Elite unit of the Greek army

And now in my frame will be the most photographed attraction of Athens. Every day all year, representatives of the elite units of the Greek army carry an honor guard at the grave of an unknown soldier next to the building of the Greek Parliament.

These soldiers are called the Evzones.

The Evzones are an elite infantry unit of the Greek army. Conscripts serve in it. The meaning of the word is more connected with style than with the army: “ev + zones” means “well-belted”. To get into the squad of evzons, you need to take a six-month general training course and then a strict selection.

If the rookie’s height is below 187 cm, then he won’t become an evzon. It is imperative to have high mental and physical indicators. It is also important to have an attractive appearance.

Before the evzon will be instructed to go on a real guard of honor, he is trained in a special camp. There they learn marching step, stillness and synchronized action. During this training, many do not withstand the psychological burden and drop out.

Training usually begins in a pose of stillness. This training begins with 5 minutes and ends with a period of 2-3 hours. It is important that the soldier can escape from the whole world and focus on stillness. But in the real guard, both tourists and visitors to the memorial can interfere with him.

Of course, the police guard the guard of honor from completely inadequate and dangerous tourists.

The Evzons serve with weapons. In their hands is an American self-loading rifle M1 Grand.

The guards stand motionless for 15 minutes. Then change places. Their actions and movements are synchronous. Every hour there is a change of guard.

The guard team consists of 5 people. These are two pairs of guards and a guard.

The pitch of the evzones is unusual. They raise their legs high and take great steps, raise their hand high. It looks very unusual and surprising.

The form of the evzones is all composed of symbols. Each detail is unique and has its own meaning.

For example, a red cap. This cap is called phareon. Color symbolizes blood shed during the struggle for independence. A long brush called fessi symbolizes the tears shed during the wars.

A woolen pleated skirt is called Fustanella. This skirt is sewn from 30 meters of fabric and has 400 pleats. Each fold symbolizes the year of the Ottoman yoke.

The colors white and blue are the colors of the Greek flag.

Another unusual accessory for the evzon costume is stockings. These white stockings are made of wool. Black garters are tied to stockings. All black elements of the costume symbolize grief for the dead.

Another important element of the suit is leather shoes with large black pompons. These shoes are called royal women. These shoes weigh more than three kilograms. In each shoe, 60 nails are driven into the sole. These nails are needed so that the pitch of the evzone can be heard from a distance.

The pompom on the toe of the boot has the function of warming the legs, but in addition, Greek soldiers hid sharp spikes in this pompom.

Creating a set of such clothes takes about six months. And taking care of clothes takes about an hour a day.

Evzones are a symbol. Of course, being an evzon is very honorable and requires a huge amount of effort. It may seem that this is more a theater or circus and has nothing to do with the army, but it is not. The Evzones are an elite part of the army, although it occupies more the external side of the issue.

In 2010, a bomb exploded near the Evzon station. In those days, police tried to deal with criminals who sent bombs to foreign embassies in Athens.

So, during the explosion, not one evzon in the guard did not budge, although the call occurred in 20 places from them.

Thus, the Evzones proved their courage and courage.




My related stories: