In recent years, scholars and practitioners alike have acknowledged the threat posed by Military-Trained Gang Members (MTGMs). These individuals have the training, know-how, and expertise necessary to significantly increase the effectiveness and lethality of the armed group they belong to. Even though this threat is present in several criminal insurgencies, usage of the MTGM concept is limited to studies regarding the United States. This paper broadens this scope by assessing the presence and characters of the MTGM phenomenon in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Through a review of media output on the topic, spanning over more than 21 years, the paper exposes the roots and extent of this trend, as well as the roles played by MTGMs.