Military forces of the Dutch West Indies/Dutch Carribbean?

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Military forces of the Dutch West Indies/Dutch Carribbean?

Post  ChrisF202 on Tue 19 Oct 2010, 9:21 pm

Does anyone know anything regarding the history of the uniforms and rank insignia of the Dutch Caribbean military forces?

The Netherlands is unique that not a single Caribbean island has achieved independence from Dutch rule. Aruba was scheduled for independence in 1996 but this was shelved after a 1990 referendum showed little support for independence. The Dutch Caribbean is made up of Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Saint Martin, and Saint Eustatius. The islands achieved internal self government in 1954 with the Dutch government retaining control over defense, foreign affairs, citizenship, currency, customs & immigration, and certain judicial matters.

Several islands maintain a "Vrijwilligers Korps" or Volunteer Corps that comes under the control of the Royal Netherlands Navy commander in the Caribbean. Most of the Volunteer Corps date back to around the time of a failed invasion of Aruba by Venezuelan bandits in the 1920s. Their enlisted personnel are locals, but the officers are usually Dutch. From what I have seen in pictures, the weaponry is limited to FN-FAL rifles, FN-MAG light machine guns, and pistols. The standard headgear is a dark blue beret with corps badge, or an American M1 helmet with corps badge. Uniform is khaki colored. The dress uniform is similar to the white tropical dress uniform worn by the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps.

The Royal Netherlands Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force also have a significant presence in the Caribbean as do the Royal Marechausee paramilitary police.

Anyone have any historical information on uniforms, history, etc?

ChrisF202

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