The Argentine National Gendarmerie has a strength of 12,000.
Non-commissioned personnel of the Gendarmerie are all volunteers and receive their training in the force's own comprehensive system of training institutions. Officers graduate after a three-year course at the National Gendarmerie Academy. Both officers and non-commissioned personnel have access to the specialist training establishments of the Army.
The Gendarmerie was created in 1938 by the National Congress, and replaced the regiments of the Army which previously fulfilled the Gendarmerie's missions. The Gendarmerie was particularly tasked with providing security in isolated and sparsely populated frontier regions which had only been settled relatively recently. In many senses the Gendarmerie may still be considered an adjunct of the Argentine Army.
The Gendarmerie's mission and functions are concerned with both domestic security and national defense.
According to the Argentine Constitution, the armed forces cannot intervene in internal civil conflicts, so the Gendarmerie is subordinate to the Interior Ministry. However, it maintains a functional relationship with the Ministry of Defense, as part of both the National Defense System and the Interior Security System. It therefore maintains capabilities arising from the demands required by joint military planning with the armed forces.
The Gendarmerie's main missions are:
The Gendarmerie is also used for other security missions, which include:
The high command includes:
The ranks of the Argentine Gendarmerie, in ascending order, are:
|Rank||Approximate English translation|
|Cabo Primero||Corporal First Class|
|Sargento Primero||Sergeant First Class|
|Suboficial Principal||Principal Sub-Officer|
The ranks up to and including sergeant are classified as Subaltern Sub-Officers (Suboficiales Subalternos), and the remainder are classified as Superior Sub-Officers (Suboficiales Superiores). The sub-officer ranks are the same as Argentine army ranks, and wear the same insignia, but with a much thicker gold band for a Gendarmerie Principal Sub-Officer than is used in the Army.
|Rank||Approximate English translation||Argentine Army Equivalent|
|Primer Alférez||First Ensign||First Lieutenant|
|Segundo Comandante||Second Commandant||Captain|
|Comandante Principal||Principal Commandant||Lieutenant-Colonel|
|Comandante General||Commandant-General||Brigade General|
|(Deputy National Director = Divisional General, and National Director = Lieutenant-General)|
The ranks up to and including Segundo Comandante are classified as Subaltern Officers (Oficiales Subalternos). Gendarmerie officers wear the same insignia as the equivalent Argentine Army rank. The National Director and his Deputy wear the insignia of an Argentine Lieutenant-General and Divisional General respectively, although they still have the rank of Commandant-General. (NB: Lieutenant-General is the highest Argentine Army rank.)