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Republic of Vietnam Military Forces facts for kids

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Republic of Vietnam Military Forces
'Quân lực Việt Nam Cộng hòa'
Flag of the Republic of Vietnam Military Forces.svg
War Flag.
Established 30 December 1955
Disbanded 30 April 1975
Parts Flag of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam.svg Army of the Republic of Vietnam
Flag of the Republic of Vietnam Air Force.svg Republic of Vietnam Air Force
Flag of the Republic of Vietnam Navy.png Republic of Vietnam Navy
Headquarters Saigon
Commander-in-Chief Ngo Dinh Diem (1955 - 1963), Nguyen Van Thieu (1967 - 1975)
Chief of Joint General Staff Unknown
Serving soldiers
Active employees/soldiers 586,838
Deployed personnel 1,000,000 in 1972
Suppliers from
foreign countries
 United States
 New Zealand
 South Korea
See also
History Military history of Vietnam
Ranks Ranks and insignia of the Republic of Vietnam

Flag of the RVNMF.svg
Flag of RVNMF

The Republic of Vietnam Military Forces or RVNMF (Vietnamese: Quân-lực Việt-nam Cộng-hòa / QLVNCH), were the official armed defense forces of the Republic of Vietnam (RVN), popularly known as South Vietnam, a state that existed from 1955 to 1975 in the southern half of what is now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The QLVNCH was responsible for the defense of South Vietnam since its independence from France in October 1955.


The QLVNCH was formally established on December 30, 1955 by the Strongman and republican first President of the Republic of Vietnam (known simply as ‘South Vietnam’) Ngo Dinh Diem, which he declared on October 26 that year after winning a rigged referendum for either making South Vietnam a constitutional monarchy, or a presidential republic. Created out from ex-French Union Army colonial Indochinese auxiliary units (French: Supplétifs), gathered earlier on July 1951 into the French-led Vietnamese National Army – VNA (Vietnamese: Quân Đội Quốc Gia Việt Nam – QĐQGVN), Armée Nationale Vietnamiènne (ANV) in French, the armed forces of the new state consisted in the mid-1950s of ground, air, and naval branches of service, respectively:

  • Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN)
  • Republic of Vietnam Air Force (VNAF)
  • Republic of Vietnam Navy (VNN)

Their roles were defined as follows: to protect the sovereignty of the free Vietnamese nation and that of the Republic; to maintain the political and social order and the rule of law by providing internal security; to defend the newly independent Republic of Vietnam from external (and internal) threats; and ultimately, to help reunify Vietnam – divided since the Geneva Accords in July 1955 into two transitional states, one at the north ruled by Ho Chi Minh’s Marxist Lao Dong Party regime and the other in the south under Diem’s anti-communist regime.

Command structure

Regional Commands

Administrative divisions and Military Regions, June 1967.

Related pages

  • Gordon L. Rottman and Ron Volstad, US Army Special Forces 1952-84, Elite series 4, Osprey Publishing Ltd, London 1985. ISBN: 9780850456103
  • Gordon L. Rottman and Ron Volstad, Vietnam Airborne, Elite Series 29, Osprey Publishing Ltd, London 1990. ISBN: 0-85045-941-9
  • Gordon L. Rottman and Ramiro Bujeiro, Army of the Republic of Vietnam 1955-75, Men-at-arms series 458, Osprey Publishing Ltd, Oxford 2010. ISBN: 978-1-84908-182-5
  • Kenneth Conboy and Simon McCouaig, South-East Asian Special Forces, Elite series 33, Osprey Publishing Ltd, London 1991. ISBN: 9781855321069
  • Lee E. Russell and Mike Chappell, Armies of the Vietnam War 2, Men-at-arms series 143, Osprey Publishing Ltd, London 1983. ISBN: 0-85045-514-6.
  • Leroy Thompson, Michael Chappell, Malcolm McGregor and Ken MacSwan, Uniforms of the Indo-China and Vietnam Wars, Blandford Press, London 1984. ASIN: B001VO7QSI
  • Martin Windrow and Mike Chappell, The French Indochina War 1946-54, Men-at-arms series 322, Osprey Publishing Ltd, Oxford 1998. ISBN: 978-1-85532-789-4
  • Phillip Katcher and Mike Chappell, Armies of the Vietnam War 1962-1975, Men-at-arms series 104, Osprey Publishing Ltd, London 1980. ISBN: 978-0-85045-360-7
  • Jade Ngoc Quang Huynh, South Wind Changing, Graywolf Press, Minnesota 1994. ASIN: B01FIW8BJG
  • Mark Moyar, Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. 2009. ISBN: 978-0521757638, 0521757630
  • Neil L. Jamieson, Understanding Vietnam, The Regents of the University of California press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California 1995. ASIN: B00749ZBRC
  • Nguyen Cao Ky, How we lost the Vietnam War, Stein & Day Pub 1979. ISBN: 978-0812860160, 0812860160
  • Tran Van Don, Our Endless War: Inside Vietnam, Presidio Press, Novato, California 1978. ISBN: 978-0891410195, 0891410198
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