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Peru Training
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    The Peruvian military long had the reputation of being a well-trained force. For example, Peruvian army officers spent about 30 percent of their active careers in school: four or five years in the military academy, one and one-half years in specialization school courses, two years in the ESG, one or two years in intelligence school or study abroad, a year at CAEM, and other special courses of six months to a year. Entrance to each service was based on highly competitive national examinations; advancement was also merit-based, and, in addition, course completion requirements had to be satisfied for promotion and for becoming a general officer. Each service also had technical training centers, such as the Army Technical School (Escuela Técnica del Ejército--ETE) for preparing its noncommissioned skilled specialists, preponderantly volunteers rather than conscripts. Draftees received basic training and were encouraged to reenlist after their two-year obligation if their abilities indicated possibilities for advancement through technical training. As of May 1986, women did not serve as officers in any of the services, but there were a few volunteer enlisted servicewomen in the navy and a significant number of enlisted female personnel in the air force (about 14 percent of total FAP personnel).

    Each service had its own training authority to supervise the educational programs. The Peruvian Military Instruction Center (Centro de Instrucción Militar Peruana--CIMP) oversaw the military high schools in Callao, Arequipa, Trujillo, and Chiclayo; the Military Academy; and the specialized branch schools--infantry, artillery, armor, engineer, signal, ordnance, medical, veterinary, and paratroop; the CCFA had purview over the ESG. The Naval Studies Center (Centro de Estudios Navales--CEN) supervised the Naval Academy of Peru (Escuela Naval del Perú), the elite Naval War College (Escuela de Guerra Naval--EGN), and the Naval Technical and Training Center (Centro de Instrucción Técnica y Entrenamiento Naval--CITEN), all located in Callao. The navy and the Ministry of Transit and Communications had joint responsibility for the Merchant Marine Academy. The Aeronautical Instruction Center Command oversaw the Air Force Academy, Air University, and the Air Technical Training School.

    Competitive examinations, strict physical and health requirements, rigorous education and training, as well as promotion and advancement on the basis of proven performance combined to build a strong professional military institution in Peru. Officer recruitment and training were the backbone of the armed forces. In terms of social origins, the officer corps was derived primarily from the middle class, with the army somewhat more from the lower strata and from smaller communities in the provinces (56 percent of army generals promoted between 1955 and 1965 were born in the highlands or jungle) and both the navy and air force more from the upper strata, even upper class, and from urban areas (about 90 percent of naval officers and over 65 percent of air force officers), particularly Lima. A large proportion of officers also came from military families (59 percent of army officers promoted to colonel or general between 1961 and 1971). In addition, a significantly greater percentage of the most prominent military officers than in the general population were of immigrant origin, including 31 percent army, 23 percent navy, and 64 percent air force among all cabinet ministers of the Velasco Alvarado military government.

    Among the entrance requirements of the service academies, only the EP imposed a geographical distribution stipulation--20 percent of each entering class had to be "from" (defined as where the applicant attended the fifth year of secondary school) the northern departments, 50 percent from north-central, 25 percent from south-central and south, and 5 percent from the eastern and northern jungle departments. These social and geographical distinctions tended to be reduced significantly within the military by each service's extensive and rigorous training.

    The one significant training opportunity that brought together representatives of each service, the police forces, and civilians as well was the CAEM. Within two or three years of its founding in 1950, the CAEM became a highly sought-after appointment. Its year-long National Defense Course considered social, economic, and political themes, as well as their strategic and military relevance. There were about forty graduates each year from the National Defense Course, taught by leading military and civilian professors, as well as by distinguished foreign visitors. Of the 1951-71 classes, 46 percent of students were army officers, 9 percent navy, 8 percent air force, 7 percent police, and 30 percent civilian. Many students went on to play significant roles in government and in their respective services. Of officers promoted to general or admiral between 1965 and 1971, 80 percent in the army, 46 percent navy, and 33 percent air force had attended this National Defense Course. Thirteen of the first nineteen cabinet ministers in the 1968-80 military government were CAEM graduates, although there has been some debate over the actual impact of the CAEM on the reformist orientation of this regime and on the military more generally.

    Data as of September 1992

    NOTE: The information regarding Peru on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Peru Training information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Peru Training should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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