THE ROYAL THAI ARMY
The long and glorious history of the Kingdom of Thailand is a true reflection of how the Royal ThaiArmy has been so vital to the Thai society as it serves to protect and preserve national interests, sovereignty and dignity.
Historically, the first integrated Thai kingdom took place some 700 years ago. The SukhothaiKingdom, lasted from 1257 to 1438, was most glorious under King Ramkhamhaeng the Great. During his reign which lasted from 1279 to 1319, Thai borders were expanding in all directions, His military might and tactical prowess was indisputable.
People of Thailand today enjoy their independency as King Naresuan the Great of Ayudhaya Kingdom and King Taksin the Great of Thonburi era were able to liberate Siamese from foreign conquerors in the old days.
King Rama IV and his son King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) of Rattanakosin era took the very first step towards the development of modern fighting forces. Thais were particularly receptive to western ideas and methods. The Military Cadet School was established and some foreign military advisors were brought in. In succeeding years, the first full-fledged Thai Army was organized and trained according to European military concepts and practices.
Being the nation's main combat force, the Royal Thai Army has the most significant role in deterring any threat, externally and internally, ranging frome the French Indo-China conflict in 1940 to the Cold War's insurgency in 1980's. As a member of the United Nations, Thailand is fully obligated to the UN's peace keeping and humanitarian operations. The Royal Thai Army troops were parts of the AlliedCombined Forces during WWI and Korean War. The Royal Thai engineer units were deployed to Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Burundi to perform peace keeping and humanitarian missions, not to mention infantry units in East Timor.
Today the Royal Thai Army's roles are stated in the Constitution. The statement dictates the Rpyal Thai Army not only to defend the nation, but also to support national development projects, particularly the ones kindly initiated by Their Majesties the King and the Queen. This specific task has been successfully in uniting all Thai citizens for the Total Defense strategic concept and in contributing to prosperity, security and harmony of the nation as a whole.
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