Armed Forces of El Salvador

Armed Forces of El Salvador
Fuerza Armada de El Salvador
Founded 1842
Service branches Army, Air Force, Navy
Commander-in-Chief Salvador Sánchez Cerén
Military age 16 (voluntary)
18 (conscription) [1]
Conscription Yes
Available for
military service
1,634,816 males, age 16-49 [1],
1,775,474 (2008 est.) females, age 16-49 [1]
Fit for
military service
1,201,290 males, age 16-49 [1],
1,547,278 (2009 est.) females, age 16-49 [1]
Reaching military
age annually
77,473 males,
74,655 (2009 est.) females
Active personnel 17,000 (2001 est.)[2]
Budget $157,000,000 (2008 est.)[2]
Percent of GDP 0.62%
Foreign suppliers  United States
Related articles
History Football War, Salvadoran Civil War, War On Terror

The Armed Forces of El Salvador, in Spanish Fuerza Armada de El Salvador is the official name of the combined armed forces of El Salvador.

It consists of three branches:


The Armed Forces of El Salvador have been in existence since the dissolution of the United Provinces of Central America in 1840.

Football War

Due to a growing tension between El Salvador and Honduras, which El Salvador accused of genocide, both countries went to war, this being sparked by a soccer game in what would later be known as the Football War. In July 14, 1969, the El Salvador Air Force attacked multiple airbases in Honduras. Because Honduras was caught by surprise, none of the Armed forces responded immediately. El Salvador had already sent ground forces to the border, and these forces invaded Honduras. The Honduran Army was pushed as much as 8 kilometers back into the country due to an intense artillery fire and armored intervention. Ocotepeque fell and the Salvadoran flag was raised in the city. This was the first time El Salvador had done this. By July 16, Honduran air fighters intercepted Salvadoran air fighters and proved to be better than Salvadoran fighters. Even thought Honduras bullied the Salvadoran Air Force, Honduras had to ask for a cease of fire because the Salvadoran ground forces were preparing to siege Tegucigalpa, the country's capital city. The war was over after 4 days of extremely intense fighting. El Salvador declared itself winner after having penetrated into Honduras and successfully reaching Tegucigalpa. The success of El Salvador was hidden under weeks of training and organizing forces. There were 4 ground theaters, air theater and a small navy unit in the Gulf of Fonseca. The North Theater was composed of ground forces, especially man-made forces with artillery and armored units. The Chalatenango Theater was only in case of a possible Honduran penetration into the country, this unit did not saw much fighting. The East Theater was made to penetrate Honduras with armored and artillery force. This unit saw much of the fighting leading to Tegucigalpa and used the highest amount of heavy ammunition, meaning tank, rocket and howitzer ammunition. The air theater was promising at the beginning for El Salvador, but was crushed by the Honduran Air Force. El Salvador Navy was on position only to support troops in the coast and to attack any passing-by airplane, it did not see much fighting.

Civil War

During the Salvadoran Civil War the Armed Forces of El Salvador waged war against counter-insurgents organized under the FMLN. Following the end of the war, AFES personnel were implicated in many human rights abuses, including the November 1989 murder of Jesuit priests and others. In accordance with the peace agreements, the constitution was amended to prohibit the military from playing an internal security role except under extraordinary circumstances.

The Treasury Police and National Guard were abolished, and military intelligence functions were transferred to civilian control. In 1993 the military had cut personnel from a wartime high of 63,000 to the level of 32,000 required by the peace accords. A purge of military officers accused of human rights abuses and corruption was completed in 1993 in compliance with the Ad Hoc Committee's recommendations.

Post War

In 1999, ESAF strength stood at less than 15,000, including uniformed and non-uniformed personnel, consisting of personnel in the army, navy, and air force.

El Salvador was part of the Multi-National Force – Iraq from 2003—2009. The last Salvadoran troops left Iraq on January 2009 with 5 soldiers lost in their 5 and a half year involvement. El Salvador became the last and longest serving Latin American nation in the Iraq War.

Branches of the Armed Forces


Main article: Salvadoran Army

The Army of El Salvador is composed of the Headquarters, Brigades, Commands, Military Regiments and Detachments of the various arms and services, made with combat troops, combat support and combat service support necessary for the execution of missions terrestrial character. The control is exercised by the Chief of General Staff of Ejército.12

Air Force

The Air Force of El Salvador consists of the headquarters, air bases and facilities with the facilities and services required for the execution of the aerial missions. The control is exercised by the Chief of General Staff of the Air Force.

