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Dominican Republic: The Army
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > Armed Forces Organization, Training, and Equipment > The Army


As of 1989, the Dominican army had a strength of approximately 13,000. Army headquarters was located in Santo Domingo. The army consisted of infantry, armor, artillery, communications, engineer, medical, military police, transport, and war matériel units. The army had no airborne or air assets.

The army's principal tactical organizations were four infantry regimental-type organizations called brigades. Each brigade had three to five infantry battalions, as well as various support units. There were seventeen infantry battalions in all. Several of the battalions assigned outside the capital area performed constabulary functions that included involvement in local political and administrative matters. Other major combat elements included one artillery battalion, one armored battalion, one presidential guard battalion, and one engineer battalion.

Stationed near Santo Domingo, the First Brigade was traditionally the most powerful of the brigades, by virtue of its location and military resources. The First Brigade had five infantry battalions, as well as the nation's only engineer battalion. The Second Brigade and the Third Brigade were located at Santiago and Barahona, respectively. Their assets were spread across the country, and their units focused mainly on local problems. The Fourth Brigade, sometimes called the Armed Forces Training Center because of its extensive training mission, was located at San Isidro, just over ten kilometers east of the capital. The Fourth Brigade controlled the nation's only armored battalion, as well as three infantry battalions. The Fourth Brigade also provided basic, advanced, and specialized training. Also at San Isidro was the army's single artillery battalion, which was organized as a separate command under the general staff. Another separate and very powerful organization was the Combat Support Command, which included the presidential guard battalion and military police units. Although formally under the control of specific commands, the army's armored, engineer, and artillery assets were usually detached as support units to each of the four brigades.

As of 1989, armored assets included fourteen light tanks, twenty armored cars, and ten armored personnel carriers G3 7.62mm rifle. Much of the army's equipment was outmoded or in poor repair.

Army enlisted personnel received basic training at the Armed Forces Training Center near San Isidro. Advanced and specialized training was also provided to relevant units. Officer candidates were required to have graduated from high school and to have met strict physical requirements. Once accepted as officer cadets, they attended the four-year Military Academy at Haina, which had been founded in 1921. The army conducted a six-month course for infantry captains and lieutenants -- a basic course designed to prepare the students to function efficiently as company commanders. Senior officers attended the armed forces staff college in Santo Domingo in preparation for battalion-level and higher commands.

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

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