The Bolivian Army circa 2300AD




Perched precariously in the midst of the broader conflict between Argentina and Brazil, with an economy vitally dependent on territory seized from Chile during the Rio Plata Wars, Bolivia is a potential flashpoint that could easily ignite a fourth South American continental conflict.  The nation possesses a relatively large military which is hamstrung both by deficiencies in modern equipment and quality personnel.



            Order of Battle

            Current Defense and Regional Security Issues

            Corps Areas of Responsibility

            Divisions and Separate Brigades

            Reserve Infantry Divisions


            Key Weapons Systems


Order of Battle


Zona de Seguridad de Arica

            1ra Divisíon de Infantería Mecanizado

            5ta Divisíon de Infantería Mecanizado

            1ra Brigada Independente de Tanques Pesada

            6ta Brigada Independente de Infantería de Marina

            7ma Brigada de Artillería de Campaña

            9na Brigada de Artillería Antiaério

            Batallon de Policia Militar II “Ruben Amezaga”

Batallon de Policia Militar III “Esteban Arce”


I Cuerpo (S/SW border facing Chile and Argentina)

            4ta Divisíon de Infantería de Monte

            7ma Divisíon de Infantería de Monte

            Regimiento de Artillería de Campaña 3 "Pisagua"

            Regimiento de Artillería de Campaña 9 "Mitre"

            2da Divisíon de Infantería de Reserva

            3er Divisíon de Infatería de Reserva


II Cuerpo (E/NE border facing Brazil)

            2da Divisíon de Infantería de Selva

            3er Brigada Independente de Infantería Aeromovel

            5ta Divisíon de Infantería de Reserva


III Cuerpo (N/NW border facing the Inca Republic)

            3er Divisíon de Infantería de Montaña

6ta Divisíon de Infantería de Selva


IV Cuerpo (Strategic Reserve)

            2da Brigada Independente Aero-Blindada

            4ta Brigada Independente Aero-Blindada 

5ta Brigada Independente de Infantería Mecanizado

            Brigada de Fuerzas Especiales de Ejército

            1ra Divisíon de Infantería de Reserva

            4ta Divisíon de Infantería de Reserva

            6ta Divisíon de Infantería de Reserva




Current Defense and Regional Security Issues

Bolivia’s defense situation is almost exclusively defined by its fear of Chilean designs on the Arica Strip region, with all other issues being decidedly secondary issues.  This creates a somewhat strange situation wherein two of Argentina’s diplomatic and military allies are more concerned with preparing to fight one another, rather than functioning as part of a coherent front against Brazil.  While the potential distraction of Bolivia and Chile has served as a deterrent to Argentinean military adventures (as seen, for instance, in the 2nd Rio Plata War) it does not effectively serve to reduce the risk of conflict as it concurrently encourages potential Brazilian military action.


More generally, Bolivia has a longstanding and well-earned reputation as a rather non-committed ally.    Currently this translates into a certain lack of enthusiasm for Argentinean military concerns, but was equally pronounced in the era when Bolivia was a Brazilian ally.  Bolivia, for instance, only entered into the 1st Rio Plata War based on Brazilian promises of territorial concessions from Chile and at a point when it seemed these promises were likely to be fulfilled.  The nation is regarded, with justification, by both major South American powers as a fair-weather friend. 



Diplomatic relations between Bolivia and Argentina are warm, but Bolivia only pays nominal lip service to the notion that this translates into any likelihood of joint military action against Brazil.  Bolivia maintains its alliance with Argentina primarily as a check to Chilean ambitions, but in the event of a 4th Rio Plata War, most observers anticipate that Bolivia would only enter the war if things were going decidedly in Argentina’s favor and a significantly large Chilean expeditionary force was deployed to the Argentina-Brazil front to preclude any surprise offensive taking advantage of Bolivian redeployments.  Most observers also expect this state of affairs to be highly unlikely, given that Chile shares Bolivia’s preoccupation with the Arica Strip.



