Thai military declares overhaul to cut down on number of generals

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Thailand’s newly appointed military and police commanders gather at the RTAF headquarters in Bangkok on October 5, following a reshuffle. AFP

The Thai military has announced a major overhaul of its forces aimed at cutting the number of high-ranking officers.

Thailand has a notoriously top-heavy military, with about 1,700 generals – or one general for every 212 soldiers, according to Professor Paul Chambers, a military affairs expert at Naresuan University.

On February 24, the Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTAF) announced that unnecessary units will be removed, while the setting up of new units under major generals, rear admirals, air vice marshals and other high-ranking officers will be suspended.

An RTAF spokesperson said the changes stemmed from high-level talks.

Some units will be assigned to cover more duties, while unnecessary units will be scrapped, he added.

Meanwhile, quotas for some posts will be reduced as post-holders resign, he said.

The new guidelines are expected to cut the number of high-ranking officers – major generals, rear admirals, and air vice-marshals – by five to 10 per cent. The overhaul will start from this April.