Heroic Military Academy (Mexico)

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Heroico Colegio Militar (Mexico)
Logo del Heroico Colegio Militar Mexico.svg
Established 1823
Type Military college
Location Tlalpan, Mexico City, Mexico
19°15′30″N 99°9′2″W / 19.25833°N 99.15056°W / 19.25833; -99.15056Coordinates: 19°15′30″N 99°9′2″W / 19.25833°N 99.15056°W / 19.25833; -99.15056
Mascot Royal Eagle
Affiliations Secretariat of National Defense
Website Official

The Heroic Military College (officially in Spanish: Heroico Colegio Militar) is the major military educational institution in Mexico. It was founded in 1823 and located in the former Palace of the Inquisition in Mexico City. Initially designated as the Cadet Academy it was renamed in 1823 as the Colegio Militar. The College was relocated in Perote, Veracruz, before being returned to Mexico City where it was established in the Betlemitas monastery (today occupied by the Interactive Museum of the Economy and the Museum of the Mexican Army and Air Force). From 1835 the Military College was located in the Recogidas Building (destroyed by an earthquake in 1985). Cadets training for the Mexican Navy originally formed part of the student body but in 1897 the Military Naval School was established as a separate institution in Veracruz.

The Military College comes under the supervision of the Mexican Army and Air Force University and the Army Military Education General Directorate.

History of the College[edit]

Foundation[edit]

Although as early as 1818 were plans for a military academy proposed, in would be only in 1822 when such plans materialized, with the efforts of Diego Garcia Conde, the ex-Spanish military officer then serving in the Mexican Army, for such an academy to be formed were approved by the Mexican Imperial Government, through the Imperial War Ministry.

In the middle of the year, Emperor Agustin de Iturbide ordered that the Former Inquisition Palace Complex become the headquarters of the now newly founded Military College of Mexico, the Military Cadet Academy and the Engineers Training School, all under their first director, Brigadier Diego Garcia Conde. By the next year, through the orders of War Minister General Jose Joaquin de Herrera, the Military College of Mexico was relaunched as a separate academy with headquarters at San Carlos Fortress, in Perote, Veracruz state. In 1824, in compliance with an order from President Guadalupe Victoria, 18 cadets of the now called Perote Military College of Mexico, through the permission of then college director Col. Juan Dominguez y Galvez, became the first cadets of the new Naval Aspirants College and the Tlacotalpan Nautical School trained to be the Mexican Navy's future ship officers.

A cadet of the Heroic Military Academy (Mexico) with a Golden Eagle, the academy mascot.
Another cadet holding the Golden Eagle mascot. A female cadet stands in the foreground. Both wear the gala uniform of the Cadet Corps

Early years[edit]

In 1828, due to a campaign against secret societies and masonic lodges, Lt. Col. Manuel Montano's visit became the reason for the College's first loyalty act by the Corps of Cadets and its faculty, for their response to him was that the Military College should be exempted from the campaign due to the fact that no one in the College's cadet rosters were either secret society members nor Masons, and it turned into a national act of loyalty by the college cadets and faculty. As a result of this great deed, the College in March 1828 returned to Mexico City, first in the Bethelemitas convent and later in the Inquisition Palace Complex on July 1. By then, it began to be recognized by every Mexican as the nation's premier military educational institution.

The turmoil that sparked in the 1828 presidential elections took its toll on the College cadets. On September 11, a rebellion led by Generals Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and Jose Maria Lobato denounced the election results ten days before, in which Manuel Gomez Pedraza emerged as the winner. Two months later, on November 30, they together with Lorenzo de Zavala and Col. Santiago Garcia staged a coup d'état that took over the La Acordada building demanding that the election results be voided by Congress. The same day, President Victoria called on the College cadets to proceed to the National Palace, and they fought on the side of the armed forces for 4 days until the fighting ended on December 4, with a compromise reached by both sides. Class would resume later the next day.

