This essay deals with the lore of the military profession in Latin America in two ways. First, it presents a general introduction to militarylore, its applications to the study of military-civilian relations and its limitations as a research tool. Second, it presents an application (with obvious limitations) of concepts discussed in part I to a case study, part II: the lore of the Chilean Army officer class in the twentieth century. I am convinced that militarylore as defined and discussed herein is an especially fertile field for research in the study of the interaction between the armed forces and state, nation and society.
Terminology used in the following pages is for the most part selfexplanatory and free from neologisms, jargon and “sociologese.” There are, though, some terms which merit clarification, not because of their vagueness, but so that they not be confused with similar terms. There is, I believe, a decreasing tendency to generalize about military-civilian relations; clarity is important.