Partnerships

Brazil, U.S. Relationship Goes Back More Than 200 Years

March 26, 2019 | BY David Vergun

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan welcomed Brazilian Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva to the Pentagon to discuss the long-standing relationship between their nations’ militaries.

Facts About Brazil

1
With more than 2 million service members, Brazil has the second-largest military in the Western Hemisphere, just shy of the 2.2 million who serve in the U.S. military.
A color guard stands at attention.
Arlington Honors
The U.S. Army Color Guard team carries the Brazilian flag during a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier hosted by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., March 19, 2019. Bolsonaro also met with Karen Durham-Aguilera, executive director of Army National Military Cemeteries, and toured the memorial amphitheater display room.
Photo By: Elizabeth Fraser, Army
VIRIN: 190319-A-IW468-447
2
With about 209 million people in a nation that’s 3.2 million square miles in area, Brazil is the largest country in South America in terms of size and population. The official language is Portuguese.
3
Brazil has led the United Nations Interim Force’s Maritime Task Force since 2011. The task force works off the coast of Lebanon supporting peacekeeping efforts.
4
Almost all U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercises in the region feature participation by Brazil. It will lead the maritime component of the UNITAS amphibious exercise this year and the land component of PANAMAX in 2020. Brazil also will send A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to the Green Flag exercise this year.
A service member helps a young patient listen to her heartbeat.
Medical Clinic
Navy Lt. John Sullivan helps a young patient listen to her heartbeat during a medical clinic in Vencedor, Brazil, Feb. 27, 2019. The visit marks the ninth and final stop of a monthlong mission by four Navy physicians and their Brazilian navy counterparts to bring medical care to isolated communities along the Amazon River.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Byron C. Linder
VIRIN: 190227-N-ZW825-0395C

Historical U.S.-Brazil Relations

1
In 1844, the USS Constitution sailed to Rio de Janeiro. The crew painted the hull white to reflect the tropical heat and cool the ship somewhat.
2
Brazil sent an army division and a fighter squadron to Italy in World War II to fight alongside the 5th U.S. Army.
3
The United States signed a defense cooperation agreement with Brazil in the 1950s. Brazil withdrew from the agreement in the 1970s when the Carter administration criticized Brazil for human rights abuses. A new DCA was signed in 2010 and ratified by Brazil’s congress in 2015.
Sailors huddle near helicopter on ship.
Helicopter Huddle
Navy physicians discuss aeronautical medical evacuation procedures on the flight deck of Brazilian navy hospital ship NAsH Carlos Chagas, following a medical clinic mission stop in Prainha, Brazil, Feb. 26, 2019. The visit marks the eighth and penultimate stop of a monthlong mission by four U.S. Navy physicians and their Brazilian navy counterparts embarked aboard Chagas to exchange medical expertise and to bring medical care to isolated communities along the Amazon River.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Byron C. Linder
VIRIN: 190226-N-ZW825-0572
4
On March 19, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to designate Brazil as a major non-NATO ally.