21st Infantry Regiment (Thailand)

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21st Infantry Regiment, Queen Sirikit's Guard
กรมทหารราบที่ 21 รักษาพระองค์
ในนสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ พระบรมราชินีนาถ พระบรมราชชนนีพันปีหลวง
Emblem of the 21st Infantry Regiment, Queen's Guard.svg
Emblem of the 21st Infantry Regiment, Queen Sirikit's Guard
Branch Royal Thai Army
Elite forces
Part ofEmblem of the 2nd Infantry Division, Queen's Guard.svg 2nd Infantry Division
Garrison/HQChonburi, Thailand
Nickname(s)Thahan Suea Rachini
(ทหารเสือราชินี, the queen's tiger soldiers)
MarchWe-Infantry Regiment 21
DecorationsOrder of Rama 5th Class ribbon.svg
The Rama Medal for Gallantry in Action[1]

Bravery Medal (Thailand) ribbon.svg
Bravery Medal (2nd Battalion)[2]

Streamer KPUC.PNG
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation[3]

The 21st Infantry Regiment, Queen Sirikit's Guard (Thai: กรมทหารราบที่ 21 รักษาพระองค์ ในสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ พระบรมราชินีนาถ พระบรมราชชนนีพันปีหลวง) (ร.21 รอ.) is a King's Guard regiment under the 2nd Infantry Division, Queen Sirikit's Guard of the Royal Thai Army. The regiment was created in 1950. It is known as the Queen's Guard or Thahan Suea Rachini (Thai: ทหารเสือราชินี, translated as "Queen's Tiger Soldiers"). It is sometimes referred to as the "Eastern Tigers".[4] The regiment is based in Chonburi.


The 21st Regiment of the Royal Thai Army, or the Queen's Guard, was formed on 22 September 1950 at the request of United Nations Command. Its purpose was to help the US-led UN troops fight the Korean People's Army and the Chinese People's Volunteers in the Korean War.



The regiment is composed of three subordinate units: the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Infantry Battalions.

  • 1st Infantry Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, Queen's Guard
  • 2nd Infantry Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, Queen's Guard
  • 3rd Infantry Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, Queen's Guard


  • Rajchawanlop hat with black tuft with the royal cypher of the queen.
  • Purple woolen top with black woolen mane embroidered with the queen's cypher on the wrist.
  • Black woolen trousers with two purple stripes per side.



Trainee must be serve in the 21st Regiment Queen's Guard or be permitted by the Royal Thai Army to attend the training.

Training content[edit]

The Queen's Tigers run a training course every two years. Its duration is 16 weeks.

  • Physical and mental conditioning in preparation for the next phase. This phase takes four weeks. Only those who passing this phase move to the next phase.
  • Forest and mountain training (four weeks): This phase focuses on infiltration by air and ground. Small unit tactics. Guerrilla warfare tactics.
  • Sea phase (three weeks): Water infiltration and tactical diving. Coastal patrolling, amphibious warfare, living off the sea, parachuting into water.
  • Urban phase (three weeks): Urban operations, anti-terrorist ops, hostage rescue, tactical us of motorbikes.
  • Air phase (two weeks): Parachuting, parachute packing and problem solving.

Award for completion[edit]

Those who successfully complete the tiger training course receive a military capabilities plate from the queen. The metal plate is decorated with a purple heart and the queen's cypher. The lower part is a blue ribbon contain the honorific "Tiger Soldier". To both sides of the purple heart are tigers soaring above mountains, waves, and clouds.

Political influence[edit]

In the 1990s, according to one academic, "...the Eastern Tigers amassed considerable wealth by trading gems with Cambodian Khmer Rouge insurgents based along the two countries' border, a racket which 'directly benefited'... some of its commanders. Within a decade, the Eastern Tigers dominated the Thai military."[4] The Queen's Guard have since had an inordinate influence on Thai politics. Former Queen's Guard commanders led the May 2014 Thai coup d'état that toppled the elected government.[5][4]


  1. ^ http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2526/D/125/15.PDF
  2. ^ http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2519/D/080/1360.PDF
  3. ^ http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2497/D/050/1798_1.PDF
  4. ^ a b c Strangio, Sebastian (21 May 2015). "The Strongman of Siam". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  5. ^ Chachavalpongpun, Pavin (19 July 2015). "A Thai House Divided" (Opinion). New York Times. Retrieved 28 December 2017.

External links[edit]