Political turmoil broke out again in 1840. On July 13 of that year Gen. Jose Urrea bolted out of jail and led a rebellion against President Anastacio Bustamante, who was later imprisoned in the presidential residence. General Gabriel Valencia then ordered all troops loyal to the President to proceed at once to the city citadel. These included the cadets of the Military College under its then director Brigade General Pedro Conde, who was received by Gen. Valencia and sent a delegation of cadets to the citadel. The College delegation then moved to a church where they fought anti-Bustamante troops, which resulted in two wounded cadets (Juan Rico and Antonio Groso), the former would later die of his wounds sustained. On the 16th President Bustamante left his residence and Gen. Vicente Filisola arrived at the church premises. On that night, when an armistice was made, the attempted coup was already over.

The next year, it relocated to the Chalpultepec Castle in Mexico City. This castle would be, in 6 years time, during the Mexican War, a place where 5 cadets and an officer in the faculty died in defense of the Mexican nation, and it would gain the Heroic designation. After a few years, the College relocated to the Inquisition Palace and later to San Lucas.

In 1846, the College's only naval director, Graduate Ship Captain Francisco Garcia began his duties as College Commandant, a duty lasting until 1847. A sudden rebellion by the Corps of Cadets happened during his tenure.

The Niños Héroes[edit]

The following year, under the first term of commandant Col. José Mariano Monterde Segura, the Mexican–American War struck Mexico City and the cadets caught up in the turmoil of the war. September 11 was marked by the baptism of fire yet again for the Corps: the battles on the Condress' Estate. On September 13 on that year the College became the site of the battle that changed it forever: the Battle of Chapultepec between the Mexican Army, including the College cadets, and the United States Army and United States Marine Corps. On the part of the College 5 cadets of the Corps of Cadets - Cadets Juan Escutia (who legend states committed suicide by jumping to the hill wrapped in the Flag of Mexico), Agustin Melgar, Francisco Marquez, Fernando Montes de Oca, and Vicente Suarez, and one active graduate and faculty member, Engineers Lieutenant Juan de la Barrera, were its greatest losses (most of the Corps were killed in action during the battle), with the rest taken as POWs or wounded. The 6 fatalities of the College are now known more in Mexico as the Niños Héroes today, and their sacrifices remembered on that day yearly all over the nation.

1857-1920[edit]

In 1858, during the term of Commandant Colonel Luis Tola Algarín, the College moved its facilities to the former Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Mexico City. During the Reform War the same year the Corps of Cadets was involved in a clash with the forces of Gen. Miguel Blanco on October 15 in Toluca. Casualties suffered by the cadets and instructors in this and subsequent actions caused the closure of the College in 1861.

The College was reopened in 1867. Located first in the National Palace the College was moved to various locations before returning to the Chapultepec Castle in 1882. Formerly a joint services institution, the College became an academy for the Mexican Army only in 1897, following the establishment of the Military Naval School in Veracruz.

On 8 February 1913 the 600 cadets of the Military College played a major part in the coup against President Francisco Madero.[1] A detachment of cadets, acting on the orders of Deputy Commandant Lieutenant Colonel Víctor Hernández Covarrubias, did however escort President Madero from Chapultepec Castle to the National Palace on the following day. Termed the Loyalty March, this action is still marked by an annual parade by the Corps of Cadets, attended by the present-day President of Mexico and his Cabinet.

Following the overthrow of General Victoriano Huerta in July 1914 and the disbandment of the Federal Army, the College was closed. It was reestablished in February 1920 following the end of the Mexican Revolution. The same year, the cadets of the cavalry squadron were involved in what has been termed "the final cavalry charge in the Americas". This occurred on May 8, when on the orders of Colonel Rodolfo Casillas the cadets acted in support of regular army dragoons under attack by rebel forces in Apizaco, Tlaxcala. In another engagement two days later a cadet was killed in action.

The College from 1947 to today[edit]

In 1947 The Military College celebrated the centenary of the Corps of Cadets' participation in the Battle of Chapultepec. In 1949, the Congress of the Union formally conferred the "Heroic" designation to both the Corps and to the Midshipmen's Regiment of the Naval Military Academy, the latter for its role in resisting the United States occupation of Veracruz in 1914.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Heroic Military College (1820-1970), 1 oz silver coins were minted by the Central Bank. In addition stamps featuring two Military College shakos were printed by the Government of Mexico. A special issue of stamps also commemorated the Golden Jubilee of "the final cavalry charge in the Americas"; carried out by the cavalry cadets of the college in 1920 (see above).

