Canadian posting - ‘a great opportunity’: Brazilian Liaison Officer

Article / July 5, 2017 / Project number: 17-0099

By Steven Fouchard, Army Public Affairs

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Kingston, Ontario — Colonel Marco Moraes of the Brazilian Army is nearing the end of his time with the Canadian Army Doctrine Training Centre (CADTC) in Kingston, Ontario, where he was posted in the role of Liaison Officer (LO) in 2015.

Col Moraes, who also serves as an assistant to Major General João Leonel, Brazil’s Military Attaché to Washington D.C., joined the Brazilian Army’s infantry branch in 1986. Since then his service has included time as a jungle warfare instructor, commander of the Brazilian Army’s 37th Light Infantry Battalion and a deployment to the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission to East Timor.

In the following interview, Col Moraes discusses his Canadian adventure and the common challenges of the Canadian and Brazilian Armies.

When and why did you come to Canada as a Liaison Officer? How long is your posting here?

I came to Canada in August 2015 and my posting here is for two years. I was selected by the Commander of the Brazilian Army to be the Liaison Officer at CADTC to further develop the evolution of Brazilian Army doctrine.

How would you describe your experience in Canada so far?

It has been a great opportunity to learn about the Canadian culture and the Canadian Army. I am grateful for the opportunity to represent my country abroad.

Do you spend most of your time in Kingston? Have you been able to see other parts of the country?

I do spend most of my time in Kingston. I’ve had the opportunity to visit the 2nd and 5th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Groups in Petawawa, Ontario and Valcartier, Quebec. I’ve also been to Canadian Forces College in Toronto, Canadian Army Headquarters in Ottawa and La Citadelle in Québec City as well as Montreal and Halifax. I was fortunate to have participated in a professional development trip in September 2015 with instructors from the Canadian Army Command and Staff College to the Niagara Falls region to learn more about the War of 1812.

Describe your work with CADTC and your role as Assistant to Major General Leonel.

As Liaison Officer to CADTC, my mission is to establish a direct working relationship and linkage between the armies, to respond to requests for information and to contribute to the doctrinal evolution of the Brazilian Army. I work closely with the Directorate of Army Staff at Canadian Army HQ to achieve the goals established between our armies during the Canadian-Brazilian Army Staff Talks held in November 2015 in Ottawa. As the Assistant Brazilian Military Attaché in direct support to MG Leonel, my main role is to plan and host all of the Brazilian Army’s official visits to Canada. In May 2016, I was responsible for planning and coordinating the visit of the Commander of the Brazilian Army, General Eduardo Villas Bôas, with the former Commander of the Canadian Army, Lieutenant General Marquis Hainse.

Can you comment on any major differences in how the Brazilian and Canadian Armies do their work? What do they have in common?

In Brazil, military service for men is mandatory when they reach age 18. The Army annually receives a group of Reservists who are prepared for domestic or international operations. After a year, the Reservists can choose to stay seven more years in the Army or return to civilian life.

Each army has been working hard to focus on combat effectiveness and on training for high readiness to meet their respective objectives. Also, both armies are soldier-centric and consider their human resources as professional and integrated components of a larger force to achieve operational excellence. To defend the sovereignty and integrity of their countries, the Canadian and Brazilian Armies have common challenges in the inhospitable Arctic and Amazonia regions, respectively.

Can you comment on why interoperability is important? How does your work as an LO help Brazil and Canada work better together?

Interoperability allows forces, units or systems to operate together. By establishing the LO position at CADTC, the two armies are enhancing their abilities to interoperate through standardized doctrine. As a Liaison Officer, I have been working to further improve the relationship through participation in Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE in 2017. It will be the most important exercise in which to observe the doctrinal interoperability in action.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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