Army Reserve Force Students

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Army Reserve Force Students
(RTGS: Nak suek sa wicha thahan)
Official Army Reserve Force Insignia
Army Reserve Force Insignia
Active 1948 - Present
Country  Thailand
Branch Royal Thai Army Flag.svg Royal Thai Army
Type Military reserve force
Part of Army Reserve Command
Garrison/HQ Reserve Affairs Center, Bangkok (13°44'46"N 100°29'42"E)
Nickname(s) Rodo (ร.ด.)
Motto "แม้หวังตั้งสงบ จงเตรียมรบให้พร้อมสรรพ์ ศัตรูกล้ามาประจัน จะอาจสู้ริปูสลาย"
("Hope for peace, so be prepared for fight. No foe is more fearless than us.")
Colors Khaki-Green
March Army Reserve Force Students march (เราเหล่านักศึกษาวิชาทหาร)
Anniversaries 8 December
Engagements Battle of Tha Nang Sang bridge

Major General Chlermpol Thammasuntorn

(พลตรี เฉลิมพล ธรรมสุนทร)
Regimental Insignia Crossed swords under the Great Crown of Victory

Army Reserve Force Students (Thai: นักศึกษาวิชาทหาร; rtgsnak suek sa wicha thahan) are a military youth organization in Thailand under control of the Royal Thai Army.


Colours of Provincial "Yuwachon Thahan" unit, a Thai military youth organization in 1934-1947.

Prior to World War II the Yuwachon Thahan (or "junior soldiers", Thai: ยุวชนทหาร) were established in 1934 by Field Marshal Luang Pibulsonggram. At the beginning of World War II junior soldiers were sent to fight troops of the Japanese Empire that invaded southern Thailand on 8 December 1941.[citation needed]

At the end of the war the junior soldiers were disbanded, but Lieutenant General Luang Chatnakrop (พล.ท. หลวงชาตินักรบ) created the Army Reserve Force Students to replace them in 1948. Today most students who participate in the reserve do so to avoid the chances of being drafted into the full-fledged military for about three years. Because of this, the requirements for admission have been made more stringent.

There were also rumors of a potential change of policy, wherein Grade-3 students would be required to serve, but for only 3-6 months or a year.


  1. Thai nationality
  2. Age younger than 22 years
  3. Approval of parents or guardians
  4. A grade-point average above 2.50 or a certificate of passing senior scout
  5. A certificate of health. People with disabilities, fatal sickness, disease, or eye problems such as color blindness are not allowed.
  6. Body mass index of less than 30 (obesity)
  7. Must have appropriate body height and size corresponding to age
  8. Passing a fitness test of an 800-meter run in 3 minutes 15 seconds, 34 sit-ups in two minutes, and 22 push-ups in two minutes. Female applicants have more relaxed requirements.
  9. Students are required to cut their hair so that the white of their scalp is visible on 3-sides, and a small patch of hair is visible on the top of the head.

Applicants who do not meet fitness test requirements are ranked by their scores. Applicants with higher scores have priority. Applicants who do not meet other criteria may be accepted in a case-by-case basis. If extra funding is available, more applicants are accepted.

After the tests are completed, those accepted are awarded a beret. Then they are sent to the shooting range where they are given firearms training on the HK33 and M16.

In Chiang Mai, international school students are trained at different sites, usually not at the main Territorial Defense School.


Army Reserve Force Students have to study 20 weeks per year and attend a period of field training, but only common for grade 2 through grade 5 students. The students must be present for at least 80% of the course and are not allowed to skip any exams. By the end of every semester Army Reserve Force Students have to pass an exam to continue their study at the next grade.

Army Reserve Force Students have to pass:

  • Marksmanship test using a rifle, where the test parameters are related to grade
  • Written test of 120 multiple-choice questions
  • Physical test covering procedures, use of tools, and discipline learned during the year

Army Reserve Force Students have five grades:

  • Students who complete grade 1 are equivalent to private first class and will halve their service period as a conscript.
  • Students who complete grade 2 are equivalent to corporal and their service period will be only a quarter that of a non-military student.
  • Students who complete grade 3 may request permission to use the title sergeant, and are exempt from conscription.
  • Students who complete grade 4 are equivalent to master sergeant
  • Students who complete grade 5 and their B.D. may ask for the title acting second lieutenant. Also, on the graduation from their university, they are allowed to dress in white officer's uniform and wear a sword.

