AMAN cadets' MindsetAMAN cadets' Mindset

Lt Lilian de Paula Santos

This article aims to share a rich experience obtained when we verified some stories of cadets from the Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras (AMAN), in Resende (RJ). This is a significant learning experience, because when we link this information to the concepts of MindSet, we discover a fertile field of content and intellectual growth on the part of these young people with ages ranging from 17 to 26.

When we resort to the literature, we come across the term Mindset, whose meaning in Portuguese can be translated as “mind set”. It is what psychoanalysts call an individual’s predisposition to develop knowledge and to adapt to various actions and behavior patterns with the purpose of proposing a new approach on a presented theme. From this, he obtains an opinion about himself and about his relationship with the world.

We also verified that the so-called Fixed MindSet establishes an unchanging relationship between the real scenario and what one believes to be his or her personality. In this mental model, there is the understanding that: “From a young age, the individual adopts a pattern of demonstrating his intelligence. This makes him believe fully in that condition. At a certain moment in life, this same individual goes through a situation that gets out of his control and tests his intellectuality in a different way from what he has always been used to. This makes him distrust his perspicacity, because he doesn’t know how to deal with failure.

Still consulting the books, we find the concept of the Growth MindSet, which is based on the belief that a being is able to cultivate his basic qualities through his efforts. Their talents and essence remain changeable, but do not get lost in the face of the challenges imposed by the daily routine.

It is in this context that we approach the AMAN cadets. From the moment they enter the Army Cadets Preparatory School, in Campinas, they also choose to exchange their biological home for their new home, where they will spend more than 1,800 days, including afternoons and evenings. The academic routine is the main challenge for these young people forged to be leaders. A paradox before an immediate society that preaches, in many occasions, technology as a rule for agility. But the ready-made model of “being agile” requires a lot of preparation time, starting with the decision to choose this peculiar and sacrificial career.

In the case of the precursors in the training course for career combatant officer in the AMAN, this time almost did not exist. The start that for the first time vacancies would be opened to women was matured behind the scenes, but released in an “agile” manner to the public. It was up to the young women to use their Mindset of growth to face this long and pleasant journey.

The reasons why some of them did not continue have to do with their personal choices, but according to the author of the book “Mindset: the new psychology of success”, Carol S. Dweck, each individual has a natural talent that can be related to different professions, whether they are sports, artistic, executive, etc.

Therefore, choosing a military career requires understanding the complexity of the profession, which demands delivery; readiness; days and nights in the barracks; changes of address; humanitarian and combat missions on land, water and in the air; and the pleasant conviction that everything is for the Brazilian citizen.

For each soldier that decides to join the Brazilian Army, there is also a family proud of its choice. And there is no way to measure this feeling that takes over and leads more and more people to military life. In the universe of cadets who go through AMAN, a great number of them are influenced by a family member who was already military.

It would even be unfair to bring this statistic into the text, because we could certainly miss one or the other. But the observation is empirical, since it is a collection of testimonials obtained in our social networks and in other daily activities involving the Corps of Cadets. In the collected approaches, the main ideas-force observed are: military example in the family; career of self-sacrifice, but of learning; daily overcoming; corps spirit; and intellectual and physical gains inherent to training.

In an informal conversation, a 25 year old cadet affirms that the academic routine taught her to be more agile. And, at this point, it is worth noting that the 19 competencies needed to forge a leader, among them camaraderie, hardiness, intellectual discipline, and responsibility, do not pass unnoticed in the eyes of those who evaluate the future officers.

In a media training activity, another cadet claims to have acquired the emotional balance needed to face the various missions.

In 2020, two cadets, now officer aspirants, stated: “I learned to mature my personality and my financial control to help my family’s budget”; another one highlighted that he learned to exercise humility and emotional control due to the training and the differentiated activity practiced by the Special Instruction Section (SIEsp), which works on the attitudinal development of future officers.

In this way, we can deduce from the cadets’ speech some aspects of the MindSet concept of growth. At all times, they strive to overcome the challenges that are imposed on them. There will be times when they will feel incapable; at other times, there will be the certainty of the achievement of a military attribute that they lacked. At all times, the process of growth is being built, allowing them to mold it, if necessary, in the face of an ambiguous, complex and uncertain context.

Even a great hero personified in the figure of one of these cadets has some kind of imperfection. The difference is that he wears a uniform that labels him as perfect. Perfection bears fruit in the way of uncertainty. The negative stereotype, so common in our society, changes. All that is needed is the continuous practice of your growth Mindset in all your activities.

Finally, we also highlight the coexistence between different generations in the contemporary context, enabling, in particular, a higher quality of life. The elderly are living longer and, consequently, having more contact with adults, young people, and children. This mutual exchange of life experiences allows them to get to know and recognize themselves in the examples given.

The cadets at the Academy, in many empirical accounts, are the fulfillment of the dreams of their parents, and even of younger generations who mirror themselves in the military. All these characters are, each in his or her own way, practicing the Mindset: you just have to check whether they are giving wings to the growth one or the fixed one.


Dweck, Carol S. Mindset: the new psychology of success. Carol Dweck; translated by S. Duarte. – 1st ed. – São Paulo: Objetiva,2017

VILLAS, Boas S.; RAMOS, N.; AMADO, J.; OLIVEIRA, A.; MONTERO, I. The reduction of stereotypes and negative attitudes between generations – the contribution of intergenerational education. Laplage em Revista (Sorocaba), vol.3, n.3, Sept.-Dec. 2017, p.206-220.Available at < file:///C:/Users/USUARIO/Downloads/Dialnet-AReducaoDeEstereotiposEAtitudesNegativasEntreGerac-6192038.pdf>. Accessed on: April 30, 2021.

AMAN Social Networks: Site, Vem Ser Cadete, Aman_oficial; corporate e-mail

About the author:

Lt Lilian de Paula Santos – She is currently a 2nd Lieutenant in the Brazilian Army, and is at the Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras (AMAN) in the Social Communication Section. Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences by the UNITAU Graduate Program (2017).

Postgraduate in Marketing and Social Networks by IBF (2018-2019). Post-Graduated in Telejournalism by ESTÁCIO DE SÁ (2011) and in Assessorship, Communication Management and Marketing by UNITAU (2008).

Environmental trainer by the Technical Chamber of the Paraíba do Sul River Basin Committee (2015). Bachelor’s degree in Social Communication – Journalism from UNIFATEA (2004). She worked for Rede Aparecida de Comunicação for 5 years as a reporter, editor, producer, presenter and editor of the newspapers of Radio and TV Aparecida. From October 2005 to October 2009.

From 2009, at Grupo Bandeirantes de Comunicação, as editor and presenter, with stints at Band Cidade Newspapers 1st and 2nd edition and Acontece Regional. She was responsible for the production and presentation of the programs Semana Terra Viva (Living Land Week) and Projeto Rio Vivo (Living River Project), with presentations, productions and editions of the Vale Ecologia (Vale Ecology) program, Expedição Rio (Rio Expedition) and Boletins Dica Rio Vivo (Living River Tip Bulletin), the latter at Rádio Band Vale.

She worked in the press relations area of UNISAL, Lorena Unit, being responsible for the relationship with the media, internal communication, besides being part of the Institutional Sustainability Plan team. Honorary member of the Instituto de Estudos Valeparaibanos.

*** Translated by the DEFCONPress Team ***

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