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Indonesian Army

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Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat
(Indonesian Army)
Lambang TNI AD.png
TNI-AD insignia
Active 1945 – present
Country Indonesia
Type Army
Size 476,000 Active personnel (2016)
400,000 Reserve personnel[1]
Part of Indonesian National Armed Forces
Motto(s) Kartika Eka Paksi
(Sanskrit, lit: "Unmatchable Bird with Noble Goals")
Engagements Indonesian Independence
Darul Islam Rebellion
Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
East Timor Invasion
Counter-insurgency in Aceh
Counter-insurgency in Maluku
Papua conflict
Indonesian Army Chief of Staff General Mulyono
Indonesian Army Vice Chief of Staff Lieutenant General M. Erwin Syafitri
Army Aviation Roundel & Fin Flash Roundel Indonesia army aviation.svg Flag of Indonesia.svg

The Indonesian Army (Indonesian: Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat, TNI–AD), the land component of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, has an estimated strength of 476,000 active personnel[2] The history of the Indonesian Army has its roots in 1945 when the Tentara Keamanan Rakyat (TKR) "Civil Security Forces" first emerged as a paramilitary and police corps.[3]

Since the nation's independence movement, the Indonesian Army has been involved in multifaceted operations ranging from the incorporation of Western New Guinea, the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, to the annexation of East Timor, as well as internal counter-insurgency operations in Aceh, Maluku and Papua.

The Indonesia Army is composed of a headquarters, 12 military area commands, a strategic reserve command KOSTRAD, a special forces command Kopassus, and various adjunct units.

The Military Area Commands (Kodam) as of 2007
Indonesian RM-70 MLRS firing. The army currently operates seven of the type.
Indonesian Anoa armoured vehicles on parade.


In the week following the Japanese surrender of 1945, the Giyugun (PETA) and Heiho groups were disbanded by the Japanese. Most PETA and Heiho members did not yet know about the declaration of independence. Command structures and membership vital for a national army were consequently dismantled. Thus, rather than being formed from a trained, armed, and organised army, the Republican armed forces began to grow in September from usually younger, less trained groups built around charismatic leaders.[4] Creating a rational military structure that was obedient to central authority from such disorganisation, was one of the major problems of the revolution, a problem that remains through to contemporary times.[5] In the self-created Indonesian army, Japanese-trained Indonesian officers prevailed over those trained by the Dutch[citation needed]. A thirty-year-old former school teacher, Sudirman, was elected 'commander-in-chief' at the first meeting of Division Commanders in Yogyakarta on 12 November 1945.[6]

On 17 November 1952, General Nasution is suspended as army chief of staff following army indiscipline over command and support that threatens the government. From the 1950s, the military articulated the doctrines of dwifungsi and hankamrata, a military roles in the country's socio-political development as well as security; and a requirement that the resources of the people be at the call of the armed forces. On 5 July 1959, Sukarno, with armed forces support, issued a decree dissolving the Constituent Assembly and reintroducing the Constitution of 1945 with strong presidential powers. He assumed the additional role of Prime Minister, which completes the structure of 'Guided Democracy'.

The army was heavily involved in the Indonesian killings of 1965–1966. The killings were an anti-communist purge following a failed coup of the 30 September Movement. The most widely accepted estimates are that more than 500,000 people were killed. The purge was a pivotal event in the transition to the "New Order"; the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) was eliminated as a political force. The failed coup released pent-up communal hatreds which were fanned by the Indonesian Army, which quickly blamed the PKI. Communists were purged from political, social, and military life, and the PKI itself was banned. The massacres began in October 1965, in the weeks following the coup attempt, and reached their peak over the remainder of the year before subsiding in the early months of 1966. They started in the capital, Jakarta, and spread to Central and East Java and, later, Bali. Thousands of local vigilantes and army units killed actual and alleged PKI members. Although killings occurred across Indonesia, the worst were in the PKI strongholds of Central Java, East Java, Bali, and northern Sumatra. It is possible that over one million people were imprisoned at one time or another.

Sukarno's balancing act of "Nasakom" (nationalism, religion and communism) had been unravelled. His most significant pillar of support, the PKI, had been effectively eliminated by the other two pillars—the army and political Islam; and the army was on the way to unchallenged power. In March 1968, Suharto was formally elected president.

