L'X at the Bastille Day 2023 parade, an ever-strong link with the Armed Forces
Nearly three hundred students of the X2022 class took part in the Bastille Day military parade, dedicated to France’s strategic solidarity with its allies and the nation's "moral stamina" at a time when war has returned to Europe with the conflict in Ukraine.
The 286 students from the X2022 class marched with a six-strong color guard, under the command of Colonel Thibault Capdeville, Chef de Corps and Director of Human and Military Training at École Polytechnique, followed by Lieutenant-Colonel Benoît Bellet, Class X2022 Commander, and accompanied by 12 supervisors.
The School's flag, received by François Arago (X1803) during the First Empire, was awarded the insignia of the Croix de la Légion d'honneur in 1914 and the Croix de guerre in 1922 in recognition of the Polytechniciens' involvement in the First World War. It is traditionally borne by the class valedictorian. Fifty years ago, it was carried by Anne Duthilleul-Chopinet, following the opening of the Polytechnique engineering entrance examination to women in 1972.
All Polytechnique engineering students complete a compulsory six-month period of human resources training, either in an army corps or in a civilian organization.
During this specific training, which has no equivalent in other engineering schools, each student becomes aware of the importance of the human factor in the world of work, and develops his or her interpersonal skills within the group.
As a sign of the strong links between Ecole polytechnique and the Armed forces, 80% of the Polytechnique students in the class of 2022 have completed their human and military training internships in the Army, Air Force, Navy, the French Gendarmerie and the Paris Fire Brigade. The number of students who have signed up as reservists has also risen sharply this year, particularly in the Paris Fire Brigade in the run-up to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The 2023 Bastille Day parade, dedicated to the France’s strategic solidarity its allies and the nation's moral stamina, mobilized a total of 6,500 military personnel, with India in the spotlight on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Franco-Indian strategic partnership.