Tuesday, March 9

The Esmeralda Ruiz Alonso brigade, VIII Prize ‘Soldier Idoia Rodríguez, woman in the Armed Forces’


The jury of the ‘Soldier Idoia Rodríguez, woman in the Armed Forces’ Award, meeting yesterday, decided by a majority of its members to grant the Prize corresponding to its VIII edition to the brigade of the General Corps of the Army, Esmeralda Ruiz Alonso.

The Jury, chaired by the undersecretary of Defense, has been made up of the general director of Defense Policy, the general director of Personnel, the director of Institutional Communication of Defense, and the director of the Institute of Women of the Ministry of the State of Equality and Against Gender Violence, by the General Director of Personnel of the Army, by the Admiral Chief of Personnel of the Navy, and by the General Chief of the Personnel Command of the Air Force This Award, created in 2007, recognizes the “work of people and institutions, both military and civil, who have carried out relevant or exemplary actions to enhance the role of women or to support equal opportunities and gender in the Armed Forces.”

It is given in memory of the cape Idoia Rodríguez Buján, the first Spanish military woman who died on an international mission, in Herat in 2007, due to the explosion of a mine under the armored BMR in which she was traveling.

The Ruiz Alonso brigade has been awarded the Prize for being a benchmark of values and objectives pursued with the award of the ‘Soldado Idoia Rodriguez’ Award.

She is the first woman in command of the Army to take the Special Operations Course and that she has exercised command in units of this nature, having participated in various international missions and always being assigned to units of high operational demand.

In addition, the jury has deemed appropriate that a special mention to five other women, in response to their actions to enhance the role of women in the Armed Forces or their contribution to the role that the Ministry of Defense has been playing during the current pandemic caused by COVID-19. For the work carried out during the pandemic, this mention is given to the pharmaceutical commander. Mª José Rodríguez Fernández and the soldier of the Air Force Esther Sánchez Oca, considered two key pieces in the operation of the Rapid Identification Laboratory of the UME, as well as the medical specialist Margarita del Moral González, who has shown her professional competence and leadership during the management of the current health crisis, as a service physician of emergencies of the Hospital Central de la Defensa Gómez Ulla, Centro de Vida y Esperanza.

An honorable mention is also awarded to the Commander of the Air Force Rocío González Torres, the first woman to graduate from the hunting and attack school with the number one of her class and to achieve more than 1,000 flight hours at the controls of the F-18, as well as the first sergeant Olga Fausta Castor Bekari, of the Marine Corps of the Navy, for his professional progression, being responsible for the training and preparation of the operational security teams of the South Tercio. The awarding of this award will be carried out by Order of the Minister of Defense, published in the Official State Gazette.

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