The killings are skipped over in most Indonesian history books and have received little introspection by Indonesians and comparatively little international attention. Satisfactory explanations for the scale and frenzy of the violence have challenged scholars from all ideological perspectives. The possibility of a return to similar upheavals is cited as a factor in the "New Order" administration's political conservatism and tight control of the political system. Vigilance against a perceived communist threat remained a hallmark of Suharto's thirty-year presidency. The CIA described the massacre as "one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century, along with the Soviet purges of the 1930s, the Nazi mass murders during the Second World War, and the Maoist bloodbath of the early 1950s."[7]

Later army operations have not been without controversy; it has been periodically associated with human rights violations, particularly in West Papua, East Timor and Aceh.[8][9]

The size of the Army has expanded over the years; in July 1976 the Army was estimated to consist of solely 180,000 personnel, one armoured cavalry brigade, part of Kostrad (one tank battalion, plus support units), 14 infantry brigades (90 infantry, 1 para, 9 artillery, 11 anti-aircraft, and 9 engineer battalions) of which three of the brigades were in Kostrad, two airborne brigades totalling six battalions, also part of Kostrad, one independent tank battalion, 7 independent armoured cavalry battalions, and four independent para-commando battalions.[10][10]


Territorial commands Current commander Current chief of staff Location of headquarters
KODAM Iskandar Muda (Kodam IM) MayJend Agus Kriswanto BrigJend Luczisman Rudy Polandi Banda Aceh, Aceh
Kodam I/Bukit Barisan (Kodam I/BB) MayJend Lodewyk Pusung BrigJend Cucu Sumantri Medan, North Sumatra
Kodam II/Sriwijaya (Kodam II/Swj) MayJend Purwadi Mukson BrigJend Komarudin Simanjuntak Palembang, South Sumatra
Komando Daerah Militer Jayakarta (Kodam Jaya) MayJend Teddy Lhaksmana BrigJend Ibnu Triwidodo Cawang, East Jakarta
KODAM III/Siliwangi (Kodam III/Slw) MayJend Hadi Prasojo Bandung, West Java
Kodam IV/Diponegoro (Kodam IV/Dip) MayJend Jaswandi BrigJend Joni Supriyanto Semarang, Central Java
Komando Daerah Militer V/Brawijaya (Kodam V/Brw) MayJend Sumardi BrigJend Joppye Onesimus Wayangkau Surabaya, East Java
Komando Daerah Militer XII/Tanjungpura (Kodam XII/Tpr) MayJend Toto Rinanto BrigJend Aris Martono Haryadi Pontianak, West Kalimantan
Kodam VI/Mulawarman (Kodam VI/Mlw) MayJend Benny Indra Pujihastono BrigJend George Elnadus Supit Balikpapan, East Kalimantan
Kodam VII/Wirabuana (Kodam VII/Wrb) MayJend Bachtiar BrigJend Kurnia Dewantara Makassar, South Sulawesi
Kodam IX/Udayana (Kodam IX/Udy) MayJend M. Setyo Sularso BrigJend Hadi Kusnan Denpasar, Bali
Kodam XVI/Pattimura (Kodam XVI/Ptm) MayJend Doni Monardo BrigJend M. Bambang Taufik Ambon, Maluku
Kodam XVII/Cenderawasih (Kodam XVII/Cen) MayJend Hinsa Siburian BrigJend Tatang Sulaiman Jayapura, Papua
Operational commands Current commander Current chief of staff Location of headquarters
Komando Cadangan Strategis Angkatan Darat (Kostrad) LetJend Edy Rahmayadi MayJend Meris Wiryadi Gambir, Central Jakarta
Komando Pasukan Khusus (Kopassus) MayJend M. Herindra n/a Cijantung, East Jakarta
Executive agencies Current commander Current chief of staff Location of headquarters
Pusat Polisi Militer Angkatan Darat (Puspomad) (Military Police Service of the Army) MayJend Unggul K. Yudoyono
(Provost General)
BrigJend Dodik Wijanarko Central Jakarta
Pusat Intelijen Angkatan Darat (Pusintelad) (Military Intelligence Center) BrigJend Teddy Lhaksamana W.K. n/a Matraman, East Jakarta
Pusat Penerbangan Angkatan Darat (Puspenerbad) (Army Aviation) n/a n/a n/a
Pusat Teritorial Angkatan Darat (Pusterad) (Territorial Army Center) n/a n/a Cilangkap, East Jakarta
Direktorat Topografi Angkatan Darat (Dittopad) (Topographical) BrigJend Dedy Hadria n/a Matraman, East Jakarta
Direktorat Ajudan Jenderal Angkatan Darat (Ditajenad) (Adjutant General's Corps) BrigJend Budi Prasetyono n/a Matraman, East Jakarta
Direktorat Kesehatan Angkatan Darat (Ditkesad) (Medical Department) BrigJend Dubel Meriyones n/a n/a
Direktorat Keuangan Angkatan Darat (Ditkuad) (Finance Department) BrigJend Bambang Ratnanto n/a n/a
Direktorat Zeni Angkatan Darat (Ditziad) (Corps of Engineers) BrigJend Irwan n/a Matraman, East Jakarta
Direktorat Pembekalan Angkutan Angkatan Darat (Ditbekangad) (Logistics and Transportation Corps) BrigJend Hadi Sutrisno n/a n/a
Direktorat Perhubungan Angkatan Darat (Dithubad) (Communications and Signals Directorate) BrigJend n/a n/a
Direktorat Hukum Angkatan Darat (Ditkumad) (Judge Advocate General's Corps) Kol Purwanti n/a n/a
Direktorat Peralatan Angkatan Darat (Ditpalad) (Ordnance Corps) BrigJend n/a Matraman, East Jakarta
Dinas Penerangan Angkatan Darat (Dispenad) (Information and Media Service) BrigJend Sisriadi n/a Central Jakarta
Dinas Psikologi Angkatan Darat (Dispsiad) (Psychology Service) BrigJend Ketut Ngurah Sumitra Jaya Utama n/a Bandung, West Java
Dinas Informasi dan Pengolahan Data Angkatan Darat (Disinfolahtad) (Information and Data Processing Department) BrigJend n/a n/a
Dinas Jasmani Angkatan Darat (Disjasad) (Health Service of the Army) BrigJend n/a n/a
Dinas Penelitian dan Pengembangan Angkatan Darat (Dislitbangad) (Research and Development) BrigJend n/a n/a
Dinas Pembinaan Mental Angkatan Darat (Disbintalad) (Chaplain Corps) BrigJend n/a n/a

