Faces of the Military

On October 12th, Spain celebrates its National Day, the Día de la Hispanidad. In South America, the day is called the more nuanced, optimistic and inclusive Día de la Raza. In the United States, the Knights of Colombus institutionalized a more practical name for the day. I was privileged to watch the branches of the country’s diverse military forces march just feet from my front door.  I’m not usually big on military parades, but the flamboyance and simple pride that these service men and women showed was a sight to see. As Spain is a constitutional monarchy (to some an anachronism in itself), the king is the head of state and therefore the military, and each branch wore highly decorative (if impractical) uniforms representing the romance and nostalgia of their respective specializations and of the various parts of the world in which they operate.

Whatever your stance on monarchies, it was a great thing to witness the police, armed forces and civil guard march amongst spectators who see them as symbols of what is good about this country, not of what is bad. At such close proximity, I was able to see the faces of these soldiers and police up close, faces basking in the public eye at a moment of dignity and pride. Here are some of those faces.

“Los Regulares” of Ceuta serve in Northern Africa, and wear red caps and long white capes.
The Special Forces of the Navy.


The paratroopers, known as the “paracaidistas” marched with their chutes strapped to their backs.


Los Regulares de Ceuta.


The Guardia Civil received the loudest of applause.


The Infantry of the Army.


These burly dudes are often pudgy yet famously tough as nails. The Spanish Legion is known collectively as the “Legionarios,” Spain’s rapid reaction force.


A young officer of the Guardia Civil (Civil Guard).


Soldiers and pilots of the Air Force.


The Compañía del RINF no. 64, carrying their skis, operate high in the Pyrenees mountains near Jaca, Spain.


Members of the King’s Royal Guard on chariots.


Uno de Los Regulares.


The Royal Guard preparing for the arrival of the king.


The Legionarios are also knowns as “Los Tercios” or “Tercio de Extranjeros,” as it once served as the Spanish version of the French Foreign Legion.



A member of “Los Regulares de Ceuta.”



The slogan of the Legionarios: “Legionarios a luchar. Legionarios a morir!” (Legionnaires to fight. Legionnaires to die!)


The mascot of the Spanish Legion, “Roco.” It was Roco’s first parade, as the old goat has retired, perhaps growing wine on a Roman vineyard near Ronda.


Guardia Civil drummers.


The search and rescue dogs of the Unidad Militar.


A noble police dog at the head of the police procession (Cuerpo Nacional).



One thought on “Faces of the Military

  1. It seems we in the future will need symbols like monarchies, church and cultural heritage more than the last 70 years, to have a hope to stay together as peoples of our land. So many try to make us forget our roots and our history, even in Scandinavia. Or maybe even more in Scandinavia.

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