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Breaking Barriers – Dr. Lydia Guerra makes history as first female Lieutenant Colonel in the Belize Defence Force

Posted: Thursday, December 28, 2023. 10:41 pm CST.

By Hugh O’Brien: Dr. Lydia Guerra and the Belize Defence Force (BDF) are making history as they celebrate a very historic milestone – that of Dr. Lydia Guerra becoming the first female Lieutenant Colonel, and making a turning point, in the BDF. “Dr. Guerra has shattered the glass ceiling…This accomplishment is not only a testament to her dedication and skills but also a beacon of inspiration for aspiring leaders across the nation,” the BDF said in a social media post.

In her new role as Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. Guerra will serve as the Force Medical Officer particularly as she has an impressive list of achievements in the medical field. With expertise in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, her extensive education and professional journey easily qualify her for this key responsibility.

Dr. Guerra’s academic journey is a reflection of her pursuit of excellence. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Belize in 2005, then in 2011 she completed studies as a Military Medical Surgeon at the University of the Army and Air Force in Mexico. And in 2021 Dr. Guerra completed a Masters of Medicine in Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases at the University of Guyana.

From her early days as a Captain in the BDF to her current position as an Internal Medicine Specialist, Dr. Guerra’s dedication to providing medical care to soldiers and their families is unmatched. Her leadership in HIV/AIDS prevention programs and various roles within the Belize Defence Force demonstrates her clear commitment to the healthcare and well-being of her fellow soldiers.

Dr. Guerra’s impact extends beyond Belize as she served as a UNDP consultant and participated in various international courses; in each assignment she played a key role in shaping healthcare policies and practices.

A lifelong learner, Dr. Guerra’s commitment to professional development is evident in recent courses she took such as Aeronautical Medicine and Fundamental Critical Care Support, enhancing her contributions to the Belize Defence Force and to healthcare in the broader Belizean community.

On the international scene, the BDF says that “Dr. Guerra’s research efforts have been recognized internationally, with publications addressing HIV prevention, behavioral epidemiology, and risk reduction programs. Her work contributes significantly to the global understanding of healthcare challenges.”

Beyond her professional achievements, Lydia Guerra is a loving wife and mother, she sets a good example for balancing work and life.

In highlighting the moment, the BDF noted that this “momentous occasion calls for a celebration! Let’s congratulate Dr. Lydia Guerra, who has just achieved an extraordinary milestone in the history of the Belize Defence Force.”



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