to their arrival, and there were studies to assess how their future participation in the academy would be. I can say it was a successful project. They did very well. Not all are graduates, of course. Of the 40 who started in first year, 23 graduated for different reasons. These women are some of the best students in each class, with fantastic performances.
The requirements were the same for men and women. There is a little difference in the military fitness training index table, which is normal. However, the requirements during the floor exercises were the same and they did very well. I believe that the Army has gained by integrating women, and that in the future, they will be able to reach the rank of general and battalion commander, etc.
Dialogue: AMAN is considered a benchmark in military education, not only regionally but globally. Why is that?
Major General Pimentel: The 210-year-old academy has gradually gained experience and improved its processes. I would say that in terms of officer preparation it is state of the art. We have the best methodology, the training of future leaders and the commitment to the force.
Dialogue: What legacy do you hope to leave to your successor?
Major General Pimentel: I hope to leave an academy that is better organized administratively. Academic processes have developed over the years. The academy has doubled in size over the past 30 years, and we may not have been able to keep up with the structure of the workforce. So, what we are doing now, and what I intend to leave as a legacy to my successor, is the Marshal JosÃ© Pessoa project; in other words, we are working on a 77 year old infrastructure so that the next commander can further improve our work.