The Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (Ministerio de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias—MINFAR) was created on October 16, 1959, to replace the Batista-era Ministry of Defense. At that time Raul Castro was appointed minister of the FAR, a post he held into the mid-1980s. After a restructuring of the MINFAR's system of ranks in 1973, Raul Castro held the rank of general of the army and Fidel Castro, that of commander in chief of the FAR. Also at the top of the MINFAR hierarchy in the mid-1980s were three first vice ministers, all of whom held the rank of division general, and 10 vice ministers.
Between 1959 and the mid-1980s, the MINFAR consisted of three major services:
- the Revolutionary Army (Ejercito Revolucionario — ER),
- the Antiaircraft Defense and Revolutionary Air Force (Defense Antiaérea y Fuerza Aérea Revolucionaria — DAAFAR), and
- the Revolutionary Navy (Marina de Guerra Revolucionaria — MGR).
In 1972 the DAAFAR and MGR had been established as separate services with their own commands. Various staff directorates augmented the MINFAR's organizational structure.
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