Field training lengths (dependent on grade and gender of the student):

  • Grade 2; male: at least three days
  • Grade 3; male: at least five days
  • Grade 4-5; male: at least seven days
  • Grade 2-3; female: at least three days
  • Grade 4-5; female: at least five days

Small arms[edit]

Name Type Caliber Origin Notes
Type 86 Semi-automatic pistol .45 ACP  Thailand M1911A1 pistols produced under license.
Type 11 Assault rifle 5.56mm  Thailand Thai license produced version of the Heckler & Koch HK33. Used by Army Reserve Force Students.
M16A1/A2/A4 Assault rifle 5.56mm  United States Standard infantry rifle. Aging M16A1 will be replaced by IMI Tavor TAR-21 and M16A4.
M4A1 Carbine Assault rifle 5.56mm  United States Used by special forces. Some were equipped with SOPMOD kit.
M1 Garand Semi-automatic rifle .30-06  United States Locally known as the Type 88 self-loading rifle (ปลยบ.88). Used by Royal Guards and by Army Reserve Force Students as a non-firing training rifle.
M1/M2 Carbine Semi-automatic rifle .30  United States Locally known as the Type 87 carbine (ปสบ. 87) Used by Army Reserve Force Students as a non-firing training rifle.
Type 66 Bolt-action rifle 6.5x50mm Arisaka  Thailand Some document claim that it is Arisaka produced under license but another document claim that it origin from Switzerland. Locally known as the Type 66 self-loading rifle (ปลยบ.66).Used by Army Reserve Force Students as a non-firing training rifle
Springfield Bolt-action rifle .30-06 Springfield  United States Used in small numbers and only some boot camp.
FN MINIMI Light machine gun 5.56mm  Belgium
M60 machine gun General purpose machine gun 7.62mm  United States Former main GPMG being replaced by FN MAG 58
FN M2HB Heavy machine gun 12.7mm  United States
M203 Underbarrel Grenade launcher  United States
M79 Single-shot grenade launcher  United States
M72 LAW Shoulder-fired missile  United States
RPG-2 Rocket-propelled grenade  Soviet Union
RPG-7 Rocket-propelled grenade  Soviet Union

Uniform and insignia[edit]

Army Reserve Force Students wear a khaki-green uniform and beret with Army Reserve Command insignia (Crossed swords under The great crown of victory) on their collar, beret, and belt. Army Reserve Force Students distinguish their school and province by the school's coat of arms on the right shoulder, and provincial badge on left breast.

Special training[edit]

About 200 4th grade Army Reserve Force Students who pass the physical test are allowed to enter the parasail training course. There are rumors that the Reserve Affairs Center had suspended parasail training until further notice due to lack of funding.[1]

Battle of Tha Nang Sang Bridge[edit]

In the first day of Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia (8 December), the Japanese Army sent troops to many parts of Chumphon Province. At Ma Hat Bay (อ่าวมะหาด), the Japanese forces landed on beaches from Ban Pak Nam Chumphon (บ้านปากน้ำชุมพร) to Ban Kho Son (บ้านคอสน). The 38th Infantry Battalion of the Royal Thai Army, about 17 km away from the location, was too far away to intercept the initial invaders in time. As a result, a near hundred of the Reserve Students and the local police forces had to hold the numerically superior Japanese army at bay from positions on the west side of Tha Nang Sang Bridge until the 38th Infantry could arrive.

The force of reserve students and policemen sent their 1st Light Machine Gun Company across the bridge at 08:00. They then went through Wat Tha Yang Tai to block any Japanese reinforcements. The commander of 38th Infantry wished to sent his 4th Heavy Machine Gun Company across the bridge to protect the government buildings on the Tha Taphoa River, but the Japanese troops fired upon the Thai defenders from the other side of the river. The Reserve Students, under command of Captain Thawin Niyomsen (ร้อยเอกถวิล นิยมเสน), commander of Chumphon Junior Soldiers Training Centre, charged cross the bridge to seize strategic points on the east side. Under heavy Japanese fire, Captain Thawin was killed when he attempted to find a new position for his light machine gun squad. The remaining students, now headed by Sergeant Samran Khuanphan (สิบเอกสำราญ ควรพันธ์) from the training center, were able to maintain their position, and waited for friendly reinforcements. Thailand, however, surrendered to Japan before noon.[citation needed]


External links[edit]