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Corazzieri official seal
|Country|| Duchy of Savoy|
Regno di Sardegna
Kingdom of Italy
|Role||Honor guard of the President of the Italian Republic|
|Garrison/HQ||Barrack "Alessandro Negri di Sanfront" - Rome|
|Motto(s)||VIRTUS IN PERICULIS FIRMIOR|
Courage becomes stronger in danger
|Colonel-in-Chief||President of the Italian Republic|
The Cuirassiers' Regiment (Reggimento Corazzieri, previously Comando Carabinieri Guardie del Presidente della Repubblica) is an Italian elite military unit and the honor guard of the President of the Italian Republic. Their motto "Virtus in periculis firmior" means Courage becomes stronger in danger.
Members of the unit, which is a specialized company of the Carabinieri, are distinguished by their uniforms and height. The minimum height for admission is 190 cm (6 ft 3 in).
The unit's history dates back to the late 14th century, when the Red Count used a lifeguard of archers. In the 16th century, Emmanuel Philibert re-organized the Savoiard army, creating a personal guard unit of mounted archers (Guardia D'Onore), which fought brilliantly in the Battle of St. Quentin (1557). This guard saved Charles Emmanuel I during the siege of Mons (1590). Charles Emmanuel created a company of cuirassiers (Compagnia Corazzieri del Duca), and this unit was enlarged by his successors until 1854, when the Carabinieri received the role of guards of the King during the campaigns. On 7 February 1868, for the wedding of Prince Umberto to Margherita of Savoy, a mounted honor guard of 80 Carabinieri was formed, called the Squadrone Carabinieri Guardie del Re. The new unit was formally recognized as Carabinieri Guardie del Re on 7 January 1870, when it was entrusted with the safety of the king.
The members of the Regiment, which are a specialized force of the Carabinieri, are distinguished by their uniforms and height; which is why becoming a cuirassier is anything but easy. In addition to physical requirements (at least 190 cm in height and an "adequately harmonious" constitution) and an undisputed personal and family morality, it is necessary to have excellent disciplinary and service records, demonstrated by at least six months of territorial service and as many months of traineeship in the Regiment (with a final exam). They must know how to ride perfectly the horses of the unit, all of Irish breed, chosen for their versatility of use; in fact, they are selected in excess of the average size, at least 1.70 meters at the withers, as well as for the beauty and color of the mantle. In recent times, however, the Italian breed, which is offering horses with the same characteristics but at a lower price, is being re-evaluated.
A cuirassier must also be able to drive with great skill the impressive Moto Guzzi California, a means of complementary or alternative transport in daily services, but also in many ceremonial services.
Importantly a cuirassier must have the physical endurance for prolonged standing service shifts, carried out with austere immobility but, above all, indispensable skills and readiness, to manage many delicate operational situations characterized by a large public presence and by the need to ensure a discreet, but always effective, protection. The Corazzieri are also trained to escort the President of the Republic, for which they have a vast range of equipment, known as "bottino" ("booty"); among them are those trained for the role of sharpshooters, often used when the President of the Republic is exposed to the public. The Corazzieri are also trained in martial arts techniques, self defense and skydiving.
- "I Corazzieri". www.quirinale.it. January 14, 2015.
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