36 students of the "Giulio Douhet" high school of the Italian Air Force have sworn allegiance to the Italian Republic

(To air Force)

It is an oath with a particular flavor that was celebrated today in Florence, in the suggestive setting of Piazza della Signoria, which featured the 36 students of the "Ursa" course, first year of the "Giulio Douhet" Military Air Force School in Florence.

In fact, in the year of its centenary, the Air Force wanted to celebrate the most important moment in the military life of the students of its high school in the place which is symbolically the beating heart of the Tuscan capital.

The event was presided over by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Air Force General Luca Goretti, with the participation of the Commander of the Schools and of the 3rd Air Region, Air Force General Silvano Frigerio. Various military, civil and religious authorities were present, including the president of the Tuscany Region, Eugenio Giani, and the mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella. Special guest at the ceremony Josep Borrell, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, present in Florence for the summit "The State of the Union" underway at Palazzo Vecchio.

After thanking the authorities present and all citizens, the commander of the Douhet School, Colonel Massimiliano Macioce, addressed the young students: “You are preparing to become aware citizens, respectful of the laws of the State and ready to honor Italy with your ethical principles and your honesty. The spirit of cohesion and collaboration that you have shown in recent months will allow you to serve the community tomorrow". Col. Macioce then urged the students to remember this moment forever as "the sacrifices you have made to get to today will help you face the small and big commitments of the day and of your life, wherever your destiny will lead you, in uniform or in the various fields and civilian jobs".

And it was precisely at the end of the intervention by the commander of the School that the solemn act of the Oath of Loyalty to the Republic took place, pronounced by the young students in front of the Institute Flag.

Surrounded by the affection of their loved ones and the Florentine population, the girls and boys of the "Ursa" Course shouted their "I swear" in the presence of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, greeted by a formation made up of two aircraft Euro Fighter of the 4th wing of Grosseto and a Tornado of the 6th wing of Ghedi.

"Today's is your first real test as grown-ups which has made you stand out from your peers to allow you to pursue a dream, an ambition, an aspiration: that of wearing the blue uniform, of having the honor of serving the country, even if continuing your course of study" said the chief of staff of the Air Force, general of the air team Luca Goretti. “Apply yourself to study, don't passively accept to follow a destiny that doesn't satisfy you. Follow your passion with righteousness, listen to your heart, always have the attitude to sacrifice yourselves for the common good and profound respect for all ethical principles that will help you in this phase of growth. Have the ambition to make your dreams come true by working hard to achieve the goals you want with rationality and common sense. The results will surely come and will be those expected! If, on the other hand, doubts, uncertainties or other things should arise, don't chase easy chimeras, be responsible for your future!".

The Chief of Staff then added: "We can proudly say that for 100 years we have been flying towards the future ready to defend our beloved Italy and, as mentioned during the recent celebrations for the prestigious birthday, the Air Force has been, is and will always be there , with its men and women on the front line, ready to make our skies safe, proudly carrying the tricolor in all operations outside national borders ".

At the end of the ceremony, the baptism of the course took place Ursa, which was attended by Col. Gennaro Di Napoli as godfather of the course. This moment, during which the course pennant is symbolically entrusted by the godfather to the course leader, represents an ideal handover between old and new generations of the Armed Forces.

The course Ursa, whose motto is "spes noctis, rector caeli - hope of the night, guide of the sky", is made up of 23 girls and 13 boys, coming from all over Italy, who join the 35 students of Corso Sirio (at the third and last year of education) and to the 29 students of the course Taurus (second year).

The "Giulio Douhet" Military Aeronautical School, inaugurated in 2006, is a secondary school which carries out the courses of the last three years in the classical and scientific high school addresses, which can be accessed by public competition. The purpose of the Institute is to encourage a balanced growth of the students under the human, cultural, moral, physical and character profile so that they have the necessary skills to become good citizens and face the challenges of tomorrow, regardless of the future life choices of each student.

As part of the initiatives put in place for the Centenary of the Air Force, the traveling exhibition "The history, capabilities and traditions of the Air Force in its first 100 years" is underway in Palazzo Vecchio. open to visitors, free of charge, until Sunday 14 May, every day from 10:00 to 18:00 (with entry allowed up to 20 minutes before closing).

Florence is the second stage of a journey through Italy, which started on the occasion of the anniversary of the establishment of the Armed Forces with the exhibition at the Shrine of Flags at the Altare della Patria in Rome, which aims to make get to know the Air Force, its history, its commitment to citizenship, projecting the visitor towards the future. The route will then continue along the entire peninsula for the whole of 2023: after Florence it will be the turn of Bari, Cagliari, Palermo, Caserta, Parma, Treviso, Milan, Ferrara, Viterbo, Lecce, to bring the Air Force ever closer to the citizens, illustrating its evolutionary path in its first century of life, from its foundation to the present day.

To review all stages of the oath go to the Air Force YouTube channel https://youtube.com/live/juBYFM8zaPA