José Múcio Monteiro Filho assumes the Brazilian Ministry of DefenseJosé Múcio Monteiro Filho assumes the Brazilian Ministry of Defense

It was held last Monday afternoon (02), at the Ministry of Defense (MD) headquarters, in Brasilia, with military honors, the presentation ceremony of José Múcio Monteiro Filho as the new Minister of Defense. The ceremony also received Admiral Marcos Sampaio Olsen, appointed Commander of the Navy, and the Commanders of the Army, Army General Julio Cesar de Arruda, and of the Air Force, Air Lieutenant Brigadier Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno.

 On Sunday, January 1st, the President of the Republic Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva swore in the ministers of his government. On the occasion, José Múcio signed the inauguration document and received the compliments of the head of state.

In his first speech, Minister José Múcio emphasized his gratitude and responsibility in accepting the invitation from the President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, to head Defense. He also emphasized his respect for democracy and for the Armed Forces. “Our country has peaceful traditions. Brazil and its Armed Forces have always positioned themselves at the service of peace, democracy, respect for institutions, and cooperation with their neighbors,” he emphasized.

The Minister also emphasized the importance he will give to strategic projects conducted by the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces. “I will seek to increase the exchange of military structures with the Brazilian Defense Industrial Base and with academia, in order to stimulate technical, technological, scientific and commercial evolution, and thus contribute to national development and to ensure the permanence of the country in the levels it occupies today in the international cycles in which it participates.

The Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (EMCFA), Army General Laerte de Souza Santos, presented the Minister with the Order of Defense Merit, Grand Cross. In his speech, he made a brief synthesis of the MD’s history, the main actions, the deliveries and the national objectives of Defense. “Under the coordination of this portfolio, the Armed Forces are permanently prepared to achieve national defense capabilities at their highest level. You may rest assured, Minister, that you will have the full support of the team of valuable professionals of this Ministry, to fulfill the noble and important mission of keeping National Defense adequate to the political-strategic stature of our country,” he declared.

Also present were the newly appointed Chief of EMCFA, Admiral Renato Rodrigues de Aguiar Freire; Secretary-General of the Ministry of Defense, Luiz Henrique Pochyly da Costa; Secretary of Defense Products, Major-Brigadier Rui Chagas Mesquita; as well as former Ministers of Defense, Raul Jungmann, Joaquim Silva e Luna and Fernando Azevedo; presidents and members of courts, parliamentarians and guests.


José Múcio Monteiro Filho was born on September 25, 1948, in Recife (PE). In his public career, among others, he held the positions of Secretary of Transportation, Communication, and Energy of the State of Pernambuco, from 1983 to 1986; Municipal Secretary of Planning, Urbanism, and Environment, Recife (PE), from 1997 to 1998; State Minister Head of the Secretariat of Institutional Relations of the Presidency of the Republic, from 2007 to 2009; Minister of the Federal Audit Court (TCU), from 2009 to 2020; and President of the TCU: from 2019 to 2020.

Throughout his career, he was awarded, among other decorations, with the Defense Order of Merit; Tamandaré Order of Merit; Military Order of Merit; Aeronautical Order of Merit; Rio Branco Order; Labor Order of Judicial Merit; Labor Order of Merit; and the Military Police Merit Medal of the Government of the State of Pernambuco.

Below is the speech in its entirety:


Ladies and gentlemen, as I begin the noble and challenging mission of leading the Ministry of Defense, I have two great feelings: the first is gratitude.

Gratitude for the choice of my name by the Honorable President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, to represent the brave contingent of men and women who, despite the personal and family sacrifices required by military life, have made the generous choice of dedicating their lives to serve Brazil with commitment and loyalty.
Brazil with commitment and loyalty.

I am also grateful for the respectful and cordial welcome I received from all the military and civilian personnel who make up this complex and relevant portfolio. Gratitude, equally, to Fleet Admiral Marcos Sampaio Olsen, to Army General Julio Cesar de Arruda, to Lieutenant Brigadier Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno, and to Fleet Admiral Renato Rodrigues de Aguiar Freire, for having accepted to collaborate with their talent, their competence, and the respect they enjoy within their respective Forces, for the management that now begins.

The second feeling is one of responsibility.
Responsibility for the balanced conduction of the conciliatory, cooperative and aggregating spirit that I see permeating all professional and personal relationships within this Ministry and the Armed Forces that integrate it.

Responsibility for cultivating a permanent love for the Homeland, professionalism, and a sense of duty that everyone, without exception, demonstrates in their daily conduct and in all of their manifestations.