If Argentina is a somewhat nominal ally, Brazil likewise presents a somewhat nominal enemy.  Between the main front in the tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay and covering the frontier with the Inca Republic, Brazil gives little indication of being interested in the potential of adding another front to its war plans.  This is due in no small part to the low strategic value of the regions of Brazil bordering Bolivia.  Likewise, an incursion into Bolivian territory would have to traverse significant portions of undeveloped scrubland or jungle before getting to any location of strategic value to Bolivia.



This nation is Bolivia’s anticipated enemy, and vice versa, and diplomatic relations have tended to be extremely poor since the end of the 1st Rio Plata War.  Tensions along the coastal frontier between the two nations are always at a Cold War sort of level, with several divisions of troops staring back and forth across the fortified terrain of the northern Atacama Desert.  Though there have been occasional attempts at detent between the two nations, the issue of the Arica Strip has proven insurmountable and has derailed any relaxation of tensions.


Inca Republic

Though considered less of a conventional military threat, the Inca Republic is considered a more constant unconventional one.  The Inca government, being a fractious and poorly unified entity, contains a number of ministries and individuals who consider the party line of universal revolution for indigenous peoples to be a very real and guiding ideology.  Likewise, the government contains a good many whose interests run to less ideologically motivated criminal activities of one sort or another.  Both groups have increasingly turned their attentions southward towards Bolivia.  Would-be revolutionaries, smugglers, kipnapping rings and a slew of other criminal gangs frequently challenge the integrity of Bolivia’s northern frontier, and the military is often called upon to augment civilian law enforcement agencies in countering this threat.


Unfortunately, some in the military, especially in the economically depressed northeastern region of the country, have found common cause with criminals.  Likewise, the message of indigenous revolution has found some adherents in that region (as well as on various college campuses within the nation) and so, while violence has not yet approached that seen in, say, Venezuela, the basic groundwork for an insurgency seem to be in place.


A full-scale guerilla war is something between two allies, however nominal, is contrary to Argentina’s interests, and so that nation has made efforts to control the situation.  However, the Incas, while an ardent and dedicated ally of Argentina in regards to Brazil, have never been an especially obedient one.  How this situation will resolve itself is something of an open question.  Preoccupied with the conventional threat presented by Chile, Bolivia has little resources to devote to a large, well-trained counter-insurgency force and the main limiting factor to date has been the general level of economic prosperity in Bolivia.  A sustained economic downturn could easily provide a large number of converts to the Incan ideology throughout the country.



Corps Areas of Responsibility

The various Corps of the Bolivian army have specific geographic areas of responsibility, with the exception of IV Corps, which serves as the strategic reserve.  These geographic AORs are long-standing and regarded as essentially permanent by the corps and subordinate divisional headquarters.  It is not uncommon for battalions and regiments to be cross-posted to other AORs as part of exercises or if international tensions rise, however.





Zona de Seguridad de Arica

Arica Strip

Defensive network ties into I and II Corps (primarily I Corps)

I Cuerpo

Chilean and Argentinean frontier

Deployed to cover the “old” Chilean border and frontier with Argentina (the latter characterized by extremely rough terrain).

II Cuerpo

Brazilian frontier

AOR includes the extreme eastern portion of the Incan border as well.

III Cuerpo

Incan Republic frontier

Primarily tasked with security along what was formerly the Peruvian border.

IV Cuerpo

Strategic reserve




Divisions and Separate Brigades


1ra Divisíon de Infantería Mecanizado

One of the two division-sized units tasked with defensive operations in the Arica Strip, 1ra Divisíon de Infantería Mecanizado is considered one of the premier postings within the Ejército, with the unit getting priority for new equipment, training funds, and the like.  The division is tasked with defending the landward (eastern) portion of the Strip, including lines of communication back towards the capital.  To accomplish this tasking, the division has three infantry-heavy mechanized brigades, supported by an artillery brigade and a mixed air defense and anti-tank brigade with two battalions of SAMs (one MANPADS systems, one longer-ranged) and one of ATGM vehicles.


