Considering the lack of equality in professions considered “a man’s job”, Colonel Regina Mateus already stands out from the crowd. In the Air Force for 23 years, she is a military doctor who has seen three terms of active service in “areas of the highest level of conflict”. Now, she is on course for the rank of Brigadier General, the one-star post of general (two-star being Major-General).
It is uncertain when she will be promoted, as Diário Notícias explains “it is up to a vacancy becoming available”.
But it looks like the next step in a life forged by professionalism and duty.
Col. Mateus herself has had very little to say on the subject – but a source asking to remain anonymous told the paper that the 51-year-old has always been “very active” and “one of the crowd” – “drinking beer, but less than the rest of us”.
Early challenges apparently came in the form of “not being able to find boots or trousers small enough”.
Said another high-ranking official: “She’s not a bean counter, she is a true operative. Calm but a disciplinarian”.
Aside from foreign missions, the colonel was responsible for equipping military C-295 transport planes with the capacity to airlift people infected with the Ebola virus out of Africa, the source added.