Tisha Swart-Entwistle | Combined Arms Center Public Affairs
In June 2019, Lt. Col. Ezequiel Monjaraz and his family joined scores of other military families when they moved to Fort Leavenworth. For Monjaraz and the Combined Arms Center, this was not the typical military move. Monjaraz moved from Mexico City to Kansas to serve as the first international liaison officer to CAC from Mexico.
Bob Greene, director of the International Liaison Program at CAC, said the idea for a liaison officer from Mexico embedded somewhere in the U.S. Army came up more than a year ago.
“In looking broadly at what their (Mexican Armed Forces) target areas were — leadership, development, education and specifically doctrine — CAC was the best fit,” Greene said.
The ILO program was established to facilitate the mutual exchange of information within the CAC core functions, Greene said.
“What we’ve done is try to solidify that in order to increase interoperability,” Greene said.
According to his records, Greene said there have been liaison officers around CAC since the mid-1960s and the program was formalized in 2009.
Monjaraz is currently scheduled to be here for two years. The agreement with each country is different, but Greene said that each officer is here for at least two years.
“Some countries stay three and some request extensions,” Greene said.
Monjaraz said this assignment is a great opportunity for him as well as his country.
“It is an opportunity to learn and make contacts and share experiences,” Monjaraz said.
This is not Monjaraz’s first assignment as a liaison officer in the United States. In 2014, he served at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
“Don’t worry, it is much colder in Ohio right now,” Monjaraz said about spending his first winter in Kansas.
The international liaison officers don’t work for CAC while they are here; they work for their parent country and take direction from their respective military attaché in Washington, D.C. Greene said he develops an engagement plan so he can expose the officers to what is going on in CAC. The officers also have their own individual engagement plans based on direction from their home countries.
“So, really, their duties are to push and pull information,” Greene said. “Using doctrine as an example, we just got done updating our doctrine, and that is important to our partners because they want to align their doctrine with ours.”
Greene said he shares the new information that is cleared for release, and the liaisons would then reciprocate.
“We get an opportunity for them to reach back to their country and share similar information with us, and we get the opportunity to increase interoperability,” Greene said. “We strengthen our relationships around the world because we all know that none of us are doing anything by ourselves.”