Discover the history of the Assis family, who have been in the Brazilian Navy since 1970
By Agência Marinha de Notícias – On board the NAM “Atlântico”
This story is about life cycles that begin and end in the Brazilian Navy (MB). The first generation of the Assis family begins with Francisco, who joined the Force as a Marine Musician Sergeant in the 1970s. He pursued a military career and went into the reserve in the same month that his son, Wagner Ferreira de Assis, entered the CAA Seamen’s Apprentice School (EAMCE) in 1994. Currently a Petty Officer, Wagner has also completed 30 years in the ranks of the Force and will join the reserve in September this year. His first-born son, Guylherme de Assis, also took the exam and is currently an Aspirant at the Naval School.
Petty Officer Assis says that, as a child, he used to go to “Operation Rambo”, a kind of militarized summer camp for the children of Marines. “The kids wore camouflage, wore face paint and slept in tents,” he recalls. This also motivated him to become a soldier. When he arrived at EAMCE, the routine didn’t seem difficult, since he knew the naval culture and its traditions.
Throughout his career, the Petty Officer has worked in different Military Organizations and had the opportunity to get to know several countries on board MB ships. “I took part in peace operations, such as demining the cities of Luanda and Lobito in Angola, Africa. I came away learning to have more empathy for human beings and I saw how important the MB’s actions are.”
Observing and participating in his father’s life, Guylherme de Assis decided to follow in his footsteps. “If I wasn’t in the military, I wouldn’t have known what to do”. That’s when, in 2016, he signed up for a preparatory course for military competitions. Guylherme always heard his mother say “I want to see you in white”, referring to the Navy uniform. His first attempt at the Naval College was in 2017, but he was unsuccessful. The following year, he decided to study on his own and was successful.
“His course was in another city. He even had classes on weekends. Our family gave up everything to live his dream. After he passed, another phase began: not letting him give up, because many people who join don’t adapt to the characteristics and peculiarities of military life,” recalls Petty Officer Assis about the difficulties they faced.
Every Monday at 2.30am, Aspirante De Assis would take a bus from Itaboraí (RJ), where he still lives today, to get to the Naval College (CN) in Angra dos Reis (RJ) before 7.30am. Not only did the bus break down from time to time, but the route was risky, as it included risky areas.
The family then decided to use their financial reserve to buy a van. The mother, Fernanda Silva de Assis, became a driver for her son and other CN students who lived in nearby towns. The journey, which used to take 5 hours, now takes 2h30.
“All my strength and that of his mother was to see him graduate and follow his path. We’re happy,” says Petty Officer Assis with emotion.
“The Naval College was difficult, because I was very young and immature and, with the boarding school system, I missed home a lot,” says Aspirante De Assis. After three years of studies, the next challenge was the Naval Academy, where classmates became brothers in uniform.
For 20 days, father and son were embarked on the NAM “Atlântico”, during Operation “Aspirantex” 2024, which aims to familiarize Naval School students with life at sea. This is Petty Officer Assis’s last commission and Aspirante De Assis’s first. Click here to find out more about Aspirantex 2024.
During the production of this article, Assis gave his son a piece of advice that he always repeats: “The Navy gives us many opportunities. It forges us into real sailors. Understand problems calmly in order to make the right decisions. Be a person of integrity and always preserve the unity of the group, because then you’ll be an excellent leader.”
Source: Agência Marinha de Notícias *** Translated by DEFCONPress FYI team ***