The disaster risk management cycle is more than the sum of its phases and actors. This article aims to reflect on some of the cycle’s grounds and especially on the role of the Armed Forces during response. This is relevant today because of the bill that will transform the National Civil Protection System in Chile is still being discussed in the Chilean National Congress. After the earthquake that occurred on February 27, 2010 in Maule, Chile, the participation of the Armed Forces in different disaster and emergency scenarios, both nationally and internationally, has been significative. Through documentary analysis and in-depth interviews, this work provides an empirical look at the developing relationship between the Armed Forces and the National Civil Protection System in Chile. Some observations point out that the capacities and resources –human and on logistics– of the Armed Forces have contributed in making disaster responses timely effective. Nevertheless, the mentioned relationship needs to be further scrutinized by all actors considering its social implications.