Sea power

Main article: Navy of El Salvador

The Navy of El Salvador is composed of the Headquarters, Fleet, Naval Bases, Harbormaster, Detachments Naval and Marine Corps units, necessary for the execution of missions naval character. The control is exercised by the Chief of the General Staff Naval.14 Force

Institutional Support Units

Support units provide the means to fulfill the missions Armed Forces in charge. Report directly to the General Staff Conjunto.15

This unit is responsible for organizing, planning, directing and implementing policies, strategies, plans, projects doctrine, education and training of the Armed Forces, in accordance with the directives issued by the Joint Chiefs. It is responsible for training, improvement and specialization of military personnel and coordination of academic activities of the armed forces necessary to achieve an adequate degree of education at all levels enseñanza.

This unit is responsible for providing livelihoods and combating the armed forces and is responsible for the management and administration of the resources needed to fulfill its mission. They are components of the Command Logistics Support Units and Facilities Logistics necessary for the fulfillment of its mission.

This unit is responsible for providing Combat Service Support of the Armed Forces Health, is responsible for the management and implementation of health care programs, supply and maintenance of specific materials and the management and administration of resources made available. They are components of the Command of Military Health Units, Hospital Centers and Schools own nature, the latter under the coordination of the Doctrine and Education Command Militar.

This unit is responsible for fulfilling the functions of protecting borders and Military Police. The latter function is performed as a subsidiary organ of the administration of military justice. They are integral elements of the Special Security Brigade Military Battalions Border Protection, the Military Police battalions and support units necessary for the fulfillment of his misión.

This unit's mission is to obtain and provide the necessary human resources for the armed forces to fulfill its constitutional mission reclutamiento.


General Command of the Armed Forces

It is exercised by the President of the Republic, in his capacity as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Among its constitutional functions include: 2

Other powers:

Also, the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces exercised political and military leadership of the institution, through the Minister of National Defence, and is assisted by a Presidential.

Ministry of National Defense

The Ministry of National Defense is composed of the Minister and Deputy Minister of Defense, and the Directorates Administrative and Department Headquarters with his junior staff. Advice directly to the Secretariat of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other entities to specify in its mission, such as Especiales.4 Staffs

Joint Staff of the Armed Forces

The staff's mission is the conduct of permanent branches and support units of the Armed Forces, and advise the rest of the High Command in all matters relating to the use and administration of the institution. The Chief of Joint Staff of the Armed Forces is the authority and operational management consulting Armada.5 Force

Some functions of the Joint Chiefs are:

Advisory Body

The Advisory Body consists of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and is the advisory body of the Minister of Defense Nacional.7 The mission of the Board is to provide technical advice to the Minister of National Defense, for military policy making and the use of military power in national defense, formulating and proposing for approval the Strategic Plan of the Armed Forces, determining the final goal of the misma.

The body is composed of the Chief of Joint Staff of the Armed Forces, the Chief of General Staff of the Army, the Chief of General Staff of the Air Force, the Chief of General Staff of the Navy and the advisers as may necesarios.

Assistant Agency

The Agency consists of the Assistant Inspector General of the Armed Forces. Have supervisory and oversight functions of the institution, and depends on the Ministry of National Defense and operationally of the Chief of Staff Joint Force Armada.

Operating Units, Tactical Units and Command Advisory Bodies

Operating Units are those that by their organization are trained to independently develop an operation, that is, a phase or stage of a military campaign. In peacetime level have Brigades operating units, commands, regiments and units equivalent Air Force and Navy. In wartime organization, assignment and the territorial division of the operating units will be established in the plans managers and executives. The overall mission is to operating units within their respective areas or areas of responsibility, the activities necessary to implement the tasks that the Army, Air Force and Navy are Organic Law Armada.21 Force

The Army tactical units are detachments, Training Centres and Battalions; Tactics Units are Air Force Combat Groups of Recognition and Transport, and the tactical units of the Navy Fleet Combat is, Transport and Hydrographic. The overall mission of the Tactical Units comprising the completion of the activities necessary to achieve a high level of efficiency in peacetime and to fulfill their respective missions panning step, in time of war.

The Advisory Bodies Command in the Army, Air Force and Navy, are the respective General Staffs. The Advisory Bodies Command Operating Units are the respective staffs, and the Advisory Bodies Command Units Planas Tactics are the respective majors.


All the Salvadoran Armed forces branches use the pixel and woodland uniforms. The Salvadoran air force uses a blue uniform with pixels and woodland patterns. The Army, the Air Force guards and the Navy marines use the same kind of small arms equipment.


Women have begun to serve in the military. In 2011, an all female soldiers battalion was formed consisting of 62 female soldiers. There are female helicopter pilots and female aircraft pilots. The government is currently promoting gender inclusion regarding women as valuable and fundamental for national security. For example, the Salvadoran army allowed women in the Army infantry units with many accepting this opportunity.

The Salvadoran armed forces are the most respected government institutions in El Salvador having a high rate of approval among the population. Is the least corrupt of all the government institutions in El Salvador with a willing of not accepting corrupt and bad members including members commit faults against the institution rules. The Salvadoran Armed forces have repeatedly stated the it will not tolerate faults committed by its members.

