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Portuguese Republican National Guard
Guarda Nacional Republicana
Abbreviation GNR
GNR (Pt)-Escudo.png
Coat of Arms of the Guarda Nacional Republicana
Motto Pela Lei e Pela Grei
For the Law and For the People
Agency overview
Formed 1834
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Legal jurisdiction As per operations jurisdiction.
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Lisbon
Agency executive Lieutenant General Carlos Nunes, Comandante-Geral (Commander-General)
Headquarters of GNR at Carmo Barracks in Lisbon
GNR territorial patrol
GNR Highway Patrol control vehicle
GNR forest rescue vehicle

The Portuguese Republican National Guard (Portuguese: Guarda Nacional Republicana, GNR) is the gendarmerie of Portugal. Members of the GNR are soldiers, who, unlike the officers of the Public Security Police (Portuguese: Polícia de Segurança Pública, PSP), are subject to military law and organisation. The GNR is responsible for providing honor guards and changing of guards ceremonies in public buildings, such as the Assembly of the Republic, the Belém Palace, and the Palace of Necessidades. On a more pragmatic basis, it is also responsible for law enforcement in the countryside and small towns (large urban centers are patrolled by the PSP), and providing a national highway patrol and fiscal guard. There are also two military reserve regiments: an Infantry Regiment and a Cavalry Regiment.

In the 2000s, the GNR has provided detachments for participation in international operations in Iraq and East Timor. As of 2008, the GNR maintains "Detachment Bravo" in East Timor, comprising of about 200 personnel, who perform the task of helping to maintain public order in that former Portuguese colony.



The National Republican Guard includes:

1. General-Command (Headquarters in Lisbon);

2. Territorial Units:

No. 2 Brigade (Headquarters in Lisbon, covers the Lisbon and Tagus Valley Region),

No. 3 Brigade (Évora, Southern Region),

No. 4 Brigade (Porto, Northern Region),

No. 5 Brigade (Coimbra, Central Region);

3. Reserve Units:

Infantry Regiment (located in Lisbon, includes a public order and special operations Battalion and Garrison Companies),

Cavalry Regiment (located in Lisbon, includes a Horse Group, a Motorized and Armoured Squadron and a Presidential Guard);

4. Special Units:

Fiscal Brigade (Headquarters in Lisbon, responsible for the customs and border patrol, includes a maritime service and covers all of the Portuguese territory, including Azores and Madeira),

Brigada de Trânsito, Highway patrol (Headquarters in Lisbon, responsible for patrolling the highways, covers all of the continental Portuguese territory);

5. School of the Guard;

6. Band of the GNR.

The National Republican Guard is commanded by a Lieutenant General and the Brigades are commanded by Major Generals. The Brigades include Groups (commanded by Lieutenant Colonels), Detachments (commanded by Captains), Sub-Detachments (commanded by Junior officers) and Posts (commanded by Sergeants or Corporals).


The National Republican Guard is the direct descendant of the Royal Guard of the Police created in the beginning of the 19th century.

Royal Guard of the Police (Guarda Real da Polícia) - The Royal Guard of the Police of Lisbon was created in 1801 by Prince Regent John on the initiative of the Intendant-General of the Police of the Court and the Kingdom, Pina Manique. It took as a model the French Gendarmerie (1791). Following the creation of the Royal Guard of the Police of Lisbon the Royal Guard of the Police of Porto and the Royal Guard of the Police of Rio de Janeiro were created. The latter subsequently provided the origin of the Military Police forces of the member states of Brazil.

Municipal Guard (Guarda Municipal) - At the end of May, 1834, as a result of the Civil War, King Peter IV, assuming the regency in name of his daughter Queen Mary II, disbanded the Royal Guards of the Police of Lisbon and Porto, creating the Municipal Guards of Lisbon and Porto on the basis of similar conditions. In 1868 both of the Guards were put under a unified General-Command, installed in the Carmo Barracks in Lisbon, which today still is the Headquarters of the GNR. The Municipal Guard was considered part of the Army, but was dependent on the Ministry of Internal Affairs for all matters regarding public security.

Republican National Guard (Guarda Nacional Republicana) - After the coup of the 5 October 1910, which substituted the Constitutional Monarchy with the Republic, the new regime changed the name of the Municipal Guard to the Republican Guard (Guarda Republicana). In 1911, the name changed to Republican National Guard: this was to be a security force consisting of military personnel organised in a Special Body of Troops depending, in peace time, on the Ministry of Internal Administration, for the purpose of conscription, administration and execution with regards to its mission, and the Ministry of the National Defense for the purpose of uniformization and normalization of the military doctrine, as well as for its armament and equipment. In case of war or situation of crisis, the forces of National Republican Guard will, in terms of the respective laws and for operational effect, be subordinated to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. In 1993 the Republican National Guard absorbed the independent Fiscal Guard (Guarda Fiscal) that became the Fiscal Brigade of the GNR. Also, in 2006 a new GNR unit was created with the purpose of firefighting and was named GIPS.

A small contingent of GNR forces has been deployed in Timor-Leste in 2006 (see video below).


  • Glock 17 (9x19mm Parabellum);
  • Glock 19 (9x19mm Parabellum);
  • Walther P99 (9x19mm Parabellum);
  • HK USP(9x19mm Parabellum);
  • Walther PPK (7.65mm);
  • Benelli M3 (12 gauge);
  • Benelli M4 (12 gauge);
  • FAMAE SAF (9x19mm Parabellum);
  • HK MP5 (9x19mm Parabellum);
  • HK G36 (5.56x45 NATO);
  • HK G3 (7.62mm NATO).
and more...

See also

External links



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