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Col. Omar Rabling Valdez, Mexican Army

MS in Defense Analysis (Irregular Warfare), December '23

Col. Omar Rabling Valdez joined the Armed Forces on January 9, 1991, as a cadet of the esteemed Heroico Colegio Militar. For over nearly 32 years of dedicated service, he has held a variety of leadership positions, serving as platoon, section, company and battalion commander.

His dedication to continuous learning led him to undertake various training programs in the United States, to include training with the 7th Special Forces Group at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. His passion for parachuting inspired him to complete both the Airborne and Jump Master courses at Ft. Benning, Georgia, and the Air Assault Ops course at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.

Throughout his career, he has cultivated skills across tactical and operational domains as well as in administrative and communication sectors. He has served as a senior advisor in public relations and human resources management and has led Infantry, Paratrooper and Special Forces units, amassing extensive experience in national security and defense.

"One of the most enriching aspects of my time at NPS has undoubtedly been the exchange of information and experiences with my peers, officers from various branches and nations, who offer unique and valuable insights into the challenges and solutions in the realm of defense. This amalgamation of perspectives has granted me a more holistic understanding of the scenarios and issues that armed forces face globally."

What brought you to NPS? How do you see the skills and knowledge you are gaining in the Defense Analysis program benefiting you in your future career?

I was honored with the appointment to represent the Mexican Armed Forces at NPS following a competitive process in which I was evaluated alongside distinguished colonels and generals. This opportunity not only showcases a recognition of my career trajectory and professional commitment but also offers comprehensive training in the Defense Analysis program. I am convinced that the skills and knowledge acquired here are pivotal to elevating the strategic and tactical standards of our military operations. Upon my return, these insights will empower me to effectively advise my superiors, optimize decision-making processes, and contribute to the adaptation and modernization of our tactics, techniques, and procedures.Additionally, the international exposure and interaction with peers from various nations at NPS enhance my perspective and strengthen collaborative capacities between our forces and strategic allies. In essence, I view this training as an investment in the future of national defense and in solidifying Mexico's role as a key player in regional security.

What types of roles or opportunities do you hope to pursue after graduation?

Upon completing my education at NPS, my primary aspiration is to continue bolstering my performance in leadership roles within the Mexican Armed Forces. I am ardently committed to leading operational units, allowing me to directly apply the acquired strategies and tactics, ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations. Concurrently, I envision myself contributing as an advisor on Defense Analysis matters at a strategic level, offering a refreshed perspective grounded in advanced research to strengthen our defensive and offensive stance.

Moreover, considering the ever-evolving defense scenarios and the pressing need for rapid adaptation, I am keen on participating in the creation and modernization of training and development programs for future military generations. My experience at NPS has furnished me with a comprehensive and multidisciplinary view that I aim to incorporate into the strategic planning and training processes of our institution. In essence, I seek to be an agent of change and a bridge between traditional expertise and contemporary innovations, thereby enhancing the readiness and response of our Armed Forces to any challenge.

What have been the most impactful experiences or memorable moments during your time at NPS that have shaped your perspective or enriched your education?

One of the most enriching aspects of my time at NPS has undoubtedly been the exchange of information and experiences with my peers, officers from various branches and nations, who offer unique and valuable insights into the challenges and solutions in the realm of defense. This amalgamation of perspectives has granted me a more holistic understanding of the scenarios and issues that armed forces face globally.

A foundational pillar of my education here has been the academic knowledge and mentorship of my professors. Their guidance, direction, and expertise have been invaluable. Their commitment to excellence and their profound knowledge in their respective areas of specialization have been paramount to my professional development. These interactions have equipped me with critical tools, methodologies, and approaches that are essential in addressing contemporary challenges in the military sphere.

The confluence of these experiences has solidified my conviction that continuous education, knowledge exchange, and expert guidance are vital for personal and professional advancement, and to ensure the effectiveness and relevance of our Armed Forces in the complex strategic environment of the 21st century.

How have opportunities to interact with the students from different services and different nations enhanced your educational experience and how will it affect your career going forward?

Having had the opportunity to interact and exchange experiences with peers from different services and nations has been pivotal in my education at NPS. These interactions have broadened my perspective, offering a more diverse view of the challenges we face in defense and security. They have expanded the array of opportunities and approaches for holistically addressing the challenges presented in today's environment.

This exchange has deepened my understanding of various realities and perspectives, better equipping me to tackle issues with a more global and strategic mindset. Furthermore, by grasping the best practices and lessons learned from other countries, I can incorporate these strategies and adapt them to the specificities of the Mexican context.

I am convinced that these experiences will enrich my service in the Mexican Armed Forces, allowing me to introduce innovative and effective solutions to the challenges at hand. I am confident that this wealth of knowledge and the network built at NPS will be instrumental in my professional future, whether I'm in leadership roles within operational units or advising senior leadership on strategic matters of national defense and security.

Irregular Warfare is a complex and evolving field. How has your coursework at NPS deepened your understanding of irregular warfare strategies and tactics, and how do you plan to apply this knowledge in your military service?

Irregular warfare is undoubtedly a fascinating and crucial topic for the Armed Forces in the current global context. My time at NPS has reinforced and expanded my understanding of the subject, leading me to realize that irregular warfare cannot be approached with traditional mindsets. It must be viewed and addressed in an asymmetric and multidimensional manner.

The challenges presented by irregular warfare call for innovative and adaptive solutions. The conflict is not merely military; it encompasses political, social, economic, and even cultural dimensions. The lessons and strategies learned at NPS have equipped me to adopt a more holistic approach in analyzing and responding to these challenges.

I plan to apply this knowledge in my service with the Mexican Armed Forces, advocating for a continuous adaptation of the tactics and strategies we employ. It is essential to incorporate a broad vision that considers all facets of irregular warfare, and I am committed to being an agent of change in this respect, bringing creative and effective solutions that strengthen our stance and response capacity to the challenges of irregular warfare.

Looking ahead to your graduation, what are your aspirations for applying the knowledge and skills you've gained at NPS to your role in the Mexican Army, especially in the context of irregular warfare?

Looking forward, after completing my training at NPS, I am deeply committed to contributing to the Mexican Armed Forces not only from an operational perspective but also academically and educationally. The wealth of knowledge and skills I've acquired have endowed me with valuable tools that I deem essential to addressing contemporary challenges in the realm of defense.

One of my primary goals is to have the opportunity to disseminate this knowledge among the new generations of Mexican military personnel, both at the Heroic Military Academy (Heroico Colegio Militar) and other educational institutions within our Armed Forces. I believe that the continuous training and preparation of our cadets and officers are crucial to ensuring the evolution and adaptability of our Army in an ever-changing world.

Furthermore, I hope to collaborate closely with my superiors and colleagues in implementing strategies and tactics aligned with the current trends of irregular warfare, thereby ensuring an assertive, multidimensional, and adaptive response to the challenges we face. Ultimately, my aspiration is that, with the support and synergy of my fellow servicemen and women, we can strengthen the strategic and operational stance of the Mexican Army, grounded in education, innovation, and adaptability.

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