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, or Evzoni
, () is the name of several historical elite light infantry
units of the Greek Army
. Today, it refers to the members of the Proedriki Froura
(Presidential Guard), an elite ceremonial unit that guards the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
), the Hellenic Parliament
and the Presidential Mansion
. The Evzones are also known, colloquially, as Tsoliades
(; singular: Τσολιάς - Tsolias).
Though the Presidential Guard is a predominantly ceremonial unit, all Evzones are volunteers drawn from the Hellenic Army's Infantry, Artillery and Armoured Corps. Prospective Evzones are usually identified at the Army Recruit Training Centres during Basic Training; there is a minimum height requirement of 1.86 meters to join, and the soldier must serve a minimum of 6 months with an operational Army unit before beginning Evzone training.
The unit is famous around the world for its unique traditional uniform, which has evolved from the clothes worn by the klephts
who fought the Ottoman
occupation of Greece. The most visible item of this uniform is the fustanella
, a kilt-like garment. Their proven valour and peculiar dress turned them into a popular image for the Greek soldier, especially among foreigners.
The word evzōnos
(Greek: εὔζωνος, Georg Autenrieth, A Homeric Dictionary
, on Perseus) is first... Read More