By Robert MartinApril 4, 2017
March 17, 2017 -- The U.S. Army War College welcomed back Gen. Alberto Jose Mejia, commander of the Colombian National Army, as he became the 63rdmember of the USAWC International Fellows Hall of Fame during a ceremony conducted here.
Mejia spoke to current students and faculty as well as colleagues about the long history of Colombian military cooperation with the United States. Among these, he described combat operations during the Korean War, when under the direction of the 7thInfantry Division, Colombian soldiers earned more than 500 decorations while serving alongside US Army Soldiers.
"This college made an incredible change in me in the way I approached strategy, critical thinking and especially the way I learned campaign planning," said Mejia. "It was here that I started to study and research, while completing my SRP paper, on how the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) was a system of systems and I enjoy investigating and seeing the enemy from a different approach," he said.
He is the eldest son of Gen. Nelson Mejia Henao, commander of the Colombian National Army from 1988 to 1990. Mejia is an infantry officer and holds a master's degree in national security from the Naval Post Graduate School and a Master's of Strategic Studies from the USAWC. He has been the commander of the Special Forces Battalion No. 2 and the Army's Aviation and Air Assault Division. His career culminated in his promotion to Commander the National Army in July 2015.
He was one of the key leaders of the strategic review committee responsible for revising the Colombian Army's counter-guerrilla strategy that focused on small unit engagements rather than concentrating on large groups of enemy combatants.
The International Fellows Program was established for mutual understanding and good working relationship between senior U.S. officers and senior officers of select foreign countries -- to offer an opportunity for senior military officers from allied and friendly countries, to study, research, and write about subjects of significance to the security interest of the their own and allied nations; and to enrich the educational environment of the USAWC and to improve the International Fellows' firsthand knowledge of U.S. culture and institution through study and travel in the United States.