The Thailand military’s name is the Royal Thai Armed
Forces and it has the branches:
Royal Thai Air
Force, Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Navy (with the
Royal Thai Marine Corps) and other paramilitary
The Thailand military was created in 1852, to serve
the King Mongkut in his fight against the West and
its colonization attempts.
The permanent military command was established
during the King Chulalongkorn’s reign, in the
The Royal Thai Armed Forces has
around 300.000 personnel now.
His Majesty King
Rama IX (Bhumibol Adulyadej) is the head of the Thai
military, a nominal position. The Thai Ministry of Defence
manages the Armed Forces; the ministry’s header is the
Minister of Defence who is also a Cabinet of Thailand’s
member). The Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters is the
commandant of the Thai military. All the Thai citizens have
the duty to serve in the Armed Forces, according to the
Thailand’s constitution. The men over 21 years old without
reserve training are chosen for a 24 months service and the
volunteers will follow the 18 months service.
January 18th is the day of the Royal Thai Armed
Forces, when the King Naresuan The Great’ s victory
against the Burma’s Vice King (in 1593) is
role of the Thai military is to protect the
Thailand’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The military also has to defence the monarchy and
the aristocracy of Thailand against any domestic and
foreign threats. More, the military has to ensure
the public order and to participate to social
programs of development.
They also assist
the drug control and the national disasters’ victims. The role of the
Royal Thai Armed Forces has been increasing lately as the
military provided peacekeeping forces for the UN (the United
Nations), participated in the INTERFET (International Force
For East Timor) for 3 years (1999-2002) and in missions in
Iraq with 423 personnel for one year (2003-2004). Among the
weapons of the Thai military are: 127 patrol boats, 1072
self-propelled artillery, 282 military helicopters, 17
battle tanks of high quality, one aircraft carrier
battery, 6 FAC-Ms (Fast Attack Craft-Missile), 114
transport warplanes, 460 medium and low quality
tanks, 56 training warplanes, 171 combat warplanes,
1233 LCVs, ARVs, IFVs and APCs. The conflicts in
which the Thai military was involved were internal,
regional and global. In 1839 the military was
involved in the Franco-Siamese War. Between 1917 and
1918 the army participated in the World War I, when
the Thai military had the honour to march under the
Arc de Triumph, in Paris, in the victory parade.
Between the two world wars, the military fight in
the Franco-Thai war (1940-1941).
participation in the World War II, the Thailand military was
involved in the Korean War, with about 1300 men, one air
transport unit and four naval vessels. The other
implications were in the: Vietnam War, Communist Insurgency,
Vietnamese border raids, Thai-Laotian border war, East
Timor, Iraq War and Southern Insurgency.