            1ra Brigada de Infantería Mecanizado

                        Regimiento de Caballeria Aero-Blindada 3 "Aroma"

                        Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizado 8 "Ayacucho"

                        Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizado 32 "Murguia"

            2da Brigada de Infantería Mecanizado

                        Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizado 4 "Loa"

                        Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizado 35 “Manuel Lopez”

                        Batallon de Tanques Aero-Blindada I

            3er Brigada de Infantería Mecanizado

                        Regimiento de Caballeria Aero-Blindada 4 "Ingavi"

                        Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizado 15 "Junin"

                        Regimiento de Infatería Mecanizado 22 "Mejillones"

            Brigada de Artillería de 1ra Divisíon

            Brigada de Artillería Antiaério y Antitanque de 1ra Divisíon

            Brigada de Ingeneria de 1ra Divisíon

            Brigada de Logisticos y Servicios de 1ra Divisíon


2da Divisíon de Infantería de Selva

Originally tasked purely with covering the northeastern portion of Bolivia’s border with Brazil, the need to provide a greater presence along the Incan border resulted in this division being given the task of covering the entirety of both the Brazilian and Paraguayan frontiers (and makes the “de Selva” designation a misnomer retained for tradition’s sake, as the terrain in most of its geographic AOR is not jungle).  To accomplish this task, the division has four, rather than the usual three, subordinate maneuver brigades.  One motorized infantry brigade is stationed at Puerto Suárez, astride the only significant avenue of approach along the Brazilian border.  A jungle infantry brigade at Trinidad provides a nominal presence along the heavily forested stretch of border defined by the Río Iténez.  The division’s remaining two maneuver brigades are strung out along the main highway leading towards Brazil, with a mechanized brigade at San José de Chiquitos and a second motorized infantry brigade (as well as the divisional headquarters and bulk of the division’s support and logistics assets) are further west along the highway at Santa Cruz.  The division’s secondary mission of covering the Paraguayan border is primarily notional, generally amounting only to several small military-police liaison and planning cells to coordinate occasional joint law enforcement operations.


Given the more pressing threats from Chile and the Inca Republic, the division is considered to be a backwater, and is generally last in line for equipment upgrades and other funding, as well as often getting slighted in terms of the quality of leadership posted to the division.  This has translated into a number of strikes/minor mutinies in the 2280s and 2290s, as well as a number of highly publicized cases where personnel from the division were caught involved in smuggling and other criminal activities along the Brazilian and Paraguayan border.  There are also unproven rumors that the division commander in the mid-2290s became extremely wealthy overseeing transfers of funds and weapons from the Brazilian intelligence services to anti-Incan rebels operating out of Bolivian territory.  The division’s 2nd Brigade is particularly notorious for this sort of conduct.


            1ra Brigada de Infantería de Monte

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Monte 3 “Juan Jose Perez”

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Monte 20 "Padilla"

                        Batallon de Tanques Ligero IV

            2da Brigada de Infantería de Selva

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Selva 17 “Independencia”

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Selva 33 “Jaime Velasquez”*

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Selva 37 “Yacuma”

            3er Brigada de Infantería de Monte

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Monte 7 "Marzana"

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Monte 34 “Gustavo Barrales”

                        Batallon de Tanques Ligero VI

            4ta Brigada de Infantería Mecanizado

                        Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizado 5 "Campero"

                        Batallon de Infantería Mecanizado VII

                        Regimiento de Caballeria Aero-Blindada 2 "Ballivian"

            Batallon de Ingenieria I “Chorolque”

            Brigada de Artillería de 2da Divisíon

            Brigada de Logisticos y Servicios de 2da Divisíon


3er Divisíon de Infantería de Montaña

Covering the Inca frontier north and west of La Paz, 3er Divisíon de Infantería de Montaña, is responsible for border security along the second most likely axis of attack the nation could encounter, after Chilean action in the Arica Strip.  Of much greater immediate concern are attempts to transit the border by criminal elements and indigenous rights paramilitaries.  Minor confrontations and skirmishes are common; over the course of the last year, elements of the division were involved in slightly over 80 encounters that resulted in the use of organic small arms and support weapons.


