Colombian Naval Infantry
Infanteria de Marina de Colombia
Coat of Arms of the Colombian Naval Infantry
FoundedSeptember 17, 1810 - Foundation of Colombian Armada, March 8, 1940 First official battalions.
Country Colombia
Branch Colombian Navy
RoleAmphibious warfare
Size53,123 [1] (2020)
Garrison/HQColombian Ministry of Defense, Coveñas & Cartagena
Motto(s)Voluntas Omnia Superat - Willpower overcomes everything
ColorsScarlet & Blue   
AnniversariesJanuary 10[2]
EngagementsBattle of Lake Maracaibo, Thousand Days War (Civil war), War Against Peru, Korean War, Colombian Armed Conflict
Major General Luis Gomez Vazquez
José Prudencio Padilla

The Colombian Naval Infantry,[3] also referred to as Colombian Marines (Spanish: Infantería de Marina Colombiana), is the marine force of the Colombian National Armada. The 53,123-member[4] Colombian Marine Infantry is organized into a single division with four brigades (one amphibious assault brigade and three riverine brigades), each with several battalions plus numerous small security units.


The Naval Infantry is a constituent part of the Navy whose origins date back to the wars of independence. Today's Colombian Marines trace their heritage and military traditions from the Gran Colombia Marine Corps raised in 1822, by orders of Major General Francisco de Paula Santander, with Captain Diego Antonio García, who was appointed commander of the 6th Marine Company raised that year, being appointed Commandant that October.

Raised by an order from President Dr. Alfonso López Pumarejo on January 12, 1937, The Colombian Marines started out as a 120-strong Marine Company, located on Naval Base Cartagena.

On March 8, 1940, the 1st Marine Battalion was raised, with three companies to cover Bolivar, Putumayo and the San Andres Islands, then in 1943 was assigned to Buenaventura, Barranquilla, Puerto Leguizamo and the eastern plains.

In 1944, a heavy weapons company was raised and the battalion was moved to facilities adjacent to the San Pedro Claver convent in Cartagena. With the advent of La Violencia, in 1952 the Marines were reassigned to the Eastern Naval Force due to the appearance of subversives in this area, and in a year, with the transfer of personnel from the National Army of Colombia, the number of personnel serving increased.

In July 1955, thanks to the instruction of officers and NCOs in the United States in the United States Naval Academy, The Basic School of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Marine Corps School of Infantry and the U.S. mission of the United States Marine Corps aimed for this effort, the Naval Infantry began training and forming its personnel for amphibious warfare operations.

On April 9, 1956, the Marine Corps Basic and Formation School was opened, headquartered at first in Turbaco (Bolivar), then moved to Carne (Cartagena) and is today currently located in Covenas.

By 1957, the Marine Fluvial Commands were officially raised with the first unit being called "Flotilla Avispa", and thus its formal foundation marked a new chapter in the Naval Infantry history, as the Fluvial Commands were mandated to secure the nation's inland waters.

On July 3, 1958, the Colombian Naval Academy had its first 8 Marine Second Lieutenants commissioned.

In 1964, the Marine Infantry Directoriate of the Navy was established and became the Naval Infantry Command in 1967, the very same year that, led by CPT Jaime Arias Arango and with the advice of the then Commandant, COL Jorge Sánchez, the Marine Amphibious Commando specialty arm was officially introduced into the service.

Dates of importance to the Naval Infantry

The Naval Infantry Training Base, based in Covenas, began its work in 1975, with its mission of training men and women to join the ranks of the Naval Infantry and to prepare to perform its duties of defending the territorial and maritime integrity of the Colombian nation through basic military training through its Instruction Battalions before moving to the regular units of the Naval Infantry nationwide.

Since January 15, 1984, the Naval Infantry is a designated principal combatant command of the Navy, with its primary responsibility being amphibious and seaborne defense of the maritime and land territories of the Republic. Its motto is "La Voluntad Todo Lo Supera" ("Will Surpasses Everything").