In 1976, the College's present campus in Tlalpan Borough, Mexico City, was formally opened, partailly damaged by the 1985 earthquake that struck the city. Today, the commandant of the academy is Brigade General Sergio Alberto Martínez Castuera.

The school was used as a setting for Luis Miguel's 1989 music video "La Incondicional". In the video he plays an Air Force cadet. In a marching scene towards the end of the song one can see the "Por el Honor de Mexico" banner.

Perote, the second home of the Military College, has been dubbed by the Veracruz State Congress as The Cradle of the Military College since 2002.

From 2007, the academy has accepted female cadets. The present Corps is regiment-sized and has among its units a cavalry squadron and an artillery battery.

Motto and Collegiate Slogan[edit]

Por el Honor de Mexico (For Mexico's Honor) is the college motto, made in a contest organized by radio station XEQ in commemoration of the centenary of the defense of Chalpultepec Castle in 1947.

Every midday, after the afternoon ceremony and before the midday parade, the following cheer is done by the Corps of Cadets:

  • Cadet Corps Commander: "Heroico Colegio Militar" ("Heroic Military College")
  • Cadets: Por el Honor de Mexico! (For Mexico's Honor!)

Collegiate Hymn and March[edit]

Hymn of the Heroic Military College[edit]

The Hymn of the Heroic Military College was composed in 1930 by Prof. José Ignacio Ríos del Río.[2]

Lyrics[edit]

Spanish
Chorus
Vibre el clarín de la guerra, resuenen las fanfarrias
Redoblen los tambores, una marcha triunfal
Y lleven de la Patria a todos los confines
Tu nombre sacrosanto,
Colegio Militar
Tu nombre sacrosanto,
Colegio Militar

I
Colegio sacrosanto, de memoria bendita
de forjaran sus almas, Montes de Oca y Melgar
La Patria bate marcha de honor a tu pasado,
de epopeyas gloriosas y de nombre inmortal.

Y en un gesto sublime de amor y de cariño,
bendice a los efebos que supieron morir
bañados por las ráfagas de luz espendorosa
que el ángel de la gloria enviara del cenit.

Repeat Chorus

March of the Heroic Military College[edit]

The Regimental March was composed by Lieutenant José Sotero Ortiz Sánchez, in time for the College's 1947 centenary of the Battle of Chapultepec.

Lyrics[edit]

Spanish
Páginas del libro de la historia del Heroico Colegio Militar
de epopeyas que ya jamás se borran del santuario de la inmortalidad.
Canto que se eleva a la memoria como ofrenda de honor a la lealtad
de los héroes que envueltos por la gloria grandioso ejemplo que nos dio la libertad.
Repeat All

Juventud de mi patria sublime, que marcháis con gallarda ilusión
aumentáreis la historia que escribe nobles hechos de sangre y honor.
Yunque forjador de hombres de guerra como Suárez, Escutia y Melgar,
Montes de Oca, Márquez y De la Barrera, los niños héroes de mi México inmortal!
Repeat All

Commandants[edit]

[3]

