S Ten Antonio Vagner Machado Pires
Based in the city of Cruz Alta (RS), the Escola de Aperfeiçoamento de Sargentos das Armas – EASA (School of Advanced Studies for Sergeants of the Armed Forces – School for the Improvement of NCOs¹), “The Adjutant’s House”, is a military education establishment, subordinated to the Directorate of Military Technical Education, whose mission is the improvement of combatant sergeants and the qualification of the Brazilian Army’s Adjuncts of Command² (Adj Cmdo).
Created on February 1st, 1993, the EASA has already trained approximately 22,000 sergeants of the Brazilian Army and 180 military from friendly nations. It has also qualified 890 military personnel to the position of Adj Cmdo, including foreigners and state police officers. Every year, the School receives an average of 780 sergeants (2nd Sgt) for the three-shift Further Education Course for Sergeants (CAS), which takes 30 weeks in the first EaD phase and 11 weeks in the face-to-face phase. It also receives 200 sub-lieutenants and first sergeants for the Adj Cmdo Course.
In its early days, the EASA had an organizational structure similar to most of the EB educational establishments, with a major or captain as Student Body Commander (C Alu), captains as instructor-in-chief, officers and sergeants as instructors, and a material officer and sergeant major. The administrative and teaching activities reached all of C Alu’s military, not allowing an exclusive dedication to one process or another.
In the mid 90s, the Brazilian Army started sending sergeants to attend the Sergeant Major Course in the United States Army. In that country the Brazilian military encountered an academy commanded by a Non Commissioned Officer. Upon their return to Brazil, classified at EASA, they contributed with the idea of changing the current structure of the School, breaking a paradigm and placing a graduate at the head of the Student Body, since EASA was already a reference School for sergeants of the Brazilian Army.
With an innovative vision and focused on valuing the human dimension of the Force, the then Commander of the EASA in 1998 designated, in December of that year, a 1st Sgt to take on the function, at the time still called General Coordinator of the Student Body. Later on, the Table of Planned Positions was modified by the Army General Staff, naming the position as Corps Commander.
The EASA Student Corps is a unique structure in the Land Force, innovative in its appreciation of the human dimension and focused on graduates. A subunit composed only of enlisted men is commanded by a sub-lieutenant and has a sergeant, in the function of class coordinator, performing a function analogous to that of a platoon commander in the 7 instruction classes. He also has a sergeant major, a material foreman, and a staff of corporals and soldiers. The Cpt C Alu is part of the School’s staff and reports directly to the EASA Cpt, advising him in matters related to the student body.
The Student Body is responsible for the administrative area related to the student sergeants (Sgt Alu); for monitoring school performance; for conducting the military physical training, graduations, the leadership seminar, and cultural and social activities; and for carrying out the verification of disciplinary issues in light of the RDE, among others, always seeking to awaken in the students the military values dear to the Institution. The class coordinator is a military person who stands out through command, leadership, and example, following, on a daily basis, the school routine of his subordinates, orienting and demanding the military posture expected of a 2º Sgt in the Brazilian Army. The structure and functions of the C Alu are described in the School’s Regulations (EB10-R-05.005). The most recent version is available in the Army Bulletin Separata No. 27/2021, dated June 9, 2021.
Over the years, surveys conducted at the end of each shift of the Sergeants Improvement Course point to an increase in the motivation of the student body upon encountering this unique structure of the EASA. The Sgt Alu project themselves to their Class Coordinators and the Student Body Commander, feeling represented by being commanded by a graduate who recognizes the professionalism and selflessness manifested by them. The unique structure of the C Alu also contributes to strengthen the motto developed in the Sergeants’ Training and Graduation Course: “proud to be a sergeant”.
The composition of the EASA Student Body, besides being an extremely motivational factor for the students, also relieves the teaching staff of several activities, allowing these military personnel to fully concentrate their efforts on instruction. Such a division of tasks entails a significant gain in the teaching objectives and in the development and follow-up of the attitudinal contents expected from the CAS Sgt Alu.
Unlike the structure of other military schools, in the EASA, the instructors, officers and sergeants belonging to the Teaching Division, are exclusively dedicated to instruction, preparation and evaluation of the teaching-learning process, to the interdisciplinary project, to maneuver planning, to field exercises, and to the continuous search for self-improvement, generating a significant gain in the quality of education provided to the students.
The EASA, as a reference school for graduates, took a bold and transforming step in the 1990s, adapting itself to its target audience and the intention of the Land Force. More than 20 years after this innovation, we have a consolidated organizational structure with extremely positive results in teaching, administration, and especially in the motivational factor of the student body.
This successful experience adopted by the EASA may be an opportunity to study the implementation of the future School for the Formation and Graduation of Sergeants, which could have a similar structure in the basic period (first year of training), in which the students would belong to companies commanded by a sub-lieutenant and composed of sergeants. In the qualification period (second year of training), they would move on to companies with the traditional format of each Weapon (military qualification) following the standard tactical structure, with a captain company/squadron/battalion commander, lieutenants platoon commanders, adjutant sergeants, and command group commander.
Aligned with the Army Commander’s intention, always seeking to value the human dimension of the Army, the strength of our Force continues to be the priority in the institutional mission of the EASA.
²Adjuncts of Command = A master sergeant
About the author:
S Ten Antonio Vagner Machado Pires – Military Courses: sergeants training course – Artillery – 1999 – EsSA; Coastal and anti-aircraft artillery course – 2006 – EsACosAAe; Sergeants Improvement Course – 2010 – EASA; Sargeant Major Course – U. S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA) – Fort Bliss, Texas – May 2018/Jun 2019; Officer’s Auxiliary Course – 2020 – EsIE. – Courses in civilian institutions: Degree in Physics – Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM) – 2013. – Current position: Commander of the Student Body of the School for the Improvement of Weapons Sergeants (EASA).
*** Translated with by the DEFCONPress Team ***