Personnel and Training - Women in the Armed Forces
Women did not participate in Brazil's armed forces until the early
1980s. The Brazilian
Army became the first army in South America to accept women
into the permanent and career ranks. In 1992, for example, 2,700
women out of 5,000 candidates competed for 136 positions within
the Officer's Complementary Corps (Quadro Complementar de Oficiais--QCO).
To begin a career with the army, women must have completed a bachelor's
degree in areas such as law, computer science, economics, or accounting.
The competition is national in scope, and no applicant may be more
than thirty-six years of age. Those accepted into the program study
at the army's School of Administration in Salvador,
beginning as second lieutenants (reserve). The School of Administration
is also open to men. At the end of the one-year course, the graduate
is promoted to first lieutenant in the permanent ranks. Generally,
the officer is assigned to Brasília.
force have incorporated women in their ranks, but in the Women's
Reserve Corps. Although their positions are temporary in nature,
with regular renewal of contracts these women can rise to officer
status. The navy and air force had about 3,200 female troops and
officers in 1991. In 1992 the navy promoted its first women to the
rank of lieutenant commander. The three services are committed to
admitting women in their military academies by the late 1990s. The
FAB began accepting women at its academy in 1996, but not as pilots.
In 1991, 25,000 women were serving in state Military
Police (Polícia Militar--PM) units. The largest number
(2,500) were in the Military Command of the Southeast,
Paulo. The women generally serve in health and administrative
positions, and at all levels of the hierarchy.
Data as of April 1997