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Military of Chile
Coat of arms of Chile.svg
Military age 18 years of age
Available for
military service
Males age 15-49: 3,815,761 (2005 est.), age 15–49
Fit for
military service
Males age 15-49: 3,123,281 (2005 est.), age 15–49
Reaching military
age annually
Males: 150,084 (2005 est.)
Active personnel 86,000 (ranked 46th)
Budget $3.62 billion
Percent of GDP 3.9% of GDP
Domestic suppliers FAMAE

Chile's armed forces are subject to civilian control exercised by the president through the Minister of Defense. Military service of 12 to 24 months is mandatory for all male citizens upon turning 18. This conscription service can be postponed for educational or religious reasons. In recent years and after several major reequipment programs, the Chilean Armed Forces have become one of the most technologically advanced and professional of the Americas.





The current commander-in-chief of the Chilean Army is Gen. Óscar Izurieta Ferrer. The 45,000-person army is organized in seven divisions and one air brigade. The army operates German Leopard 1 and 2 tanks as its main battle tanks. The recent purchase of 140 second-hand Leopard 2A4s from the German army is now being delivered. It must be noted that the Chilean Army has never lost a war, resulting in its motto, "Siempre vencedor y jamás vencido" (in English, "Always victorious and never defeated").


Admiral Rodolfo Codina Díaz directs the 18,000-person Chilean Navy, including 4,800 Marines. Of the fleet of 66 surface vessels, eight are major combatant ships and they are based in Valparaíso. The navy operates its own aircraft for transport and patrol; there are no fighters or bomber aircraft but they have attack helicopters. The Navy also operates four submarines based in Talcahuano.

Air Force

Coat of arms of Chile.svg
Chilean Armed Forces
Army (Ejército de Chile)
Navy (Armada de Chile)
Air Force (Fuerza Aérea de Chile)


Wars | War of the Pacific


Notable officers | Senior officers
Rank insignia
Awards |


Equipment of the Armed Forces

Gen. Ricardo Ortega Perrier heads 11,000 strong Chilean Air Force. Air assets are distributed among five air brigades headquartered in Iquique, Antofagasta, Santiago, Puerto Montt, and Punta Arenas. The Air Force also operates an airbase on King George Island, Antarctica.

Carabineros de Chile

Carabineros de Chile are the uniformed Chilean national police force and gendarmery, created on April 27, 1927. Their mission is to maintain order and create public respect for the laws of the country. They depend on the Ministerio de Defensa Nacional (Ministry of National Defense) through the Undersecretary of Carabiniers and the Ministerio del Interior (Ministry of the Interior). The current mission of the "Carabineros" is to maintain or re-establish order and security in Chilean society through civic education, service to the community, police work, and in a war situation, to act as a paramilitary force (all their members have military training). Under the current Chilean constitution the Carabineros are integrated directly into the armed forces in a state of emergency to better guarantee order. They also have a SWAT-kind special forces for counter operations called GOPE (Grupo de Operaciones Policiales Especiales - Special police operations Group). There is also an Elite Corps in charge of security in the La Moneda Palace and of the President.

External links

Flag of Chile.svg
Chilean Armed Forces
Coat of arms of Chile.svg
Coat of arms of the Chilean Army.svg Ejército de Chile (Army)   Coat of arms of the Chilean Navy.svg Armada de Chile (Navy)   Coat of arms of the Chilean Air Force.svg Fuerza Aérea de Chile (Air Force)  


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