Margarita Robles asserts that “science and knowledge in the armed forces deserve all the credit.”


At the opening ceremony of the 2023/24 CESEDEN academic year

The Military Teaching Center pays tribute to the late politician Joseph Piguet and presents the ‘Marquis de Santa Cruz de Marcenato’ award for spreading the culture of defence.

Defense Minister Margarita Robles today presided over the inauguration of a course at the Center for Advanced National Security Studies (CESEDEN), which paid tribute to the late politician and former collaborator of the Center, Joseph B.K. ‘Marquis de Santa Cruz de Marcenato’ award to ship captain Juan Escrigas.

In the renovated and modernized Aula Magna, Robles first remembered the winner’s father, Admiral Fausto Escrigas, who was killed by the terrorist group ETA in 1985 and all the victims of terrorism “we will never forget.”

Minister Joseph Pique’s widow paid tribute to journalist Gloria Lomana, remembering a man who “represented what I always admired in a politician, a politician” and “a man on the brink of conflict”.

Piguet held several ministerial portfolios, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, from where he represented Spain and defended its interests in the world, “leaving an indelible memory, an inspiration to continue to act in what we believe in,” noted Minister Robles.

“What we believe is precisely that Spain we are most proud of, for that Spain the men and women of the Armed Forces work every day in all areas, in science and study, as they do here. CESEDEN,” he said.

“The science, knowledge and wisdom in the armed forces deserve all the credit,” Robles said, adding that one of his main tasks in office is to “make sure the armed forces are known, loved, respected and admired.”

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The first master class of the course was given by Army General Jaime Dominguez Buj, former JEME and current President of the Academy of Military Sciences and Arts.

“Current military life does not allow us the time to devote ourselves to expanding our knowledge or skills,” General Puj said, although he added that “we can increase our knowledge without limiting ourselves intellectually.” Part of the military culture you love because “we have to enjoy what we do in this life.”

Subsequently, the Chief of Defense Staff (JEMAD), Admiral General Teodoro López Calderon, presented the ‘Marqués de Santa Cruz de Marcenado’ award to a soldier who has distinguished himself in spreading military culture or contributed to its excellence.

Capt. Juan Esgricas, current deputy director of the Naval Museum, professor and author of half a dozen books and an extensive and acclaimed family legacy, remembered his father, Admiral Esgricas, who was killed by the terrorist group ETA, and thanked him for the award. “The greatest honor I have ever received in my life.”

At the event, Rafael Calduch and Felipe Sahagun, Professor of International Relations and Professor at the Faculty of Information Sciences of the Complutense University of Madrid, were awarded honorary professorships and diplomas.


During the ceremony, the director of the Military Education Center, Lieutenant General Francisco de Paula Bispel, thanked the Spanish Energy Club, “for its contribution to teaching and research in Cesedon, which allows us to get closer to the excellence that we continue.”

In his address, General Bispal identified digital transformation as a “key challenge” facing the center, especially “incorporating disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and big data into teaching processes”.

CESEDEN’s most iconic course is the Armed Forces General Staff Course, which is in its 25th edition this year with the highest number of students (142) challenging to maintain excellence,” said its Director.

The General Officer Duties Update Course is one of the most notable courses taught there and is reaching its 25th edition. Other approved courses are National Defense Courses, FAS Advanced Intelligence Course (XVII) and Senior Management Courses. All of them are taught in blended mode.

To carry out its functions, CESEDEN is exposed to the High School of the Armed Forces (ESFAS), the Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies (IEEE), the Department of Culture and Defense Diplomacy (DCDD) and the Spanish Military History Commission (CEHISMI). .

DCDD offers courses in advanced national security studies to national and foreign personnel to contribute to defense diplomacy, as well as to promote and disseminate a defense culture.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Defense Undersecretary Adoracion Mateos and military commanders, Army General Amador Ensenado; Air and Space Army Chief of Staff, Air General Javier Salto; Secretary General of Defense Policy, Admiral Juan Francisco Martínez-Núñez and Director General of Recruiting and Military Education, Lt. Gen. Pedro José García Sifo.

In addition, large representatives of educational institutions attended, such as the Rector of the University of Complutense, the Polytechnic University or the Rector of Salamanca. In its research work, CESEDEN maintains close cooperation with public universities, university and defense centers and other public and private institutions. The event concluded with a traditional toast to HM the King.

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