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    Colombia’s premier officer training center distinguishes SOCSOUTH members

    Colombia’s premier officer training center distinguishes SOCSOUTH members

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Osvaldo Equite | Retired U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Howard White (right) is congratulated alongside two...... read more read more

    BOGOTA, COLOMBIA

    12.06.2016

    Story by Staff Sgt. Osvaldo Equite 

    Special Operations Command South

    BOGOTA, Colombia – Colombia’s superior war college recognized three Special Operations Command South members December 6, 2016 for their contributions to the military education institute known in its Spanish acronym as ESDEGUE in Bogota, Colombia.

    SOCSOUTH’s operations officer and two strategic plans and policy officials received the center’s prestigious Military Medal during a small ceremony attended by personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombian military honorees, and their families.

    “The medal is awarded in recognition and gratitude for the support and contributions [each recipient has made] to [Colombia’s] senior military officer training center, where comprehensive leaders are prepared to face national security and defense challenges,” said Colombian army Maj. Gen. Juan Salazar, ESDEGUE director, in a letter announcing the awards.

    According to Colombian decree, they established the award in April 1996 to encourage those who have demonstrated dedication to work, collaboration, and have contributed services to the center. Nevertheless, those who attended the ceremony realize the award represents much more.

    “I think the awards emphasize how close SOCSOUTH is with our counterparts in Colombia,” said retired U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Howard White, one of the SOCSOUTH awardees. “I think our persistent involvement with Colombian armed forces, not just for the last several years, but for decades, has given SOCSOUTH a unique view into the challenges that Colombian Armed Forces have overcome.”

    “Today, we also want to thank some of our good international allies,” said Colombian navy Rear Admiral Jorge I. Gomez, ESDEGUE’s deputy director, during the ceremony. Besides being an award of personal recognition, he added, the award gives the center an opportunity to give the U.S. government and its people a message of gratitude.

    “We would like to thank the American public for their significant support in recent years,” said Gomez. “Thanks to that support, and with Colombian will, we have been able to change the course of this country.”

    “We hope, and are certain it will be so, that they continue to accompany us in the following years, so together we can continue to elaborate this work that we are doing together,” said ESDEGUE’s deputy director. “Although we cannot notice much of the results today, we will soon reap the rewards of our hard work as we continue to safeguard the inhabitants of this hemisphere.”

    The ESDEGUE also recognized two Defense Department William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies professors for their contributions. Two of the SOCSOUTH awardees were not able to attend the award presentation.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.06.2016
    Date Posted: 12.15.2016 16:45
    Story ID: 217895
    Location: BOGOTA, CO 

    Web Views: 134
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    Colombia’s premier officer training center distinguishes SOCSOUTH members