Marshal (Brazil)


Marshal (Portuguese: Marechal) is the highest rank in both the Brazilian Army and the Brazilian Air Force, although the latter is titled marechal-do-ar (lit.'marshal of the air'). These ranks are equivalent to that of admiral in the navy. A marshal is distinguished by using five stars, which for a marshal of the air are in the approximate position of Southern Cross and for a marshal in the army, in the form of "X". The five stars of admiral are in the shape of a pentagon.

Barzil-Army-OF-10.svg Brazilian Air Force marshal of the air rank insignia.svg
Army and Air force insignia
Country Brazil
Service branch Brazilian Army
 Brazilian Air Force
Rank groupGeneral officer
RankField marshal
Next lower rankGeneral de exército (army)
Tenente-brigadeiro do Ar (air force)
Equivalent ranksAlmirante


Until the structural reform of 1967 in the Brazilian Army, army generals (bearing four stars), when moving to the reserve, were awarded the fifth star automatically. With the reform, it was established that there would be only the promotion of a general to marshal in the event of war, thus extinguishing the rank of marshal within the army in times of peace. Those dubbed as marshals prior to such reform, however, would still bear such titles for the remainder of their lives. The last living Brazilian Army marshal, Marshal Waldemar Levy Cardoso, died in May 2009.

During the days of the Imperial Period (between 1822 and 1889), the patent, regarding the Army, was named "marshal of the army" (Portuguese: marechal-do-exército), having been renamed to its shorter current counterpart with the advent of the Republic after 1889.

Although a large number of marshals existed within Brazilian ranks in the second half of the 20th century as mentioned above, the last active marshal in the Brazilian Army (i.e., that to hold office in the command of active troops) was Marshal Mascarenhas de Morais, holding the position of commander of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force, a special corps assembled to fight alongside the Allied forces in the Mediterranean theatre of World War II. Marshal Mascarenhas de Morais would bear said position and title for the remainder of his life (thus, until 1968, when he died) as a result of a decree by the National Congress which dubbed the position and title honorary lifetime in the form of active troops.

Some marshals became President of Brazil, notably in the years following the establishment of the Republic in 1889 and also between the 1964 Brazilian coup d'état and the re-establishment of democracy in 1984/1985. Worthy mentions would be Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca and Floriano Peixoto (for the earlier aforementioned period) and Marshals Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco and Artur da Costa e Silva (for the latter).

List of Brazilian marshalsEdit

This category comprises articles about marshal of the armed forces of Brazil (patent virtually extinct in 1967 when, from then, can only be attributed to 4-star generals - generais de exército - who had participated actively during wartime). There have been 66 marshals; 63 in the Army and 3 in the Air Force

Marshals of the Empire of BrazilEdit

During the monarchic regime, there were four general ranks (from lowest to highest): Brigadier (brigadeiro), field marshal (marechal de campo), lieutenant-general (tenente-general) and marshal of the army (marechal do exército). Although almost all international conflicts that Brazil participated occurred during the Imperial Era (Brazilian War of Independence (1822–25), Cisplatine War (1825–28), Platine War (1851–52), Uruguayan War (1864–65) and Paraguayan War (1864–70)), very few military officers achieved the highly distinct rank:[1]

Marshals of the Republic of BrazilEdit

Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca
  • João Carlos Augusto de Oyenhausen-Gravenburg
  • João de Deus Mena Barreto (I)
  • João Frederico Caldwell
  • João de Segadas Viana
  • João de Sousa da Fonseca Costa
  • João Tomás de Cantuária
  • João Vieira de Carvalho
  • Joaquim de Oliveira Álvares
  • Joaquim Xavier Curado
  • José Bernardino Bormann
  • José Egídio Gordilho de Barbuda Filho
  • José de Oliveira Barbosa
  • José Pessoa
  • José Ribeiro de Sousa Fontes
  • Juarez Távora
  • Júlio Anacleto Falcão da Frota
  • Luís Paulino d'Oliveira Pinto da França
  • Luís Paulino d'Oliveira Pinto da França Garcês
  • Manuel de Almeida Lobo d'Eça
  • Manuel Antônio da Fonseca Costa
  • Manuel Jorge Rodrigues
  • João Baptista Mascarenhas de Morais
  • Odílio Denys
  • Pedro de Alcântara Bellegarde
  • Raimundo José da Cunha Matos
  • Rufino Enéias Gustavo Galvão
  • Salustiano Jerônimo dos Reis
  • Salvador José Maciel
  • Sebastião Barreto Pereira Pinto
  • Tomás Joaquim Pereira Valente
  • Waldemar Levy Cardoso (1966)


  1. ^ Lyra, Heitor. História de Dom Pedro II: Declínio. São Paulo: Itatiaia, 1977, p.181-182