Tolemaida is a dark canvas to which you are discovering colors little by little. You arrive before 4:00 in the morning and if you pass the security filters without problems, you can continue, follow a path that gives you the impression of being infinite when you distract yourself with the meadows, full of fireflies, that embrace you both sides.
On the way you discover their insides, you feel wet from the heat and hear them awake and early while the uniformed ones sweep the common areas, or exercise, or guide you and mention a lot of information.
The car you’re going to stop in You go down, you feel sticky and you see the boy who travels with you put together the camera, hang a fanny pack with 10 kilos of glasses at the waist and walk towards the unknown.
You walk with him without saying a word, you see a group of women who look at you anxiously, Then you ask Sergeant Segundo Andrés Acevedo where you are. “In the Military School of Sub-Officers Sergeant Inocencio Chincá,” he replies.
And he continues to solve a lot of doubts: Is the squad only women? I said as I looked at the women. “Do not. This is not a squad, the squad is bigger and is composed of both genders, what happens is that they sleep separately. ” What other things do they do differently? “Nothing. They only sleep separately. ” The physical training of the Army is famous for the effort it requires, do they train exactly the same as men? “Clear! They are not considered, we are all the same here. ”
How many women are there in total? “281” Had they had that amount in their ranks before? “Never. They are part of the course 103. From the course of non-commissioned officers of weapon number 100, the calls were also open for women. From that, in addition to being trained as military, they are projected to have a technological degree in different areas of knowledge that will allow them to be part of the Héroes Multimisión group. ”
But before there were women in the army, right? “Yes, what happens is that they did administrative courses”. So what does it mean to take weapons courses? “That they will have command of troops. The compañeras in the course 100 are already dragons, they already have command, and soon they will ascend to third ends. No woman had reached that degree. In the officer’s school, yes, but not here. ”
The photographer asked Sergeant Major Luz Estella Suarez if the 36 dragons had total control over a platoon of men. “Yes,” she replied. In the background a troop was heard. The sergeant remained attentive. “Look at the wonder, here comes the sample.”
For the first time, the weapons courses of the NCO School are open to women. Soon they will have command power.
The dragonean Dayanni Cadena Jiménez told me a part of her experience: “I want my name to be inscribed in the story … I want to be with my troop, leave a mark on them, I want to specialize in psychology to support them, I do not want to send, I want to be a leader” .
In addition to the Inocencio Chincá School, we visited the National Training Center, an emblematic place of the National Army, in terms of instruction and preparation. There the military men and women take combat courses.
I spoke with Sergeant First Erika Maria Meneses, the only woman who prepared herself in all parachuting specialties. “For me it was something very special to be a pioneer and a reference in this field because it means that I opened doors for female staff,” he said.