Military Forces of Colombia

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Military Forces of Colombia
Fuerzas Militares de Colombia
Escudo Fuerzas Militares de Colombia.svg
The tri-service badge
Service branches Escudo Ejercito Nacional de Colombia.svg National Army

Escudo Armada Nacional de Colombia.svg National Navy
Escudo Infanteria de Marina de Colombia.svg Naval Infantry
Escudo Fuerza Aerea Colombiana.svg Air Force

Coat of arms of colombian national police.svg National Police
Commander-in-Chief President Juan Manuel Santos
Minister of Defense Juan Carlos Pinzón
General Commander General Alejandro Navas Ramos
Military age 18
Conscription 18 months Army and Air Force, 24 months Navy, 12 Months National Police
Available for
military service
23,287,388 (2008 est.)[1], age 15–49 (2005 est.)
Fit for
military service
17,976,288(2008 est.)[1], age 15–49 (2005 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
875,595[1] (2005 est.)
Active personnel 444,518 [2] As of September 2013 (ranked 12th)
Budget COL$17,699,812 million (2013) [2]
(apx. US$9.1 billion)
Percent of GDP 3.3% (2012) [3]
Domestic suppliers Indumil
Foreign suppliers  United States
 South Africa
 United Kingdom

The Military Forces of Colombia (Spanish: Fuerzas Militares de Colombia) are the armed forces of the Republic of Colombia.
More specifically, the Colombian Constitution (Spanish: Constitución Política de Colombia) includes two overlapping definitions of what could be defined as 'armed forces' in English:

  • Public Forces (Spanish: Fuerza Pública): Includes the Military Forces proper and the National Police (Title VII, chapter VII, Art. 216)
  • Military Forces (Spanish: Fuerzas Militares): Includes only the 3 major military services: Army, Navy and Air Force (Title VII, chapter VII, Art. 217)

This is a subtle yet important distinction, both in terms of emphasizing the civil nature of the National Police, and some differences that may apply to it as a service, as well as in clearing confusion when dealing with documents and references about the Colombian armed forces, in particular due to the large size of the police and the military-style operation and training of some of its most noticeable units, as a result of the Colombian Conflict.


The Colombian armed forces consist of:
Military Forces:


Strength numbers As of September 2013 [2]

Force Service Officer Sub-Officer/NCO Enlisted Trainee Civilian Total
Military Colombian Army 9,485 33,917 171,434 3,660 5,856 224,352
Military Colombian Navy 2,457 8,736 20,773 1,146 1,974 35,086
Military Colombian Air Force 2,499 3,603 4,134 1,050 2,747 14,033
Public Colombian National Police 6,691 3,560 [1] 146,687[2] 9,399 4,398 170,735
Total 444,206


  • Military Medical Corps ('Sanidad Militar') - Medical and Nurse Corps
  • Indumil (Industrias Militares - INDUMIL) - Military Industry Depot
  • Military Sports Federation (Federación Deportiva Militar - FEDECODEMIL)
  • Military Printing (Imprenta Militar)
  • Military Museum (Museo Militar) - History of the Armed Forces of Colombia
  • War Superior College (Escuela Superior de Guerra (Colombia) ESDEGUE)


In 1999, Colombia assigned 3.6% of its GDP to defense, according to the National Planning Department.[citation needed] By 2007 this figure had risen to 6.1% of GDP, one of the highest rates in the world.[citation needed] The armed forces number about 250,000 uniformed personnel: 145,000 military and 105,000 police. These figures do not include assistance personnel such as cooks, medics, mechanics, and so on. This makes the Colombian military one of the largest and most well-equipped in Latin America. Many Colombian military personnel have received military training assistance directly in Colombia and also in the United States. The United States has provided equipment and financing to the Colombian military and police through the military assistance program, foreign military sales, and the international narcotics control program, all currently united under the auspices of Plan Colombia.

World factbook statistics

  • Military manpower - military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 24 months (2004)
  • Military manpower - availability:
    • males age 18-49: 10,212,456
    • females age 18-49: 10,561,562 (2005 estimate)
  • Military manpower - fit for military service:
    • males age 18-49: 6,986,228
    • females age 18-49: 8,794,465 (2005 estimate)
  • Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
    • males age 18-49: 389,735
    • females age 18-49: 383,146 (2005 estimate)

Rank Insignia

See also

References and notes

  • ^ Includes 435 sub-officers Spanish: Suboficiales and 3,125 agents Spanish: Agentes
  • ^ Includes 123,125 executive personnel Spanish: Nivel Ejecutivo and 23,562 Auxiliary conscript Spanish: Auxiliares
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The World Fact Book - Colombia". CIA. 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-03-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Logros de la Política Integral de Seguridad y Defensa para la Prosperidad - PISDP - Septiembre 2013" (PDF) (in Spanish). Republic of Colombia Ministry of National Defense. September 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-22. line feed character in |publisher= at position 42 (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Military expenditure (% of GDP)". Retrieved 2013-12-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Other Links

fr:Armée nationale colombienne