The Greek army revives the “cavalry” for parades and … operational tasks

The General Staff of Greece again called on the service of the 73-year-old brigadier general, who retired from the army in 1994. He is instructed to prepare a cavalry squadron, horses and riders so that they can (for starters) take part in the parade in honor of the national holiday on March 25, 2023.

As journalists caustically remarked, “this kind old man will receive a salary of 2,500 euros per month, which is much higher than those who currently serve in the army and, accordingly, in the border areas, whether on land or on islands, tags a military site“.

In the 28 years since his resignation to his reinstatement, Brigadier General Dimitris Stergiou-Kapsalis has been involved in politics and is said to have served as mayor of a suburb in northeastern Athens. In his recent statements, he has stated that he will run again in 2023.

The brigadier general, who returned to duty, was appointed commander of a company or, as it is officially called, a “cavalry squadron”, since the army leadership wanted to “use his knowledge in matters of training horses.”

“It is interesting that the army did not contract him to achieve the desired result, as is done in such cases, but returned him to active service, although he was already in his 8th decade,” the site notes.

“The overage brigadier general will be paid more than the “combat” brigadier generals who serve on the borders and are responsible for the defense of the island or the Evros River. And this is because his salary, which reaches about 2500, has lower deductions compared to active officers who have not retired or retired to return to service again,” adds armyvoice.

The site also reminds that the March parade will feature a program called “The Military Virtue of the Greeks”, which was invented by the junta (1967-1974) and represented “the heroic deeds of Hellenism, from antiquity to the present day.” A “kitsch aesthetic” show, the soldiers of the army were “dressed as Athenians, Spartans, Macedonians, Byzantines, as well as Persians, Arabs and Turks, and even North Koreans.”

The newly created “cavalry” is said to consist of 7 horses and 13 officers. The Brigadier added that some of the horses were bought, for example one for 3,000 euros, and some were gifts.

In conversation with the daily on the occasion of the horse event held over the weekend, the brigadier general said he was proud of his appointment and would deploy first-class cavalry that would “smite all Greeks” and could be used for other army operations, such as on Evros, the natural frontier between Greece and Turkey. He said that his appointment is for the next three years. Kapsalis added that the big goal is to create a detachment of 40-50 horsemen. “This goal is huge, but not unattainable. A start has been made, and this is the main thing,” he said characteristically.

As for the operational plan, Kapsalis emphasized that the cavalry is not only intended for parades, it can successfully operate in the protection of land borders: “One of the thoughts is to monitor the border line of Evros. The horse has the ability to move at high speed in difficult and difficult places,” he said, adding that “Americans today use horses to guard the border with Mexico.” Almost all armies and all European states kept their cavalry for special missions.”

The Greek Army officially disbanded the legendary presidential guard cavalry, which was based at Goudi in Athens, 50 years ago.

PS Greek commentators sarcastically remark that “while Turkey is testing the Typhoon missile, we are investing in horses.” Others point out that military personnel are still waiting for the promised salary increase in the army, and this is against the backdrop of high inflation, when citizens find it difficult to meet their needs for energy and even supermarkets. Still others allude to the “unchanging traditions of the junta,” as they call Mitsotakis’ current government, in pompous ceremonies and eloquent propaganda.

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