Colombian Marines

Since then, the Marines have had several changes in line with the operational situation and public order in Colombia.


The Colombian Marine Infantry fields approximately 22,000 personnel, among officers and Infantrymen, and it is by far the biggest Corps within the Navy.[4]

Ranks & Insignias

Further information: Military ranks of the Colombian Armed Forces and Colombian Navy § Ranks & Insignias

The tables below display the rank structures and rank insignias for the Colombian Naval Infantry personnel.[5]

As a general rule the Corps uses Army rank titles while keeping naval-style insignia.

Officer ranks
Rank group General/flag officers Senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
 Colombian Naval Infantry[5]
General Mayor general Brigadier general Coronel Teniente coronel Mayor Capitán Teniente Subteniente
Other ranks
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 Colombian Naval Infantry[5]
No insignia
Sargento mayor de comando conjunto Sargento mayor de comando Sargento mayor Sargento primero Sargento vice primero Sargento segundo Cabo primero Cabo segundo Cabo tercero Infante regular



Marine Infantry Training Base

Base de Entrenamiento de Infantería de Marina, in Coveñas

Base de entrenamiento de infanteria de marina "BEIM" is located in a small town called Coveñas, Sucre Department, in the caribbean north of Colombia. It has 3 battalions for recruits' boot camp training called BINIM 1, BINIM2 and BINIM3 (BINIM, Batallón de Instrucción de Infantería de Marina). A 13-week training program is performed under supervision of the United States Naval Mission by a Gunnery Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps.[citation needed]

The BEIM also has an Specialists Center (CIEAN: Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento Anfibio), where professional marines and sub-officers (Coporals - Sergeants) receive special training courses: Drill instructor, Anti-explosives, Canine guide, Personal defense, Shooter and Water survival. The training in this center is also supervised by the Gunnery Sergeant of the US Naval Mission.

There is also the Batallón de Comando y Apoyo de IM Nº 6 (BACAIM6) in charge of the watch and security of the surrounding areas of the base and some sectors of the Sucre Department.

First Marine Infantry Brigade

Is a minor operative unit with the main purpose of neutralizing narcoterrorism. Mainly operated in the Caribbean Region of Colombia, in the area of Montes de María.

First Riverine Marine Infantry Brigade

The First Fluvial Brigade of the Naval Infantry was founded with the main purpose of grouping the direction, organization and control of all fluvial units of the former Fluvial Fleet of Magdalena and the Oriente.

Second Riverine Marine Infantry Brigade

The Second Fluvial Brigade of the Naval Infantry is based in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca Department.

Third Riverine Marine Infantry Brigade

The Third Fluvial Brigade of the Naval Infantry is based in Puerto Leguizamo, Putumayo Department.

Riverine Task Group

The Fluvial Tasks Group is a minor operative unit created on February 16, 2004, to participate in the Joint Task Force OMEGA which participates in operations part of the Plan Patriota.







  1. ^ LOGROS DE LA POLÍTICA DE CONSOLIDACIÓN DE LA SEGURIDAD DEMOCRÁTICA – PCSD Junio de 2009 Archived 2009-09-21 at the Wayback Machine, página 81
  2. ^ WebInfomil. "Infanteria de Marina conmemora 77 años de servicio en Colombia". Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  3. ^ "CIA - The World Factbook -- Field Listing :: Military branches". Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Colombia (November 2010). "Logros de la Política de Consolidación de la Seguridad Democrática, 2010" (PDF) (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-08-03. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Congreso de la República de Colombia (28 July 2010). "Ley 1405 de 2010 Nuevos Grados Militares" [Law 1405 of 2010 New Military Ranks] (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  6. ^ Brigades of the Colombian Naval Infantry (in Spanish)
  7. ^ WebInfomil. "Armada Nacional recibe sus primeros Hovercraft Griffon 2000TD". Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  8. ^ Colombia; Marines receive Navistar 7000MV trucks Archived 2014-10-20 at the Wayback Machine -, May 1, 2013