The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) is currently the Armed Force with the largest female participation in its ranks, with 13 thousand military women
Air Force Agency, by Aspirant Roberta Nunes
A story that began in 1982 and 40 years later continues on a trajectory of ascension with countless achievements. To celebrate the 40 years of this journey, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) held on Thursday (September 1st), at the Superior Defense School (ESD), in Brasilia (DF), the “Women Who Inspire” Symposium, as a way of highlighting female representation in the Institution. The date recalls the creation of the Female Air Force Reserve Corps (CFRA), which formed the Female Officers’ Group (QFO) and the Female Graduates’ Group (QFG).
The event brought the experiences of some of the female colleagues in uniform, as well as others who have conquered prominent spaces in their professional areas. The Symposium’s goal was to motivate them even more, showing how their dedication and the examples they set in their daily routine are indispensable to the FAB in its various functions.
“We thank you for inspiring us with delicacy, courage, impartiality, and dedication to our Brazil. Attributes that also inspire us as military personnel and citizens,” said the Commander of the Brazilian Air Force, Air Lieutenant Brigadier Carlos Almeida Baptista Junior, during the opening of the event.
Among the speakers were the Deputy Attorney General Lindôra Maria Araújo, the Minister of the Superior Military Court (STM) Elizabeth Guimarães Teixeira Rocha, as well as military pioneers in various functions of this Force.
For STM Minister Elizabeth Guimarães initiatives like this are fundamental for the strengthening of equity. “It is an achievement of the whole society, not only of women, but also of men, who are understanding that equality is productive and effective, which makes the troops work much better with the differences between them and everyone can live harmoniously,” she highlighted.
For Medical Brigadier Carla Lyrio Martins, the first woman promoted to the rank of FAB General Officer, the Symposium is a way to inspire other women, praising those who broke taboos and started a military career. “It is an event of fundamental importance, because it values and brings up such important debates. It is in leadership that the guidelines are communicated, where the resources, the means, the budget are guaranteed, and where the results are monitored, directing paths. So, it is essential to recognize the pioneering spirit of those women who opened the doors, the paths and allowed me to get where I am,” said the Brigadier.
The Woman in the FAB
Women joined the Air Force, as part of the personnel, starting in the 1980s. At that time, the need to expand the contingent was seen, and so studies were conducted to include women as military personnel in the Force. The research culminated in the creation of the Women’s Reserve Corps of the Air Force (CFRA), which constituted the Officers’ Staff (QFO) and the Graduates’ Staff (QFG). The first class of women joined the FAB in 1982.
In 1995, the then Minister of Aeronautics, Air Lieutenant Brigadier Mauro José Miranda Gandra, started the procedures so that women could, for the first time, be cadets at the Air Force Academy (AFA). In 1996, the first female cadet officers entered the AFA, and reached the rank of Colonel in August 2017. They will be able to reach the rank of Major Brigadier, the highest rank in this cadre.
The year 1996 was also considered a milestone for the Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA), because it was the first open competition for women. From a total of 3,800 applicants, who competed for the 120 available positions, 530 were female candidates. The ITA has graduated 160 women in these 20 years, with an average of 8 graduates per year.
At the Aeronautics Specialists School (EEAR), which covers high school and technical education, women entered in 1998. Depending on the specialty chosen, they can reach the rank of Colonel.
Also in the AFA, in 2003, the first female cadet aviators joined the program. Currently, they occupy the rank of Major. The female pilots hold positions as pilots in all FAB aviations and can reach the rank of Lieutenant Brigadier, the highest in the Air Force hierarchy.
In 2017, the Air Cadets Preparatory School (EPCAR), in Barbacena (MG), started admitting women in all years of high school in its Air Cadets Preparatory Course (CPCAR). After three years in the course, the graduates became Cadets, entering the AFA this year.
The year 2020 entered the history of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). For the first time, a female FAB officer was promoted to the rank of General Officer. The current Director of the Aeronautics Central Hospital (HFAB), Medical Brigadier Carla Lyrio Martins, was chosen for promotion to the rank of Brigadier, during a meeting of the Aeronautics High Command, held in Brasilia (DF).
*** Translated by the DEFCONPress team ***