The Puerto Rican Experience in the U.S. Military:
A Century of Unheralded Service

Puerto Ricans started fighting as auxiliary forces to the U.S. military in 1898. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans have served in every small and major conflict in which the United States has participated. This publication intends to show the scope of the Puerto Rican experience in the U.S. military without lionizing nor demeaning it. This project hopes to inspire the public and scholars to look into this under-studied phenomenon.

PR Military

Soldiers of The 65th Infantry after an all day schedule of maneuvers at Salinas, PR. August 1941.
World War II was the most defining event of the 20th century. It was the first total war...
Troops of 65th Infantry ready for action at maneuvers, Salinas, Puerto Rico. 1941. CMH.
The winds of war, even before the juggernaut of the German and Japanese militaries became...
In the town of Caguas, Puerto Rico, 1st Lt. Cipriani, communications officer of the 65th Infantry, accompanied by Sgt. Navares, supervises the work of Tech. Sgt. Santiago and Pvt. Rafael Rivera. November 1941. CMH.
Before the military mobilization of the Puerto Ricans became relevant for Puerto Rico’s...
1940s Jungle Training
As it happened in World War I, Puerto Ricans responded enthusiastically to the call to...
Training of draftees
The G.I. Bill in Puerto Rico The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act was finally signed into...

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Resources by the Author


Soldiers of the Nation: Military Service and Modern Puerto Rico, 1868-1952.

Franqui-Rivera, H. Soldiers of the Nation: Military Service and Modern Puerto Rico, 1868-1952. University of Nebraska Press.


Franqui-Rivera, H. Fighting on Two Fronts: The Experience of the Puerto Rican Soldiers in the Korean War. Centro Press..

Book Excerpts

Puerto Rican Soldiers in the Korean War: The Battle of Chosin Reservoir” in Centro Voices, Spring 2019.

“‘A New Day Has Dawned for Porto Rico’s Jíbaro’: Manhood, Race, Military Service and Self-Government during WWI” in Latino Studies, Palgrave, Vol. 13.2 (2015).

"National Mythologies: U.S. Citizenship for the People of Puerto Rico and Military Service” in Memorias: Revista Digital de Historia y Arqueología desde el Caribe, Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla Colombia, No.21 (2013).

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