Voluntary enlistment in Thai army sees notable increase

An increase in voluntary enlistment for the Royal Thai Army (RTA) was announced yesterday by an assistant army spokesperson. Compared to last year’s enlistment season, there is a notable rise in the number of males opting to join the ranks voluntarily.

Assistant Army spokesperson, Captain Juthapat Prembanyat noted that from April 1 to 12 this year, 38,160 males across Thailand volunteered for the RTA. This figure marks an increase of 2,543 individuals from last year’s count of 35,617 volunteers.

In terms of enlistment methods, 24,025 individuals chose to enlist at designated venues close to their registered residences, while the remaining 14,135 enlisted via online platforms.

Five conscription venues in particular, Chon Buri’s Koh Si Chang district, Songkhla’s Na Thawi district, Nakhon Pathom’s Bang Len district, Nonthaburi’s Pak Kret district, and Bangkok’s Bang Khae district, reached their full quota for voluntary enlistment.

The RTA has interpreted the increase in voluntary enlistment as a success, aligning with the government and defence ministry’s policy to encourage voluntary enlistment. Capt. Juthapat further noted that the RTA views the rise in the number of voluntary conscripts as a tangible success, which aligns with the government and defence ministry’s policy to boost the number of conscripts in the voluntary system or eventually completely switch to a voluntary enlistment system in the future.

The shift towards a voluntary enlistment system is viewed as an important step in modernising the RTA, and this year’s increase in voluntary enlistment is a promising sign of progress towards this goal,reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, an army private drowned in a reservoir during Songkran festivities. The tragedy struck a family during the joyous period of Songkran as a 22 year old army private who was returning home for the festivities drowned in a reservoir in Nakhon Ratchasima, he was enjoying his time at the water’s edge with his girlfriend and her family.

The jovial atmosphere turned sombre when he, complaining of the heat, plunged into the water to swim across the roughly 400-metre-wide reservoir.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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