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My Military Masters
Information Warfare/Competitive Intelligence
 

In July 2008 I was at the supermarket working and a couple suggested a Masters at the Military Academy. I went to the official site and was amazed because it seemed to fit me perfectly.

I said to myself that one year later I would apply for it, which I did. And, I was accepted in 2009 just like I had planned.

Colonel VL, who at the time was the head of that Masters, once told me: "Men aren't measured by their size but by their inner greatness". I will never forget these words.

One big issue with the Masters was that civilians had to pay 100% the tuitions, while the military had 50% discount.

Things there were also though since some military were treating me badly, just like a huge Lieutenant Colonel in the bar who would raise me up in the air and shake me making my back hurt.

There was also a ranger guy who would slap my back saying "Hello little Marco" and I would hit the floor hurt.

There were also teachers who were very severe in evaluation giving bad marks to persons.

In the second year of the course we needed a dissertation project and a supervisor. I tried to find a supervisor at the Academy but they all said they had too many students or that cyberterrorism wasn't their speciality. I even tried the Professor who gave my worst mark and no success.

After lots of failures, the Academy suggested Professor Carvalho Rodrigues of NATO and gave me his contact. At that point I didn't know who he was and started sending him e-mails and SMSs. I was extremely lucky because he accepted being my supervisor.

Due to the fact that if we had an outside supervisor, the rules said we also needed an internal one. I tried Professor Fernandes Thomaz and he accepted. I was so lucky, because time proved that the two were the best supervisors one could have.

I delivered my dissertation on 6.Oct.2011 but the Scientific Commission took around a year to constitute a Jury, so I had time to improve and make a new version of the dissertation which I was able to deliver on 4.Jul.2012 to replace the first one. The new one was larger and a lot better by improving the grammar and better explanations of the concepts involved.

On 27.Sep.2012 I went to the Military Academy HQ for the defence. I had invited around 30 persons but only a few showed up. The audience was mainly military.

The evaluation event took place at 11:30am and lasted for around 1H30. I had 20 minutes to present the PowerPoint and, the remaining time, was for the arguer to ask questions.

After the presentation, I sat down and the arguer started asking questions. I was very lucky because I knew all the answers and even gave real life examples to what he asked. For example, he asked about the relationship between the theory of Fisher and Shannon and I gave a real life example based on a situation that happened to me at the supermarket years ago.

When the questions were over, everyone left the room and the Jury gathered to deliberate. Then, we entered again and the Jury President said I had "Excellent" as a final mark: 18 values.

I was the first civilian to finish the course, and 18 values was one of the highest marks ever given by the Military Academy which means that I, a mere cashier, was able to achieve something spectacular. I knew about a couple of military dissertation defences in the past and not even they accomplished such.

On 7.Nov.2012 I received a reward from Santander Totta for my course final mark: €1'000. I was the only civilian to receive a prize at the Opening Ceremony for the school year 2012/2013.

The first slide of my presentation. The person in the cover is not a terrorist but a friend from Pakistan who let me use his photo Marco speaking Marco speaking
 
Marco speaking The can of Coca-Cola offered to me by Nuno Goes The congratulations from my co-workers
 
7-NOV-2012: The bank Santander Totta offered a prize to the highest final mark 12-NOV-2012: Carta de Mestre 12-NOV-2012: Carta de Mestre




LAST UPDATE: 7.JUL.2017