Abraham Lowenthal in characterizing the Peruvian military government of General Juan Velasco Alvarado cautioned that the regime was not a “typical caudillo” venture but rather an essentially “institutional” effort. His caveat is certainly justified when one considers that Peru was dominated until recent decades by such modern era military chieftains as Luis M. Sánchez Cerro, Oscar R. Benavides, and Manuel A. Odría. Yet when General Odría seized control of Peru on October 27, 1948, the Peruvian army was striving desperately for increased professionalism. In order to retain the army's support, the caudillo was thus compelled to enact institutional reforms that made the officer class more conscious of its modernizing mission and, ironically, far less tolerant of Odría's personalism. This study will analyze the military policies of the Odría regime in order to explain the changing outlook of the Peruvian armed forces during the caudillo's eight year rule.