The Xiomeran Defense Ministry announced today that General Zinahue, the commanding general of the Xiomeran Army and head of the General Staff, will be retiring at the end of the month. The statement from the Defense Ministry thanked General Zinahue for his over fifty years of service to the Xiomeran Empire.
The General himself, when interviewed by Xiomeran media, stated that since he was approaching seventy years of age, that the time had come for him to pass his office on to someone younger. “I have been honored to spend my life in service to this great nation, but one must realize when their age leaves them less capable than they once were. I shall continue to serve Xiomera in other ways, as a mentor and friend to those who shall serve after me. But I can assure you, I shall also enjoy retirement.”
General Zinahue is most notable for the major role he played in helping the rise to power of the current ruler of Xiomera, Empress Calhualyana. During the coup that removed then-Emperor Xochiuhue from power in October 2020, Zinahue sided with then-Security Secretary Calhualyana and swayed the majority of military forces present at the Palace of Flowers to her side.
The choice of Zinahue’s replacement has come as a surprise to many. Xiyāōtl, husband to the Empress and a commander in the Imperial Navy, has been elevated to the rank of Fleet Admiral and placed in charge of the Navy. He has also been named head of the General Staff, making him the highest ranking officer in the Imperial Armed Forces. The move is being seen by observers as a sign that the Empress is tightening her control over the Xiomeran military by placing her husband at its head.
It also marks the first time that the head of the Navy has been named head of the General Staff, a role traditionally reserved for the General in command of the Army. The break from tradition is seen as reinforcing Xiomera’s recent pivot in military priorities from the Ground Forces to the Navy as part of the “New Empire Navy Program”. Strengthening its Navy has become a major goal of Xiomeran military planning. The previous commander of the Navy, Fleet Admiral Tlālpantlizal, was sacked a month ago for failing to meet the goals of the program. Tlālpantlizal’s sacking served to reinforce the importance the Empress and her advisors are placing on building a more powerful naval force.