We're always looking for ways to make better. Have an idea? See something that needs fixing? Let us know!

Dominican Republic: Manpower
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > The Role of the Military in Public Life > Manpower


The combined strength of the three armed forces in 1989 was 20,800. This figure represented a ratio of 3.3 military personnel for every 1,000 citizens, which was below the average for other Latin American states.

Although the armed forces no longer had the strength and the military potential they enjoyed under Trujillo, the military continued to be a popular career. Although the Constitution provides for compulsory military service for all males between the ages of eighteen and fifty-four, the ranks were easily filled by volunteers, and the military did not present a drain on national manpower. Officers, noncommissioned officers (NCOs), and many enlisted personnel, as well, looked on the military as a long-term career. As a result, all three services consisted largely of experienced and well-trained professionals.

Entry into the armed forces was competitive, and most entrants were drawn from the middle and the lower-middle classes. Most enlisted personnel came from rural areas. There was a very small number of females in the military; most served in positions traditionally reserved for women, such as nursing. Women first gained admittance to positions traditionally held only by men in 1981, when a few female personnel were commissioned as medical officers.

Pay and conditions of service compared well with opportunities available in civilian fields. Larger installations maintained a number of commissaries and exchanges, and each of the three services operated officer and enlisted clubs. Military personnel also benefited from free medical service. Under the armed forces' generous benefit program, all members who had served thirty years were entitled to receive a pension based on 75 percent of their active-duty pay at the time of retirement. Certain officers, such as pilots and naval engineers, could receive a full pension after twenty years of service.

Data as of December 1989

Last Updated: December 1989

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Dominican Republic was first published in 1989. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Dominican Republic Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 112 of 128


Click any image to enlarge.

National Flag

(RD$) Dominican Peso (DOP)
Convert to Any Currency


Locator Map