The division consists of two triangular mountain infantry brigades, as well as a smaller (two battalion) high mountain brigade whose members usually serve as platoon sized reconnaissance and presence patrols in particularly inaccessible regions.  The division also has two battalions of light armor for quick reaction force, convoy escort, and similar missions.  Most of the division’s subordinate units are distributed in battalion and company base camps along the border, though Regimiento de Infantería de Montaña 25 "Tocopilla" and Batallon de Tanques Ligero III constitute a small divisional reserve located at Guaqui near Lake Titicaca.


            1ra Brigada de Infantería de Montaña

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Montaña 10 “Warnes”

                        Batallon de Infantería de Montaña I

                        Batallon de Infantería de Montaña II

            2da Brigada de Infantería de Montaña

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Montaña 6 “Campos”

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Montaña 25 “Tocopilla”

                        Batallon de Infantería de Montaña IV

            3er Brigada de Infantería de Alto-Montaña

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Montaña 20 “Padilla”

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Montaña 29 “Lino Echevarria”

            Batallon de Tanques Ligero II

            Batallon de Tanques Ligero III

            Batallon de Ingenieria III “Pando”

            Brigada de Artillería de 3er Divisíon

            Brigada de Logisticos y Servicios de 3er Divisíon


4ta Divisíon de Infantería de Monte

Part of I Cuerpo, covering the historic (non-Arica) border between Chile, the 4ta Divisíon de Infantería de Monte is in the less than enviable position of having better terrain than equipment with which to counter any potential Chilean attack.  With the best resources reserved for the actual defense of the Arica region, the division and its sister unit 7ma Divisíon de Infantería de Monte have to make due with lighter equipment scales and obsolescent equipment.  In the event of war, the two divisions would purely be tasked with conducting a holding action along the border, with any offensive action into Chilean territory being the domain of the independent brigades of IV Cuerpo.


The division has only two maneuver brigades (each of two infantry battalions and a light armor battalion), augmented by an independent hover armor battalion and a single mountain infantry battalion, as well as a mixed anti-air/anti-armor brigade.


1ra Brigada de Infantería de Monte

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Monte 13 “Montes”

                        Batallon de Infantería de Monte III

                        Batallon de Tanques Ligero V

            2da Brigada de Infantería de Monte  

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Monte 36 “Desaquadero”

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Monte 42 “Herve Cardoso”

                        Regimiento de Caballeria Ligero 7 “Chichas”

            Regimiento de Caballeria Aero-Blindada 6 “Castrillo”

            Regimiento de Infantería de Montaña 17 “Independencia”

            Batallon de Ingenieria VI “Riosinho”

            Brigada de Artillería de 4ta Divisíon

            Brigada de Artillería Antiaério y Antitanque de 4ta Divisíon

            Brigada de Logisticos y Servicios de 4ta Divisíon


5ta Divisíon de Infantería Mecanizado

Part of the Arica Strip garrison, 5ta Divisíon de Infantería Mecanizado is equipped with the most modern equipment Bolivia can obtain, as well as the best personnel.  The division’s defensive sector is the coastal zone south of the port of Arica itself, with 1ra Divisíon de Infantería Mecanizado to its east, covering lines of communications back into the Bolivian altiplano.


Like its sister division, 5ta Divisíon consists of three infantry heavy mechanized brigades, supported by a mixed air-defense and anti-tank brigade and the usual range of combat support and combat service support assets.


1ra Brigada de Infantería Mecanizado

                        Regimiento de Caballeria Aero-Blindada 1 “Avaroa”

Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizado 2 “Sucre”

Batallon de Infantería Mecanizado XI

            2da Brigada de Infantería Mecanizado

                        Regimiento de Caballeria Aero-Blindada 5 “Jose Miguel Lanza”

                        Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizado 1 “Colorados de Bolivia”

                        Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizado 18 “Victoria”

            3er Brigada de Infantería Mecanizado

                        Regimiento de Caballeria Aero-Blindada 8 “Otto Felipe Braun”

Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizado 26 “Rene Barrientos”

Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizado 27 “Antofagasta”

            Brigada de Artillería de 5ta Divisíon

            Brigada de Artillería Antiaério y Antitanque de 5ta Divisíon

            Brigada de Ingeneria de 1ra Divisíon

            Brigada de Logisticos y Servicios de 5ta Divisíon


6ta Divisíon de Infantería de Selva

Tasked with border security on the Incan frontier in the eastern Bolivian lowlands, 6ta Divisíon de Infantería de Selva covers a less critical sector than 3er Divisíon de Infantería de Montaña to its west, or the units within the Arica Strip.  The border within their sector is very unsettled, however, and armed confrontations with Incan paramilitaries or criminal groups engaged in smuggling are even more common than in 3er Divisíon’s sector.  The division also has a much larger area of responsibility, and is badly overstretched.