These attributes make me convinced that, together, in a harmonious, fraternal and loyal manner, we can continue, exalt and improve the invaluable services that the Armed Forces have rendered to the State and to society.

I arrive with humility, with deep respect for military culture and traditions, and with the sincere commitment to dedicate myself daily to contribute to the fulfillment of the institutional missions of the Navy, Army, Air Force, and Joint Staff.

I also bring my respect and admiration for all those who have preceded me in the position I now hold and for the remarkable work they have accomplished. For the proximity of time, I salute these eminent Brazilians in the person of Army General Paulo Sérgio Nogueira de Oliveira, whose courtesy and efficiency in the process of transition from office were unsurpassed. Despite its important geopolitical dimension, Brazil and its Armed Forces have always positioned themselves in the service of peace, democracy
of peace, democracy, respect for institutions, and cooperation with its neighbors.

Our history, rich in examples, shows that the Navy, Army and Air Force are respectable State institutions, jealous of their constitutional roles. Governed by the principles of hierarchy and discipline, and deeply rooted in them, they are the permanent support of our sovereignty and the ultimate guarantors of our material and immaterial assets.

Since their origin, the Brazilian Armed Forces have been largely responsible for the actions that have bequeathed to us and which guarantee the integrity of our territory, our sovereignty over seas and rivers, and our capacity to manage and protect our national airspace.

This performance, together with the capillarity of the military units, allows an integration to the national population unmatched by other state organizations, which provides the recognition and the high levels of confidence and admiration of the Brazilian society.

In its more than two decades of existence, the Ministry of Defense has performed, with undeniable proficiency, its mission of coordinating the formulation of defense policies and their regulatory frameworks.

Given these peculiarities, I will seek, in the higher political direction of the Armed Forces, to coordinate efforts and ensure means and conditions for them to fulfill their missions and strengthen the already high public recognition of the invaluable services they render to the people.

I am aware that the synergistic work inherent to this Ministry, associated with its commanders’ deep sense of responsibility, produces the necessary operational capabilities for the military organizations to be maintained at high levels of capability, operationality, and readiness.

Allied to this, the logistical and administrative activities, always in continuous improvement, extend this reach and produce the necessary national and extra-regional dissuasion that the country needs for the search for permanent peace, as the Baron of Rio Branco, the patron saint of our diplomacy, pragmatically defended.

I will give priority attention to strategic programs and projects conducted by this portfolio and by the three Armed Forces. I will also seek to increase the exchange of military structures with the Brazilian Defense Industrial Base and with the academic community, so as to stimulate technical, technological, scientific and commercial evolution, and thus contribute to national development and to assure the permanence of the country at the levels it now occupies in the international circles in which it participates. I am aware that the organic structures of this portfolio should be aligned and kept in perfect harmony with the Armed Forces.

Thus, I will stimulate the Armed Forces Joint Staff and the General Secretariat to remain in constant interaction and to relate in a harmonious way, in order to improve the ministry’s performance and superior coordination, in relation to the military commands.

With this spirit of collaboration and absolute respect for military institutions and traditions, allied with the awareness of the relevance and authority of the position I am taking on, I ratify my commitment to serve the country, the Armed Forces, and the Brazilian people.

I reiterate my thanks and my homage to my predecessor, Minister Paulo Sérgio Nogueira de Oliveira, who, with admirable courtesy, elegance and public spirit, helped me conduct the transition from this position. To him, together with his family members, I wish success and happiness in the new stage of the life that he is beginning.

I extend the same thanks and good wishes to Fleet Admiral Almir Garnier Santos; to Army General Marco Antônio Freire Gomes; to Air Lieutenant Brigadier Carlos de Almeida Baptista Júnior; to Army General Laerte de Souza Santos, to whom I thank for his words; and to General Sérgio José Pereira, whose work has contributed significantly to the growth of this Ministry and the military organizations which, with dedication and competence, they have directed until now.

I would also like to thank everyone who attended this ceremony and contributed to giving it a special meaning. Now, as the inscription on the walls of the São Antônio Church in Recife, which I love so much, exhorts, it is time to stop the words and make our actions speak for us.

I am certain that I share with each member of the Ministry of Defense, military or civilian, the love for Brazil and the confidence in its future. I call upon all of us, in a complete communion of purpose and with absolute mutual loyalty, to work diligently to continue to build a more just, more prosperous, and happier country,
more prosperous and happier country.

Thank you very much.
Brasília, January 2nd, 2023.

*** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI Team ***

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