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Chile’s Army Academy of War, founded in 1886, established academic study as an integral part of the new professional soldier’s formation. Henceforth officers specialized in different areas of military science and contemplated contemporary armed conflicts as a means to stay abreast of changes in modern warfare. This article, based on institutional publications and testimonial literature, has two principle objectives. First, it highlights the importance of an indigenous intellectual tradition in Chile’s armed forces. Second, it situates the Chilean military in relation to world events from 1960 to 1975 and demonstrates the significance of wars in Vietnam, South Asia, and the Middle East - among other events - for the ideological, strategic, and tactical dispositions of Chilean officers as they overthrew Salvador Allende, responded to the possibility of war with Peru, and implemented a national security doctrine after 1973. Drawing attention to the voice of Chilean military actors as they evaluated armed conflicts and thought about world events demonstrates the importance of this international context for the military’s doctrine and departs from a certain tendency to overlook the indigenous perspective of South American militaries after 1945.