The division has three jungle infantry brigades but lacks many of the supporting assets found in other Bolivian divisions.  The division has a single regiment of artillery (usually with one of its subordinate batteries assigned to each brigade) in place of the artillery brigade usually seen.  It does, however, have an infantry battalion configured for long-range reconnaissance patrolling.


1ra Brigada de Infantería de Selva

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Selva 11 “Boqueron”

                        Batallon de Infantería de Selva V

                        Batallon de Infantería de Selva VIII

            2da Brigada de Infantería de Selva

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Selva 31 “E. Rios”

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Selva 38 “Abuna”

                        Batallon de Infantería de Selva VI

            3er Brigada de Infantería de Monte

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Selva 21 "Illimani"

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Selva 39 “Potosi”

                        Batallon de Infantería de Selva IX

            Regimiento de Infantería de Selva de Reconocimiento 14 "Florida"

            Regimiento de Artilleria de Campaña 5 "Vergara

            Batallon de Ingenieria VII “Sajama”

            Brigada de Logisticos y Servicios de 2da Divisíon


7ma Divisíon de Infantería de Monte

Part of the covering force along the Chilean border, 7ma Divisíon de Infantería de Monte is somewhat smaller than its sister unit, the 4th Division.  Unlike that formation, 7ma Divisíon is composed to two motorized infantry brigades, augmented by a single cavalry regiment and a mountain infantry battalion.


1ra Brigada de Infantería de Monte

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Monte 40 “Roberto Dias”

                        Batallon de Infantería de Monte X

                        Batallon de Tanques Ligero IX

            2da Brigada de Infantería de Monte

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Monte 19 “Victor Ustariz”

                        Regimiento de Infantería de Monte 41 “La Paz”*

                        Batallon de Tanques Ligero VIII

            Regimiento de Caballeria Aero-Blindada 9 “Trinidad”

            Regimiento de Infantería de Montaña 17 “Independencia”

            Batallon de Ingenieria VI “Riosinho”

            Brigada de Artillería de 4ta Divisíon

            Brigada de Artillería Antiaério y Antitanque de 4ta Divisíon

            Brigada de Logisticos y Servicios de 4ta Divisíon


1ra Brigada Independente de Tanques Pesada

The heavy counter-attack force for the Arica Strip Security Zone, 1ra Brigada Independente de Tanques Pesada consists of heavy tracked armor backed by mechanized infantry and its own artillery battalion.  The brigade’s two heavy armor battalions are the heart of its combat power, each with 22 Azanian Rhino heavy tracked tanks (Bolivia purchased a total of 50 of the Rhinos, the brigade has all of them, with the additional six vehicles in storage to cover maintenance or combat losses).


The brigade is garrisoned at the town of Las Maitas, fifteen kilometers east of Arica on the road into the Bolivian highlands.  While intended primarily for counter-attack of any Chilean breakthrough, it has a follow on mission, if things go poorly, of retreating into Arica itself and helping garrisoning the port against a siege.  How well the brigade’s older Mod 1 Rhinos would fare against the Manchurian Type 27s used by Chilean forces is an open question, though most accord the Chileans the advantage of both more modern equipment as well as better crew quality.


