On March 26, the only training center for NCOs in the Argentine Army, the Army NCO School, Sargento Cabral, turned 140 years old. Its essential role is to provide young non-commissioned officers for the elements of the Argentine army across the country. Even during the 2020 pandemic phase, the school certified the layoffs of more than 1,000 corporals who joined the tens of thousands who graduated from the institute throughout its history.
Despite various changes and mergers along the way, the NCO school retained its mission and vision: to train and perfect future non-commissioned officers in the various weapons, specialties and services that make up the armed forces. It is subject to constant change in both the academic and military fields and is a reference point for instruction in operational techniques and procedures. It is also a bulwark in training in the virtues and values that distinguish the Argentine soldier. The whole process is always applied with the aim of turning the young aspirants into military leaders of the small factions.
The current institute is the result of the merger of two institutes and the constant academic growth that adapts to new demands and realities.
In 1881 the School of Cabos and Sergeants of Artillery was founded, a place where theoretical and practical courses on combat were offered for no more than 5 months. In 1897 it was renamed the Normal School of Army Classes and grouped the various weapons that existed at the time: infantry, cavalry, engineering, and artillery. In 1933 the facility was renamed Sergeant Cabral NCO School in honor of the soldier Juan Bautista Cabral, who lost his life in the Battle of San Lorenzo on February 3, 1813 and saved the then Colonel José de San Martín.
In 1908, the first Army Operators School was established, renamed the Army Mechanics School, Lt. Col. Fray Luis Beltrán, where mechanical NCOs and specialists from various fields were trained. Years later, the Army Auxiliary Corps Training Center was established to prepare health, administrative, judicial, and veterinary personnel to perform these services and to perfect them militarily. In 1951 the name was changed to General Lemos Auxiliary Professional Corps School. After a restructuring of the armed forces, both special institutes were incorporated into the General Lemos Combat Support Services School in 1963.
It is also worth highlighting the involvement of women in the founding of the Army Nurses School in 1960, later referred to as the School of the Female Professional Corps when further careers were taken up, which was later taken over by the institutes of officers and non-commissioned officers to train men and women of every level in the same center. In the early and mid-1990s, non-commissioned officers’ schools began to include women first in the service and then in the arms.
In the early 2000s, the schools of Sargento Cabral and General Lemos were merged to create the institution that kept the name of the first: School of NCOs of the Army? Sergeant Cabral ??. The name Sergeant Cabral is retained as he is the legendary NCO in the history of the Argentine Army.
Today, the school trains applicants in two-year courses that offer the opportunity for various sergeant careers, from combat and support weapons, armaments command corps and quartermaster specialties, health specialties to the mechanics of various weapons and equipment, from rifles to airplanes, to veterinary medicine and to Administrative functions. In addition to the granting of secondary school qualifications, technical training plans are already being drawn up.
Graduates with the rank of non-commissioned officer present themselves to the units in a position to send the small fractions of each weapon, to operate or repair different devices and means depending on the subject area, or to face important challenges such as the responsibility of guarding and managing various logistics resources .
The school also completes the training of the best soldiers in the ranks of the army in a 6-month course who, before they reach the age of 26, complete all cycles of the volunteer soldier and meet the requirements to be non-commissioned officers.
Therefore, the Institute continues its work of educating citizens as military leaders in the ranks of the sergeants and is recognized for its academic excellence and commitment to the integral education of people. (Luis Piñeiro)
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