Punta Indio – Coming from a province in the center of the country, Yamila Maria Chale turns her profession as a psychology graduate upside down when she decides to join the Argentine Navy.
She became familiar with the institution through her husband, who was a Navy officer who happened to be stationed at Punta Indio Air Force Base, where a lieutenant from the frigate Chale served as chief of the psychological office for three years.
He previously studied psychology at the National University of Córdoba, a province where he arrived with his family at the age of 14 from his native Santa Fe. In 2019, he received the call to join the Navy’s career corps and knew from then on that he wanted to be a part of the Force.
“This goal required effort beyond the ‘university faculty’, considerable physical and mental preparation, with which I decided to face it. I also had to take an extensive academic exam, which was a review of my entire career and new topics for me, such as military psychology,” he recalls of those days.
Overcoming the challenge of acceptance, he trained at the Naval Academy after completing the Naval Integration Course (CUINA) for University Professionals. After graduating, she was assigned to the health department at Punta Indio Air Force Base. Since then, his career has been oriented towards the various members of the aeronautical activity – pilots, crew members and student pilots at the Naval Aviation School – their risks and possible situations arising from the flying activity.
In their day-to-day work, their function is also to certify the psychological fitness of both ground-based and flying personnel. Other activities he carries out with his team is to evaluate applicants for entry as a voluntary seaman in this naval area; assessment of the psychological suitability of personnel who will participate in Antarctic missions; and advising the directorate of the Naval Aviation School.
“Perhaps, deep down, what motivates me most to be a part of the Navy is that it is a field where transcendent values that are set aside in today’s world are lived, promoted and upheld” , emphasizes Yamila.
During these three years, his studies continued mainly in two directions: in aviation psychology, at the National Institute of Aviation Medicine (INMAE); and in the PAE (Emotional First Aid) network, to train staff in emergency psychology and accident management and prevention from an emotional and communicative perspective. “This motivates me to train personnel in topics such as crisis communication and emotional first aid so that they can have tools for their daily tasks,” states Lt. Challe.
In addition, in 2020, he was designated as the gender reference in the area, an office whose mission is to receive and refer complaints; consultations on current regulations; and conflict resolution.
Between Cañada de Gómez and Córdoba
“My place of origin is Cañada de Gómez, Santa Fe. Since then, I have etched in my memory the efforts and persistence of my parents dedicated to work and study. I also saved the People’s School, where I finished primary school and part of secondary school, and the mischief typical of that age,” he recalls.
During childhood and adolescence, Yamila constantly practiced swimming. “From the spring onwards, my brothers and I – she is the oldest of the 3 – would go swimming in the morning to practice. During the summer season we participated in open water tournaments in the lakes of my province.’
After the death of her mother, at the age of 14, “since she was from Córdoba and my family’s dream had always been to live in Córdoba, the following year we decided to make a ‘life change’ and move to this beloved province .for us,” he says.
During these days, she embraced silence – as she herself defines it – and deepened her relationship with her father, with whom she became a close companion. Already living in the town of Villa del Dique, he graduated from high school at the Fray Mamerto Esquiú School.
Currently, his father and sister continue to live in Córdoba, in San Ignacio, a very small town surrounded by rivers and lakes, located in the department of Calamuchita.
“I am a descendant of Arab grandparents, in my house we cooked typical meals and danced traditional family dances, from the oldest grandfather to the youngest grandson. Together with them I cultivated the values that have always accompanied me. And I maintain a passion for Arabic dances and Greek dances”, he clarifies.
At 29 years old, as a balance sheet, Lieutenant Challe concludes: “In the Navy, beyond the institutional, he is committed to people and subjects, with their specificities and peculiarities, with their potential to discover and develop. From now on, my intention is to contribute to a better quality of life.”
Day of the psychologist in Argentina
Between October 11 and 13, 1974, the Confederation of Psychologists of the Republic of Argentina (COPRA) held the First National Meeting of Psychologists and Psychology Students, coincidentally in the city of Córdoba. There was established the need to constitute the discipline as a profession with its own identity, separate from medicine, so that it enjoyed specific characteristics. That same Sunday, the 13th, the last day of the meeting, the plenary session of the Confederation voted on the proposal to establish the National Day of the Psychologist.