            Regimiento de Caballeria Pesado 10 “Uyuni”

            Batallon de Tanques Pesado VII

Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizado 23 “Max Toledo”

            Regimiento de Artilleria de Campaña 1 “Camacho”


Note concerning usage of “Regimiento” versus “Batallon”

Bolivian usage, circa 2300, of the terms “Regimiento” and “Batallon” is fairly standard in terms of South American traditions, with combat arms units being formed into regiments and supporting arms being formed into battalions.  The one departure is the use of “battalion” designation for (relatively) new combat arms units whose lineage does not include combat and campaign participation.  In practical terms, combat arms units designated as battalions identify units formed since the end of the 1st Rio Plata War (the last time Bolivian armed forces saw significant combat operations).  Presumably, combat arms battalions participating in a hypothetical 4th Rio Plata War or conflict with Chile or the Inca Republic would subsequently be reflagged as regiments.



Reserve Infantry Divisions

The Ejército de Bolivia is reinforced, on mobilization, by six reserve infantry divisions, with three slated to reinforce the strategic reserve corps, two supporting the defense of the Chilean frontier and one augmenting the defense along the Brazilian frontier.


All six divisions are identical in organization, consisting of four infantry brigades supported by an artillery brigade, two independent military police battalions, and a single regiment of armor.  Two of the infantry brigades are motorized and, along with the supporting elements are considered “high readiness” reserve units expected to mobilize within a 60-day window.  They are manned at close to full strength by conscripts completing the reserve phase of their service requirements.  The remaining two brigades are considered lower readiness formations that only possess a cadre of leadership and key technical specialists, with additional personnel being obtained on mobilization by calling up discharged former military personnel and drafting additional new personnel.  These brigades would require approximately 150-180 days to mobilize, in theory, though actual hostilities and a need for replacement personnel in other units might delay this even further.


Equipment sets for the reserve infantry divisions have not been well funded, as far as updating obsolescent equipment and the like.  Major weapons systems tend to be of 3rd Rio Plata War-era vintage and, while reasonably well maintained, are significantly outdated compared to more modern weapons in service with the non-reserve components of the Bolivian Army or its likely opponents.




The bulk of the Bolivian army consists of enlisted conscripts serving out a two-year service commitment, with selected personnel serving three-year terms (usually technical specialists, particularly those whose skills have a high value in the civilian economy).  Enlisted conscription is generally well regarded among those called on to serve, with rural peasant populations particularly seeing service as a possible means of attaining job skills and education. 


Unusual for a South American military, Bolivia also conscripts a portion of their junior officers.  College graduates are required to register to conscription on completion of their education, and are liable for a two-year term of service if selected.  This program is not at all popular, but the general upsurge in the economy, coupled with a relatively over-sized military and a general preference among the educated strata of Bolivian society away from military service prompted the situation.  In other nations another solution might be to commission promising enlisted personnel, but the Bolivian military remains extremely class bound by 24th century standards.


One upshot of this program is a surprising degree of support from graduates of the national military academy, as conscript officers helpfully fill out unwanted assignments (the bulk of junior officers serving in eastern portions of the country, for instance, are conscripts) and tend not to remain in service.  The use of short-term conscript officers greatly reduces career attrition among military academy graduates and helps to ensure more rise to field grade and more senior ranks than would be commonly seen among most military organizations.  Conscript officers often complain about various forms of discrimination from military academy graduates, oftentimes with legitimate grievances, sometimes reflecting a more general belief.


As might be suggested by this situation, small unit leadership in the Bolivian army is not consistently of the highest quality.  Military academy graduates tend to be proficient, but ability level of conscript officers is much more varied.  Some are extremely good, but some are, likewise, quite bad.  This inconsistency tends to be reflected among enlisted personnel and junior NCOs for various reasons as well.


NCOs in the Bolivian Army likewise tend to be mixed conscripts and professionals.  Junior NCOs are almost entirely conscripts (up to the approximate level of squad leaders), and are, consequently, usually less seasoned than their typical 2nd Tier counterparts.  After six months in service, promising conscripts are eligible for posting to a short (5 week) NCO training school and promotion to Cabo Segundo, with further promotion to Cabo Primero being possible after 15 months of time in service.  Most senior NCOs (Sargento Segundo and higher) are professional soldiers who already reached the rank of Cabo Primero while conscripts.  While they tend to be relatively professional and proficient, they also tend to be significantly younger than most of their foreign counterparts.  NCO unit assignments, likewise, mirror those of officers, with the best and brightest primarily serving in the Arica Strip (and posting to that AOR reflecting a career going in positive directions), and units not directly slated to defend the Strip getting second best (or worse) personnel (often those the military is subtly encouraging to consider other employment options).


