FORT BRAGG, NC – In the jungles of Panama a Brazilian Major named Jorge Teixera De Oliveira attended the U.S. Army’s Jungle Operations Training Center. The experience encouraged the officer to develop a similar school in his country. The result is what is now known as the Brazilian Jungle Warfare Instruction Center (Centro de Instrucao de Guerra na Selva).
Located in Manaus, the school was established on June 2, 1964 and is regarded as one of the toughest courses of its kind in the world. Brazilian Army jungle experts have provided training to thousands of military personnel from Brazil and other nations.
Now, 40 years later, the partnership between the United States and Brazil has come full circle as U.S. Special Operations Forces are attending and graduating from the world-class jungle warfare training that the Brazilian military has created.
Warrant Officer Javier Alejandro, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C. recently attended and completed the tough eight-week course. He was the first American to graduate from this demanding course in last seven years.
Alejandro was selected, after returning from an extended deployment to attend the course due to his fluency in Portuguese.
The seasoned Green Beret gladly accepted knowing it was a rare opportunity and a great privilege, according to Alejandro.
“Once in Brazil, I learned the majority of the officers attending trained for well over six months in order to be ready for the course,” recalled Alejandro. “(The Course) is very physically demanding, and not being used to the weather (average temperature 90 degrees and 80 percent humidity) could determine whether you made it through the first week of training.”
The course is set up in four phases. The first phase is “Life in the Jungle.” Students are taught survival techniques, plant and animal identification, water procurement, and other skills necessary for jungle survival. The second phase focuses on patrolling and navigation through the jungle terrain. The third phase teaches students operational planning, and the final phase brings all of the skills together during a culminating exercise.
Though an already highly trained and experienced Special Forces warrant officer, Alejandro was very pleased with the experience and believes the skills learned and the opportunity to work with the Brazilian military will be priceless during the rest of his career. This opportunity to train side by side with the Brazilians has expanded an important relationship between the Brazilian Armed Forces and the U.S. military.
Alejandro recommended the course as a good opportunity particularly for Soldiers who have a good knowledge of the Portuguese language. Now that the door has been opened by Alejandro, the partnership and training opportunity offered by the Brazilians will continue for as long as there are Soldiers who are open to attend.
Since Alejandro’s graduation, another Green Beret graduated from the course recently on Aug. 21.