He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake; no it’s not Santa Claus, it’s the President’s personal military aid! Today felicidades are in order for Colonel Sebastián Ignacio Ibáñez, as it was officially announced this morning that he has been chosen to fill the post of personal military aid for President Mauricio Macri.
Ibáñez is a Lietuenant Colonel who since 2012 served as the Chief of the Blue 1 Armored artillery group. His new post will entail warfare of a different kind. (Though the duty of physically following the President are shared with an appointed Vice Commodore and Frigate Captain, the primary role is always played by a Lieutenant Colonel.) The military aid serves as the composite of bodyguard, personal confidante, adviser and assistant. He can be responsible for carrying an extra pair of glasses for the President, screening all direct phone calls, keeping speeches in his pockets and sleeping near him every night. He’s the fairy godmother, he’s the consigliere, he’s Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard. Essentially, for you West Wing fans, he’s Charlie.
Historically the position, which dates back all the way to President Cornelio Saavedra of Argentina’s Primera Junta, belies an extraordinarily loyal and intimate relationship with the President. It has both made and ruined careers. Indeed, the aides of Juan Domingo Perón even went to prison in 1955 during the Revolución Libertadora.
For others, including Ibáñez’s predecessor General María Pansa, it has meant a great boon to their careers. After serving as former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s personal military aid, she became the first living woman to be promoted to the rank of General (Who run da world!) after Cristina changed the law to help ease her promotion.
Though the official announcement went out today, the proverbial changing of the guard happened quietly on December 10th, when Ibáñez took over the position from Pansa, who has presumably returned to leaning all the way in.