Finally, it should be reiterated, as noted above, that the Bolivian Army is extremely class conscious for a 24th century military organization, with relative status (military academy officer, conscript officer, or enlisted/NCO status) tracking very closely with civilian socioeconomic status.  While this arrangement is not inherently negative for a military organization, it does tend to find a negative expression in the Bolivian Army, with significant class tension sometimes fueling discipline problems among the ranks, etc.


Bolivian Army Rank Structure

Enlisted Ranks


Officer Ranks



Private soldier


Junior staff officer, officer trainee, sometimes platoon leader

Cabo Segundo

Fire Team


Platoon leader

Cabo Primero

Squad Leader


Company commander

Sargento Segundo

Staff Functions


Staff officer, sometimes senior/specialist company commander

Sargento Primero

Platoon Sergeant

Teniente Coronel

Battalion commander

Sargento Mayor (I)

Company Sergeant Major


Staff officer, may serve as battalion or brigade commander in some cases

Sargento Mayor (II)

Battalion Sergeant Major

General de Brigada

Brigade commander

Sargento Mayor (III)

Brigade or Higher Sergeant Major

General de Divisíon

Division commander



General de Cuerpo

Corps commander



General de Fuerza

Army Chief of Staff



Key Weapons Systems

Bolivia, ostensibly within the Argentinean sphere, would normally have access to that nation’s range of modern and sophisticated weapons systems.  Bolivia’s status as an ally of Argentina is, however, not particularly normal.  Notably, in terms of procurement, the relationship is hamstrung by Argentinean doubts concerning Bolivian reliability; this perception has generally precluded Bolivia being provided any item of potential interest to Brazilian technical intelligence analysts.  Even more complicating, however, is the length Chile has gone to ensure Argentina does not provide cutting edge equipment to Bolivia.  (The Inca Republic, with its own ambitions concerning Bolivia, has likewise opposed providing Bolivia with advanced military equipment, but the Incas carry far less weight in Buenos Aires than the Chileans.)  As a consequence, Bolivian military procurement, while possessing a slant towards the Argentinean (and Mexican) arsenals, has tended to come from varied international sources in many cases.  With Argentina unwilling to subsidize large scale procurement from sources other than its own industries, and with the Bolivian military budget being constrained, systems in service oftentimes tend to consist of small lots of assorted systems, rather than single source large purchases.


Armored Fighting Vehicles

The bulk of the Bolivian tank fleet consists of various marks of the Luftkissenpanzer-VIII hover tank.  These include a good number of early marks of the Argentinean ATAB-1 (primarily the immediately post-3rd Rio Plata War-era “Block 80” and somewhat upgraded Block 83 vehicles), as well as surplus German LkPz-VIII ausf B optained after the War of German Reunification.  Smaller numbers of vehicles have also been obtained from Mozambique, the Scandinavian Union, and the United Arab Republic.  Though generally similar in performance, these various vehicles differ in some operating systems (different anti-missile systems being a particular maintenance and logistical problem for the Ejército).  Starting in 2294, the army announced a program to bring all vehicles up to a common, modernized, standard, the “ATAB-1 (Bol)”, but funding has not been sufficient to convert anything but the tanks deployed for the defense of Arica.  Even the ATAB-1 (Bol) vehicles are not up to the standards of their likeliest opponents, Chilean ATAB-1 Block 96 and ATAB-2 hovertanks.


Augmenting the various versions of the LkPz-VIII are a smaller number of AC-8 hovertanks acquired as surplus from Czechoslovakia in the 2290s.  These vehicles are consolidated in the 2da Divisíon de Infantería de Selva and 2da Brigada Independente Aero-Blindada and, like the LkPz-VIII fleet, are in need of modernization to avoid block obsolescence.


