Blaise Compaoré was born 3 February 1951 in Ziniaré, a village near the capital city of Ouagadougou. He is the eldest of seven children from a prominent military family. Following his family tradition, Compaoré joined the army in 1971 and underwent infantry training in Montpelier, France. He received further military training at the officers' school in Yaoundé, Cameroon, returning to Burkina Faso as a second lieutenant. He was later sent to Morocco for paracommando training. Compaoré is married to Chantal, daughter of the late president of Côte d'Ivoire, Houphouet Boigny.