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Paraguay - Military Personnel

Paraguay has a small, sparsely funded military. As of 2005, the armed forces totaled 10,010 active-duty personnel, including 1,900 conscripts, and about 164,500 reserves. The Army was the largest of the three services (9,000) in 2005, followed by the Navy (2,000) and Air Force (1,200). Paraguays military (army, navy, and air force) had just over 8,600 uniformed personnel [as of 2012], including 2,300 officers, 5,000 non-commissioned officers, and 1,500 junior conscripts. Of the three services, the army has the majority of personnel, resources, and influence. With about 5,400 personnel, it is organized into three corps, with six infantry divisions and three cavalry divisions. The navy consists of approximately 2,170 personnel and in addition to its fleet, has an aviation section, a prefecture (river police), and a contingent of marines (naval infantry). The air force, the smallest of the services, had approximately 1,060 personnel.

As of 1988, army strength stood at 12,500, including members of the Presidential Escort Regiment; about 8,100 army personnel were conscripts.

In 2001, Paraguay created the Center for Peacekeeper Operations Training (CECOPAZ) for the purpose of training UN peacekeepers, war correspondents, UN police officers, and multinational logistics teams. As of 2012, over 200 Paraguayan troops served in UN missions in Haiti, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Western Sahara, Liberia, South Sudan, and Cote dIvoire.

Paraguay has compulsory military service for all males 18 years of age, consisting of either one year of service in the army or two years in the navy. The 1992 constitution created conscientious objector status for those opposed to serving in the military. Since 1993, 120,000 have been classified as conscientious objectors. Problems with the enlistment of soldiers under the age of 18 have led to stricter procedures verifying a recruits age. In 2003 the national military academy admitted females for the first time.

All career officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force receivetheir basic training at the Academia Militar MARISCAL FRANCISCO SOLANO LOPEZ located at Capiat, near Lago Ypacara to the north-east of Asuncin.  NCOs are trained at the Colegio Militar de Sub-Oficiales MARISCAL JOSE FELIX ESTIGARRIBIA. Officers receive specialist training at the Escuela de Perfeccionamiento de Oficiales del Ejrcito and training for senior command and staff appointments at the Escuela de Comando y Estado Mayor del Ejrcito. Most specialist training schools are also located at or in the vicinity of Asuncin, with the exception of the Artillery School, which is at Paraguar and the Special Forces School which is at Cerrito. The Centro de Instruccin Militar para Estudiantes de Formacin de Oficiales de Reserva (CIMEFOR), which trains second and third level students as reserve officers for the Army, Navy and Air Force, during the academic vacations, is at -Guaz, outside Asuncin. An unusual institution is the Liceo Militar ACOSTA U which provides second-level pre-military training for teen‑agers, destined for a military career, who graduate with the rank of reserve 2nd lieutenant, is also at -Guaz.

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