Bolivian attempts to acquire the modern Argentinean ATAB-2 appear unlikely to bear fruit any time soon.  The government has looked at the possibility of procuring an alternative like the AC-12 or LkPz-IX (the latter more likely since France tilts toward Brazil in South America’s polarized political environment), but the cost is daunting and the Kafer War has tended to put a great many more significant customers ahead of a nation like Bolivia.


Hover infantry carriers are a mix of AVBI-85s and earlier (3rd Rio Plata War vintage) AVBI-63s.  The 85s are found in the Arican Security Zone, while 63s serve elsewhere.


In terms of wheeled armored vehicles, the situation is somewhat superior; with Bolivia being well supplied with VLI-45 6x6 wheeled AFV hulls, though the usual 40mm rotary cannon is not employed on any variants in Bolivian service.  The basic hull has been adapted into a number of rolls, based on local or foreign remanufacture.  The most common are summarized in the table below.


Bolivian VLI-45 Variants



TL-95(c) “Jaguar”

Light tank variant, armed with turreted 8cm mass driver cannon (identical to that fitted to the AC-8 hovertank) and vertical launch tubes for Cóndor ATGMs (locally manufactured, similar in capability to Aero-13).  Carries sixty rounds of 8cm ammunition, plus eight ATGMs, but no infantry dismounts.

TL-95(m) “Jaguar”

A tank-destroyer/ATGM vehicle variant of the TL-95, substituting ten VLS tubes for ATGMs or SAMs, plus storage space for an additional ten reloads in the vehicle.  The turret has been replaced by a long-range sensor array and 25mm autocannon for self-defense.


Infantry APC/IFV version of the VLI-45, mounting a 25mm autocannon and coaxial 30mm AGL instead of the VLI-45’s usual 40mm autocannon.


Vehículo de Reconocimiento y Exploracíon 95, a reconnaissance variant of the basic design.  The VRE-95 mounts the same sensor system as the TL-95(m) on a turret that also mounts a 160MW plasma gun and a coaxial 30mm AGL.  The vehicle also carries four VLS launch tubes for ATGMs and a three man reconnaissance team as well as a crew of three.


Mortar carrier variant, mounting a 12cm heavy automatic mortar with forty rounds of ammunition.


Significantly modified MRL version (including lighter armor protection), carrying twelve 12cm guided or unguided rockets.  Ordnance is locally manufactured and not as capable in terms of range or precision as current generation Argentinean MRLs.


Significantly modified howitzer version (including lighter armor protection), mounting a 15cm binary howitzer.  Ordnance, again, tends to lag behind 2nd Tier standards, but Bolivia has some current generation 15cm Mexican ammunition in war stocks.


Missile armed air defense vehicle, carrying six Escorpíon  SAMs with onboard radar and lidar search and targeting sensors.


Bolivia operates almost no tracked AFVs, with the most notable system being its 50 aging Rhino Mod 1’s purchased from Azania in the 2280s.  Funds to modernize the vehicles to the current Azanian Mod 4 standard have not yet been available, though this is a priority for the Ejército’s modernization program.


Small Arms and Infantry Support Weapons

The situation for Bolivia with regards to individual weaponry is a bit less complicated than with major weapons systems.  Most Bolivian small arms are imported from Argentina, with most units using the CASA-12 assault rifle and F-7 laser rifle as standard weapons.  Some units (notably the special forces and the units deployed in Arica) are partially equipped with the more modern CASA-14 and F-19 rifles.



End Notes

Though not described in any detail, it should be noted that I have described Bolivia gaining control of the Arica Strip from Chile during the 1st Rio Plata War, rather than the canon account that puts this occurring after the 2nd Rio Plata War.  The details of the 2nd Rio Plata War generally do not suggest that this conflict was likely to produce major territorial concessions for anyone, least of all involving two nations that are noted for not even taking part in the conflict.  On the other hand, Bolivia was a Brazilian ally during the 1st Rio Plata War and Brazil ended that war in a manner that would allow for it to dictate policy on the scale of stripping Chile of territory and awarding it to Bolivia.  I have, consequently, shifted most of the changes in Bolivian geography and borders to the 1st Rio Plata War, as this seems the likely point where major changes of this sort would occur.