Republic of Vietnam National Police

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Republic of Vietnam National Police
Cảnh sát Quốc gia Việt Nam Cộng hòa
RVN National Police Flag.svg
Flag of the Republic of Vietnam National Police.
Agency overview
Formed 1962
Dissolved 1975
Jurisdiction National
Headquarters Saigon
Motto Tổ quốc (Fatherland), Công minh (Justice), Liêm chính (Integrity)
Employees 130,000 agents (at height in 1973)
Annual budget 7,000,000 piastres
Agency executive

The Republic of Vietnam National Police – RVNP (Vietnamese: Cảnh sát Quốc gia Việt Nam Cộng hòa) or French: Police Nationale de la République du Vietnam (Police Nationale, Vietnamese: Cảnh sát Quốc giaCSQG for short) in French,[1] was the official South Vietnamese national police force from 1962 to 1975, operating closely with the ARVN during the Vietnam War.


The Republic of Vietnam National Police was officially created by President Ngô Đình Diệm's national decree in June 1962 from a conglomerate of smaller internal security and paramilitary agencies formed by the French Union authorities during the First Indochina War between 1946 to 1954. These included the Vietnamese Sûreté, Saigon Municipal Police, elements of the colonial National Guard of South Vietnam (French: Garde Nationale du Viet Nam Sud – GNVS, or VBNV in Vietnamese), a rural Gendarmerie force or ‘Civil Guard’ (French: Garde Civile), the combat police and various provincial militia forces made of irregular auxiliaries (French: Supplétifs). Transferred to South Vietnamese control in 1955, all the aforementioned security units were combined in the early 1960s into a new national police force with the exception of the Civil Guard, which was placed under the Ministry of Defence. The CSQG had an initial strength of only 16,000 uniformed and plainclothes agents, being essentially an urban constabulary with no rural Gendarmerie component to counter the threat posed by the increasing Viet Cong (VC) insurgency in the countryside.[2]

The National Police under Diệm[edit]

Even before the official creation of the National Police, President Diệm was quick to employ the security forces inherited from the French in repressing both internal political dissent and organized crime. Though the late 1950s and into 1960, they helped the newly created Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in suppressing the Hòa Hảo and Cao Đài militant religious and political sects, with approximately 25,000 armed militiamen, and the smaller but better organized Bình Xuyên Saigon-based gangster group.[3]


Subordinated to the South Vietnamese Interior Ministry, all components of the Police system were administered directly by the CSQG Command at the National Police Headquarters in Saigon, which also provided technical or combat support for law-enforcement and other internal security duties throughout the Country. By the late 1960s, the Vietnamese National Police was organized into eight major specialized departements or ‘branches’, which were:

Training facilities[edit]

All instruction and management of training facilities fell upon the Personnel and Training Directorate at National Police headquarters in Saigon. Recruits first underwent the basic 12-week course, which consisted primarily of weapons handling, tactics, Taekwondo and drill, ministered at the main CSQG Training Centre located at Rach Dua, near Vũng Tàu. After finishing the course, the best-qualified students were selected to be sent for officer training to the National Police Academy at Hoc Viên, where they attended advanced instruction programs at all levels, which comprised:

  • Officer promotion courses up to and including the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel;
  • Administrative and staff training;
  • Senior officer seminars;
  • Judicial Police training for officers and NCOs;
  • Instructors’ courses at both officer and lower rank levels.

Those recruits with lower qualifications went instead to the Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) School run by the ARVN at its Combat Training Centre in Da Lat, co-located to the namesake South Vietnamese Armed Forces Military Academy, where they received special training that would allow them to graduate as Police NCOs.

Specialists such as field policemen, patrol boat crewmen, vehicle drivers (this category included squad car, armoured car and Jeep drivers, and motorcyclists), radio operators, medics, mechanics, and clerks were trained in various other National Police and Armed Forces’ schools. Field Police personnel – including officers and NCOs – underwent eight weeks’ of training in paramilitary skills at the Mã Lai Á and Phi Luât Tân CSQG training Centres. More specialized training was also provided to selected male and female personnel assigned to the other CSQG branches.

List of National Police Director-Generals[edit]

Uniforms and insignia[edit]

Field Police troopers were given a black beret, worn French-style pulled to the left with the National Police cap badge placed above the right eye.[4]

A US M-1 Helmet liner painted in shiny black, marked with white-and-red stripes at the sides and the initials "TC" (Vietnamese: Tuan Chan – patrol) was worn by National Police constables assigned patrol duties or riot control in urban areas.[5]

Rank insignia[edit]

1955–1962 ranks[edit]

1962–1971 ranks[edit]

1971–1975 ranks[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tarrius, La Police de Campagne du Sud-Vietnam 1967–1975 (2005), p. 37.
  2. ^ Sir Robert Thompson et al, Report on the Republic of Vietnam National Police (1971), p. 3.
  3. ^ Rottman and Bujeiro, Army of the Republic of Vietnam 1955-75 (2010), p. 8.
  4. ^ Russell and Chappell, Armies of the Vietnam War 2 (1983), p. 35, Plate G1.
  5. ^ Rottman and Bujeiro, Army of the Republic of Vietnam 1955–75 (2010), p. 47, Plate H3.


  • Gordon L. Rottman and Ramiro Bujeiro, Army of the Republic of Vietnam 1955–75, Men-at-arms series 458, Osprey Publishing Ltd, Oxford 2010. ISBN 978-1-84908-182-5
  • Kevin Lyles, Vietnam ANZACs – Australian & New Zealand Troops in Vietnam 1962–72, Elite series 103, Osprey Publishing Ltd, Oxford 2004. ISBN 9781841767024
  • Lee E. Russell and Mike Chappell, Armies of the Vietnam War 2, Men-at-arms series 143, Osprey Publishing Ltd, London 1983. ISBN 0-85045-514-6.
  • Phillip Katcher and Mike Chappell, Armies of the Vietnam War 1962–1975, Men-at-arms series 104, Osprey Publishing Ltd, London 1980. ISBN 978-0-85045-360-7
  • Sir Robert Thompson et al., Report on the Republic of Vietnam National Police, 1971
  • Thanh Kim Pham, Lịch sử ngành Cảnh sát Quốc gia VNCH. (in Vietnamese)
  • Valéry Tarrius, "La Police de Campagne du Sud-Vietnam 1967–1975", in Armes Militaria magazine, March 2005 issue, Histoire & Collections, Paris, pp. 37–43. (in French)

Further reading[edit]

  • James Arnold, Tet Offensive 1968 – Turning point in Vietnam, Campaign series 4, Osprey Publishing Ltd, London 1990. ISBN 9780850459609
  • L. Thompson and Mike Chappell, Uniforms of the Indo-China and Vietnam Wars, Blandford Press, London 1984.
  • Martin Windrow and Mike Chappell, The French Indochina War 1946–54, Men-at-arms series 322, Osprey Publishing Ltd, Oxford 1998. ISBN 978-1-85532-789-4
  • Kenneth Conboy and Simon McCouaig, South-East Asian Special Forces, Elite series 33, Osprey Publishing Ltd, London 1991. ISBN 1-85532-106-8

External links[edit]