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37th Infantry Presidential Guard Battalion

The 37th Infantry Presidential Guard Battalion (Spanish: Batallón de Infantería Guardia Presidencial, BIGUP) is the President of Colombia's honour guard service regiment under the National Army of Colombia. It is composed of five companies, a historical company and one artillery battery plus a military band, a fanfare trumpet section and a Corps of Drums. It is stationed at the Casa de Nariño in Bogotá and carries the traditions of Simon Bolivar's infantry guards company raised in the midst of the Spanish American wars of independence in 1815.[2]

37th Infantry Presidential Guard Battalion
Batallón de Infantería Guardia Presidencial (BIGUP)
Guardia Nari.jpg
A Soldier of the Caldas Engineering Company of the Presidential Guard.
Active16 August 1928; 90 years ago (1928-08-16)
Country Colombia
BranchFlag of the Colombian Army.svg National Army of Colombia
TypeHonor Guard
Infantry
Cavalry
RoleCeremonial Guard
Public Security
Part of5th Division (Colombia)
Garrison/HQBogotá
Nickname(s)
  • Batallón Guardia Presidencial
  • Nariño Palace Guard
Motto(s)“En Defensa del Honor Hasta la Muerte” (“In defense of honor till death”)
MarchHimno del Batallón Guardia Presidencial (Hymn of the Presidential Guard Battalion)
Commanders
Current
commander
Lt. Col. Wilson German Hernandez Viveros[1]

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
A formation of the Battalion at the entrance to the Weapons Court of the Nariño Palace

In June 1814, the President of the Second Republic of Venezuela Simón Bolívar, inspected the Guard of Honor upon his return to Santa Fe. The guard, which was called the Guardia de Honor del libertador Simón Bolívar (Honor Guard of the Liberator Simón Bolívar), provided the basis for the 37th Infantry Presidential Guard Battalion.

On December 7, 1927, President Miguel Abadía Méndez signed a decree officially founding the Presidential Guard.[3] On August 16, 1928, the battalion was given its current name, with its first commander being Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Perea Sanclemente. Memorable actions of this battalion are remembered such as the protection given to the president during the violent acts of the Bogotazo (April 9, 1948) and during the Palace of Justice Siege on November 6, 1985.[4] Resolution 3446 of August 17, 1955, created the medallion “Guardia Presidencial” and Decree 1880 of 1988 ruled the award merits for this prize given to the distinguished members of the battalion for their loyalty, service and good behavior.

FunctionsEdit

The battalion provides security to the Presidency of Colombia by meeting the requirements imposed on it by the Secretary of Security of the President of Colombia. The Fergusson Company is the chief ceremonial unit in the battalion, being in charge of providing guards of honor during military ceremonies such as parades, state visits, and funeral honors. On select days at the Casa de Nariño, the public can witness the flag lowering and raising ceremony in the afternoon performed by the battalion's personnel. The other 4 companies are solely responsible for the logistical security of the head of state. It also supports the 5th Division's 13th Brigade in wartime and in situations of social unrest, mostly taking putting an great amount of care and thought into the security of the President of Colombia and his/her family.

Changing of the GuardEdit

The Changing of the Guard (Cambio de guardia) is a 105 year old traditional military parade of the battalion that takes place on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 4 PM (COT) in the central square of the Casa de Nariño. It marks the changing of the security command at the palace. The changing of the guard involves the Fergusson Company and the battalion's military band and corps of drums.[5]

CompositionEdit

 
The Military band of the battalion at the Monument of Fallen Soldiers and Police in Bogotá. May 2009

The battalion is part of 13th Infantry Brigade of the Army's 5th Division, and is composed of 1,400 people: 29 officers, 116 NCOs, 1,189 soldiers and 66 civilian personnel. Today the Presidential Guard Battalion is currently subdivided into several companies:

Their headquarters are located in front of the building of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit on the south side of the Casa de Nariño. Their motto is “En Defensa del Honor Hasta la Muerte” (“In defense of honor till death”).

List of CommandersEdit

  • Lieutenant Colonel Luis Fernando Londoño Villamizar (2008 - 2013)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Jose Dangond (2013 - Present)

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit