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    NY National Guard Soldier, Airman slated to attend Brazilian jungle training

    Soldier going to Jungle Warfare School

    Photo By Eric Durr | New York Army National Guard Corporal Dakoatah Miller takes a break during the Army...... read more read more

    SYRACUSE, NY, UNITED STATES

    09.16.2021

    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    SYRACUSE, New York--Two New York National Guard members—a Soldier and an Airman—will represent the United States and the New York National Guard during the Brazilian Jungle Warfare Center’s annual international course which kicks off at the end of September.

    Corporal Dakoatah Miller, an infantryman and college student from Cortland, New York assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry will represent the New York Army National Guard.

    Miller finished in second place in the enlisted category at the Army National Guard’s Best Warrior Competition held in Arizona in August.

    Tech. Sgt. Paul Cange, a Syracuse resident and joint terminal attack controller instructor assigned to the 274th Air Support Operations Squadron at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, will represent the New York Air National Guard.

    Cange, who has served as a full-time Guard Airmen for four years, has 14-years of service and is a veteran of the Afghan War.

    The school, known as CIGS, the acronym for its Portuguese name -- Centro de Instrucao de Guerra na Selva—was founded in 1964, and is considered the top jungle training center in the world.

    The school located in Manas, the capital of Brazil’s Amazonas state, runs a six-week long international course for soldiers from other countries. Highly trained special operations soldiers typically attend this class.

    The classes focus on navigating in the jungle, jungle tactics, and lots of swimming while learning to use rivers as travel routes in the jungle.

    Those who pass the course are awarded a special knife called the “facao, de mateo” a Brazilian version of the Bowie knife with a jaguar headed handle made specifically for the jungle warfare center.

    Cange and Miller are attending as one of the training exchanges the New York National Guard and Brazilian military are conducting as part of their National Guard State Partnership Program agreement.

    The partnership programs pairs state National Guard’s with the militaries of around the globe in developing training partnerships.

    In August, 80 New York Air National Guard Airmen took part in a 10 day long Brazilian Air Force exercise as part of that exchange.

    In 2019 New York Army National Guard New York Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Thomas Carpenter attended the Brazilian jungle school, while New York Air National Guard Senior Airman Caleb Lapinel represented New York in 2020.

    Both Cange and Miller were selected for the course because of their proven toughness and performance, senior enlisted leaders said.

    Cange “has demonstrated the mental toughness and physical stamina to complete this course,“ according to Command Chief Master Sgt. Denny Richardson.

    Richardson, the senior ranking Airman in the New York Air National Guard, added that Cange is “a natural leader.”

    “When faced with adversity he has the ability to access the situation quickly, make sound decisions, implement and lead,” Richardson said.

    Command Sgt. Maj. David Piwowarski, the New York Army National Guard’s senior enlisted leader, said Miller was selected because of the capabilities in demonstrated in competing in state, regional, and National Best Warrior events and earning the Expert Infantry Badge in between.

    “The preparation and dedication it takes to consistently win, demonstrates his ability to stay mission focused despite distractions like fatigue and hunger,” Piwowarski said.

    “All of this, plus his infantry training at his unit as well as his personal mental toughness will ensure that he not only completes the Brazilian jungle warfare course, but that he excels there,” Piwowarski added.

    Miller said he’s spent the past month getting ready for the jungle warfare course.

    “I have prepared as best as I can for the school,” Miller said. “I am going to go down and give it my best.”

    He has been making a special effort to do more swimming, Miller said.
    Carpenter and Lapinel, the previous attendees, both emphasized that there is a lot of swimming involved, he explained.

    The partnership programs pairs state National Guard’s with the militaries of around the globe in developing training partnerships.

    Miller said he expects the biggest challenge in the jungle will be the humidity. The Army National Guard Best Warrior competition took place in Arizona so the Amazon jungle is about as different as you can get, Miller said.

    When he returns from the Brazilian school he plans to attend the Army’s Ranger School in January, Miller said.

    He also hopes to attend the Army’s Mountain Warfare School in Vermont next year, he added.

    Cange said he’s looking forward to the rigorous training in the Amazon jungle.

    “It is an opportunity that does not get offered to everybody,” he said. “Having an opportunity to work with our partner forces, it is important.”

    He was notified in February to plan to attend the school and has been working out rigorously to get in shape, Cange said.

    At age 37, he knows he will be older than many of the other international soldiers, but he believes he is fit enough Cange said.

    He too has been working on swimming, Cange said.

    “I would definitely say that I am not an expert swimmer, but I have confidence to be in the water,” he said.

    Learning the other skills the school focuses on – jungle navigation and tactics--will enable him to do a better job of preparing other Air Force forward air controllers to support American forces in the field, he said.

    Going to a tough military school is nothing new for Cange.

    He is a graduate of the Army’s Airborne and Air Assault Schools, as well as the Mountain Warfare School conducted by the Vermont National Guard in the Green Mountains.

    His wife, Lee-Angela and sons Paul and Porter, are used to him going away on duty and have been very supportive of this opportunity, Cange said.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.16.2021
    Date Posted: 09.16.2021 12:05
    Story ID: 405399
    Location: SYRACUSE, NY, US 
    Hometown: CORTLAND, NY, US
    Hometown: SYRACUSE, NY, US

    Web Views: 205
    Downloads: 0

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