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L’X at the Bastille Day parade, female Polytechnic students in the spotlight

The Ecole Polytechnique's traditional participation in the Bastille Day military parade, on July 14th, was marked by a stronger presence of female Polytechnic students to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Ingénieur Polytchnicien exam to women.
14 Jul. 2022

More than three hundred students of the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program took part in the July 14th  military parade. The theme of the parade was "Sharing the Flame", but it was also marked by the war in Ukraine and the challenges of NATO, for which France is leading the rapid reaction force this year.

The 300 students of the Class 2021 Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program marched under the command of Colonel Thibault Capdeville, Chef de Corps and director of human training at l’X, followed by Lieutenant-Colonel Christian Demassez-du Castel, commander of the X2021 class, and accompanied by 12 supervisors.

In this year of celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Ecole Polytechnique's Ingénieur Polytechnicien exam to women, 81 female students from the Ingénieur Polytechnicien program were able to take part in the parade.

"By participating in this action, I would like to convey a good image of the School as well as share the values learned during the human training period. I would also like to show all young girls that mathematical and scientific excellence is as accessible to them as it is to boys," said Inès Fonquernie, who did her human training with the Marine Fire Brigade in Marseille.

The human training period is compulsory for all first-year engineering students, lasting f six months, in the Armed Forces, the Gendarmerie or in a civilian agencies.

This specific training period, unique in French Engineering Schools environmernt, aims to promote open-mindedness and to raise awareness about social diversity among students who will be called upon to exercise management responsibilities.

This year's parade, under the theme "Sharing the Flame", mobilized a total of 6,300 soldiers who marched down the Champs-Elysées, with the nine states of Eastern Europe - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria - being honored.

The Polytechnic students, who have participated in the Bastille Day parade since the presidency of Sadi Carnot (X1857) in 1887, opened as usual the parade of foot troops.

The theme "Sharing the Flame" recalls the flame of remembrance and the memory of the last Companion of the Liberation, Hubert Germain, who died in October. It also evokes the Olympic flame that took the road to Paris for the 2024 Olympics. Finally, it highlights the necessary strengthening of the link between the Army and the Nation to maintain the country's resilience in the face of the various threats it faces.