The Salvadoran born again Christian evangelical community has an important history of military service in the Salvadoran armed forces.

Hierarchies and military ranks

According to the Constitution of El Salvador, the President of the Republic Military confer Degrees and order the destination, cargo, or the decline in Official misma.24 Meanwhile, the military Career Law establishes Organizations Advisory advising the High Command on the exercise of the Military Career, which are: the Selection for promotion to Brigadier General, the Court of Assessment and Selection, and the Court of Honor.25

The military career in El Salvador starts when is given the rank of lieutenant or its equivalent Salvadoran citizen who enters as Cadet at the Military Academy "General Gerardo Barrios", to the Military Aviation School "Captain PA William Reynaldo Cortez" or other training schools of the Armed Forces who creasen.26 For employees reaching military service established by the Constitution of the Republic, N. One's military career started when the element gets the troop sergeant in the hierarchy of NCOs and is enrolled in the respective ranks under the Rules of the Military Career Law.

Military grade is acquired and stored personal property and life, without being able to deprive him but by judicial sentence that involves the military dismissal, or voluntary resignation. The hierarchical structure of the Armed Forces consists of military ranks, according to the order and following equivalences:

Military Grades


Air Force

Sea power

General Officers

Major General

Brigadier General

General Aviation

Air Commodore

Vice Admiral


Senior Officers


Lieutenant colonel



Lieutenant colonel




Lieutenant Commander

Junior Officers








Lieutenant Junior

Lieutenant Commander


Sergeant Major of Brigade

Sergeant First

Sergeant Major

First sergeant


Air Brigade Sergeant Major

First Sergeant TA

Sergeant TA

Master Mayor Master First Master Master Sergeant

Master Sergeant


Deputy Sergeant



Deputy Sergeant TA

TA Cabo

Deputy Sergeant Master

Master Cape

TA = Aviation Technical

Military Decorations

Medals of the Armed Forces according to the Law of Military Decorations: 29



Gold Cross of War Heroism in Action

Military Units, Public Security Forces or members of these and civilians, the risk of his life and sacrifice exceptional run heroic acts of courage in war action.

Silver Cross of Heroism

Military Units, Public Security Forces or members of these and civilian disaster or public calamity beyond the call of duty.

Gold Medal for Courage in Action War

Military Units, Public Security Forces or members of these and civilians in the line of duty in war action exposed his life exceptional acting boldly.

Silver Medal of Valor

Military Units, Public Security Forces or members of these and civilians in the line of duty in cases of disaster or public, exposing his life performing with exceptional courage.

Gold Medal for Field Service

Military Units and Public Security Forces who distinguish themselves in combat.

Silver Plate Field Service

Individuals providing efficient services to the Military Units and Public Security Forces in wartime.

Gold Medal for Distinguished Service

Members of the Salvadoran armed forces that give prestige within or outside the Republic, in the fields: Trade, Educational or Military diplomatic and friendly nations, when their services have contributed to closer relations with the armed forces of their country of origin or efficiently, the cultural development of the Institution Navy.

Gold Medal for Merit

Officers of the Armed Forces and Public Security Forces, who in the line of duty in the technical, educational and academic, is performing in an outstanding manner, thereby giving prestige to the institution Armada.

Silver Medal of Merit

Individuals of troops and civilians in the service of the Armed Forces or the Public Security Forces, that of duty is an outstanding play in giving prestige to the institution.

Gold Medal Perseverance

Military to persevere in the service of the Armed Forces for a period of twenty-five or in teaching at military for a period not less than fifteen.

Silver Medal at the Perseverance

Military to persevere in the service of the Armed Forces for a period of twenty years in teaching at military for a period not less than ten.

It is up to the Legislature to grant, at the initiative of the Executive Branch in the Field of Defense, the Military Decorations following: Golden Cross of War Heroism in Action; Silver Cross of Heroism; Gold Medal for Courage in Action War; Medal Value Silver, Gold Medal for Field Service, and Silver Plate Campaña.30 Service

Meanwhile, the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Military Decorations corresponds grant the following: Gold Medal for Distinguished Service; Merit Gold Medal, Silver Medal of Merit, Gold Medal Perseverance, and Medal Silver at the Perseverance, a proposal of the Ministry of Defense and after the Court of Decorations rating.

The awards, Golden Cross of Heroism in War Action and Gold Medal for Courage in Action War, when given to members of the Armed Forces or Public Security Forces, as a reward will complement the Montepío Military or Military Pension, that when it is conferred posthumously as the decorated become incapacitated as a result of the action for which he was decorated, this latter comes when the winner is not entitled to military pension in accordance with the Law respectiva.32

On the other hand, when the award is imposed on a military unit to be displayed at their respective flag or banner.

See also


External links

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