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

Battalion surgeon, Ernesto Gonzalez M.D. and Sgt. Stedman in Vietnam Aid Station, 1967-68
French colonial rule over Vietnam ended in 1954 after a bloody war of independence. After...
Battalion surgeon, Dr. Ernesto Gonzalez in Vietnam administering vaccinations to Vietnamese aborigenes, 1967
Besides death and physical wounds, war has always taken a toll on both soldiers and...
Puerto Rican soldiers, Sgt. Paul Santiago, Northern Iraq, 2003
Active duty military personnel, veterans and their families have dispersed the Puerto...
65th Infantry Regiment Congressional Gold Medal (front)
The Congressional Gold Medal The culmination of the recovery and restoration process of...
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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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