No. Period Rank Notes
1 1818–1823 Brigadier General Diego García Conde
2 1823–1824 Cavalry Colonel Juan Domínguez y Gálvez
3 1825–1828 Cavalry Lieutenant Colonel José Manuel Arechaga
4 1835–1836 Engineers Colonel Ignacio Mora y Villamil
5 1836–1846 Brigadier General Pedro García Conde
6 1846–1847 Graduate Captain, Commander Francisco García Salinas Only naval officer commandant of the College
7 1847–1853 Graduate Gen., Engineers Colonel José Mariano Monterde Segura Led the defense of Chapultepec Castle during the Battle of Chapultepec which took a heavy toll for the Academy
8 1853–1854 Graduate Gen., Engineers Colonel Santiago Blanco Duque de Estrada
9 1854–1859 Graduate Gen., Engineers Colonel Luis Tola Algarín
10 1859–1860 General Graduado, Coronel de Ingenieros José Mariano Monterde Segura 2nd Period
11 1861–1863 Brigade General José Justo Alvarez Valenzuela
12 1868–1871 Engineers Colonel Amado Camacho
13 1871–1880 Engineers Colonel Miguel Quintana González
14 1880–1883 Division General Sóstenes Rocha
15 1883–1884 General Graduado, Coronel Tec. de Artillería Francisco de Paula Méndez
16 1884–1906 Engineers Colonel General Juan Villegas Highest-ranking officer commandant of the College
17 1906–1912 General de Brigada de E.M. Esp. Joaquín Beltrán Castañares
18 1912–1913 Brigade General Felipe Ángeles
19 1913 Artillery Technical Colonel Miguel Bernard
20 1914 Division General Samuel García Cuéllar
Mexican Revolution
21 1920 Brigade General Angel Vallejo
22 1920 Brigade General Joaquín Mucel Acereto
23 1920–1921 General de Brigada Marcelino Murrieta Murrieta
24 1921–1923 General de Brigada Víctor Hernández Covarrubias
25 1923 General de Brigada José Domingo Ramírez Garrido
26 1923–1925 General de Brigada Miguel Angel Peralta
27 1925 General de Brigada I.C. Manuel Mendoza Sarabia
28 1925 Brigadier General Amado Aguirre Santiago
29 1925–1927 Division general Miguel M. Acosta Guajardo
30 1927–1928 General de Brigada Juan José Ríos
31 1928–1931 General de División Gilberto R. Limón
32 1931–1935 General de División Joaquín Amaro Domínguez
33 1935–1936 General de Brigada Rafael Cházaro Pérez
34 1936 General de Brigada Samuel Carlos Rojas Raso
35 1936–1938 General de Brigada Othón León Lobato
36 1939–1941 General de Brigada Alberto Zuno Hernández
37 1941–1942 General de División Marcelino García Barragán
38 1942–1945 General de División Gilberto R. Limón 2nd Period
39 1945–1948 General de Brigada Luis Alamillo Flores
40 1948–1950 General de Brigada Rafael Ávila Camacho
41 1950–1953 General de División Tomás Sánchez Hernández
42 1953–1955 General de División Leobardo Ruiz Camarillo
43 1955–1959 General de División Francisco de Jesús Grajales Godoy
44 1959–1965 General de Brigada Jerónimo Gomar Suástegui
45 1965–1970 General de Brigada Roberto Yáñez Vázquez
46 1971–1973 General de Brigada Miguel Rivera Becerra
47 1976 General de División Salvador Revueltas Olvera
48 1976–1980 General de División Absalón Castellanos Domínguez
49 1980–1982 General de División Enrique Cervantes Aguirre
50 1983–1985 General de Brigada Jaime Contreras Guerrero
51 1985–1988 General de División Carlos Cisneros Montes de Oca
52 1988–1991 General de División Carlos Duarte Sacramento
53 1991–1994 General de Brigada Luis Ángel Fuentes Álvarez
54 1994–1997 General de Brigada Rigoberto Castillejos Adriano
55 1997–2000 General de Brigada Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda
56 2000–2002 Divisional General Tomás Ángeles Dauahare
57 2002–2003 General de Brigada Manuel Sánchez Aguilar
58 2003–2006 Brigade General Carlos García Priani
59 2007–2008 Brigade General Francisco Tomas Gonzalez Loaiza
60 2008-2011 Brigade General Gonzalo Bernardino Duran Valdez
61 2011- Brigade General Sergio Alberto Martinez Castuera

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ronald Atkin, page 126 "Revolution! Mexico 1910-20", Granada Publishing Ltd. 1973
  2. ^ http://www.sedena.gob.mx/index.php?id=234
  3. ^ Directores del Heroico Colegio Militar, Secretariat of National Defense (Mexico) (SEDENA)