The Corps of the Royal Carabinieri was instituted in Turin by the King of Piedmont and Sardinia, Vittorio Emanuel l, by Royal Warrant on 13th July 1814. The Corps was given the dual function of national defence, in first position with respect to other Corps, and policing, with special powers and prerogatives. The Corps was given a territorial organization, which is still its main distinctive characteristic along with the dual function. On 24th January 1861, the Corps was appointed as the “First Corps” of the newly founded national Army, rising to the status of a separate Branch of the Italian Armed Forces, on 31st March 2000.
Nowadays, the Carabinieri, as a Branch of the Armed Forces, contribute to the defence of the Nation and to the military operations outside its boundaries, including crisis management operations. Besides, the Carabinieri execute the function of military police for all the Italian Armed Forces. As a police force, the Carabinieri have a general competence in policing, including criminal police, and in maintaining public order and security.
The Carabinieri Corps is subordinate, through the Carabinieri General Commander, to the Chief of Defence for all military duties, and has functional relation with the Minister of the Interiors for all duties related to the maintenance of public order and security.
The overall organization of the Carabinieri Corps encompasses the:
- Carabinieri General Headquarters, located in Rome, through which the Carabinieri General Commander exercises command and control over the Corps;
- training organization, dedicated to provide military and police education and training;
- territorial organization, mainly devoted to police duties and control of the territory, is the core organizational component. It comprehends 5 Interregional Commands; 19 Legions with a regional territorial competence, 102 Provincial Commands, 12 Carabinieri Groups (intermediate level present in specific provences, grouping a number of Companies), 534 Territorial Commands and Companies, 4589 Carabinieri Stations;
- mobile and specialized units organization, devoted to specialized tasks mainly in support of the
- territorial organization;
- units for specific duties.
The Carabinieri have a long tradition of military operations outside the Italian boundaries, along with the other Branches of the Armed Forces. In the past two decades the employment of the Corps in “non art. 5 - crisis response operations” has constantly increased, bringing the Carabinieri in almost every operational theatre where NATO, EU or UN forces have been deployed, executing stability policing duties, military police duties and conventional military duties.
The Colours of the Carabinieri, over two centuries of history, have been awarded: 5 Knights Crosses of the Italian Military Order; 3 Gold Medals for Military Valour; 3 Gold Medals for Army Valour; 5 Silver Medals for Military Valour; 4 Bronze Medals for Military Valour; 7 Gold Medals for Civic Valour; 1 Silver Medal for Civic Valour; 2 Crosses of War for Military Valour; 4 Gold Medals for Public Healthcare; 5 Gold Medals for Merit; 1 Gold Medal for Civic Merit.
Individual decorations include: 22 Crosses of the Italian Military Order; 115 Gold Medals for Military Valour; 1 Gold Medal for Naval Valour; 3158 Silver Medals for Military Valour; 16 Silver Medals for Army Valour; 22 Silver Medals for Naval Valour; 5730 Bronze Medals for Military Valour; 42 Bronze Medals for Naval Valour; 14 Bronze Medals for Army Valour; 99 Gold Medals for Civic Valour; 2079 Silver Medals for Civic Valour; 3390 Bronze Medals for Civic Valour; 3614 Crosses of War for Military Valour.
More information on the Italian Armed Forces and on the Cararabinieri are respectively available at www.difesa.it
. More information on the other Services are available at www.esercito.difesa.it, www.marina.difesa.it