THE HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF POST-GRADUATE AT ECEME (Brazilian Army Command and General Staff College)

 

The Institute bears the name of an illustrious Brazilian, who combines as few military knowledge and the rigor of academic research to produce a reference work for thinking about the potentialities and challenges of Brazil in the international system. With a PhD in Political Science and General of the Brazilian Army, Carlos de Meira Mattos was one of the most important Brazilian geopolitical thinkers, a singular example of scholarship and insight in the treatment of strategic themes for Brazil’s development. Among his main works are the books Projeção Mundial do Brasil (World Projection of Brazil) (1960), Brasil, geopolítica e destino (Brazil, Geopolitics and Destination) (1975), A geopolítica e as projeções de poder (Geopolitics and Projections of Power) (1977) and Geopolítica e Trópicos (Geopolitics and the Tropics) (1984).

 

The increasing complexity of Defence and National Security activities - whether in the political field or in the strategic or operational field - requires the training of more qualified personnel for the formulation of public policies and the development of programs, projects and plans at the strategic and operational levels, as well as the mediation of the relationship between the Ministry of Defence, the Armed Forces, the other organs of public administration and the agencies and organizations representing society. The study of Military Sciences was ratified by the National Education Council, through Opinion No. 1295/2001, of November 6th of 2001, published in the Official Gazette of the Union number: 58 / Section 1, of March 26th of 2002, which issued a favorable decision "to include the Military Sciences developed within the scope of the three Armed Forces - Navy, Army, Aeronautics - and related fields in the sciences studied in Brazil, safeguarding the military aspects, exclusive to the Armed Forces."

 

This reality was observed in the elaboration of the first edition of the National Defence Strategy (END), dated 2008, which identified the need to promote greater integration and participation - both in governmental sectors and in Brazilian society - in the discussion of defence-related issues. This government guideline was ratified in the 2012 presidential message to present the White Paper on National Defence (LBDN), in the 2012 publication of the National Defence Policy (PND) and ratified as a strategic action in the 2012 edition of the National Defence Strategy (END):

 

To promote greater integration and participation of civilian government sectors in the discussion of defence issues, through, inter alia, agreements with Higher Education Institutions and the promotion of research in defence matters, as well as the effective participation of Brazilian society through the academic environment and institutes and entities linked to strategic defence issues (END, 2012).

 

Aligned with the determinations of the federal Executive Branch and in compliance with the directives of the Force Commander, the ECEME Command filed, together with the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), the Presentation for New Course Proposals (APCN) for the Academic Master in Military Sciences in June of 2012. The proposal was also recommended by the Scientific and Technical Council of CAPES at a meeting held in November of 2012, being finally recognized by the Ministry of Education (MEC) through Ordinance, No.: 1,009, of October 10th of 2013.

 

Following the recognition of the Academic Master's Degree, ECEME submitted the Presentation for New Course Proposal (APCN) for the PhD in Military Sciences, with the objective of reaching the highest academic level in the National Teaching System, and succeeding in this endeavor with the recognition of the PhD by Ordinance number 242/MEC, of February 10th of 2017.

 

In order to reinforce the facts outlined above, it is worth mentioning the uniqueness of the service provided by ECEME, attested by the fact that the Postgraduate Program in Military Science (PPGCM) is the only stricto sensu postgraduate program in Military Sciences in Brazil. It is open to civilian and military students, which gives it unequivocal political importance in the national and international academic context, further narrowing civil-military relations.

 

This brief history of the Brazilian Army Command and General Staff School and its Postgraduate Courses has a view to the long trajectory of the Brazilian Army’s participation in the studies, research and the academic formation of human resources to act in the National Defence field. The School is aware of the difficult journey that lies ahead in the search for and maintenance of excellence in Academic Research and Postgraduate Education. However, we are positive that both the steps taken up to now and the ones to be taken in the future are built upon solid foundations and shall lead the School, without any solution of continuity, to its desired goal, in line with the new paths being trailed for Higher Education in Brazil.