Territorial Commands

Soldiers from the Indonesian Army during a parade commemorating the Independence Day of Indonesia. Notice the new Digital Camouflage of the Indonesian Army field/battle uniform

The Armed Forces' operational sections were established by General Soedirman, following the model of the German Wehrkreise system. The system was later codified in Surat Perintah Siasat No.1, signed into doctrine by General Soedirman in November 1948.

The Army's structure underwent various reorganisations throughout its early years. From 1946 to 1952, the Army was organised into set divisions. These were further consolidated in 1951, and then dispersed in 1952. From 1952 to 1958-59, the Army was organised into seven Tentara & Teritoriums. In August 1958, the Indonesian Army reconsolidated its territorial command. There were then established sixteen Kodams, which retained earlier divisional titles; the Siliwangi Division, for example, became Kodam VI/Siliwangi.[11]

A reorganisation in 1985 made significant changes in the army chain of command. The four multiservice Regional Defence Commands (Kowilhans) and the National Strategic Command (Kostranas) were eliminated from the defence structure, re-establishing the Military Area Command (Kodam), or regional command, as the key organisation for strategic, tactical, and territorial operations for all services.[12] The chain of command flowed directly from the ABRI commander in chief to the ten Kodam commanders, and then to subordinate army territorial commands.

The Kodams incorporate provincial and district commands each with a number of infantry battalions, sometimes a cavalry battalion, artillery, or engineers.[13] Some have Raider battalions attached. Currently there are 12 Military Area Commands.

Infantry battalions in progress of forming:

Operational Commands

Special Forces Command (Kopassus), est 5,530 divided is composed of five groups, Grup 1/Parakomando (Para Commando), Grup 2/Parakomando (Para Commando), Pusat Pendidikan Pasukan Khusus (Training), Grup 3/Sandhi Yudha (Combat Intelligence), SAT 81/Penanggulangan Teror (Counter-terrorism); plus the Presidential Guard (Paspampres) and headquarters.[14] Each group is headed by a Colonel and all groups are para-commando qualified.

Army Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad), is the Indonesian Army's Strategic Reserve Command. Kostrad is a Corps level command which has around 40,000 troops.[15] It also supervises operational readiness among all commands and conducts defence and security operations at the strategic level in accordance with policies of the TNI commander.

  • Army Aviation Command (id:Pusat Penerbangan Angkatan Darat) The army had its own small air arm that performs attack, liaison and transport duties. It operates 100 aircraft in three helicopter and aircraft squadrons composed mostly of light aircraft and small transports, such as the IPTN produced CN-235.


List of Army Chief of Staffs


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Daves, Joseph H (2013) The Indonesian Army from Revolusi to Reformasi ISBN 978-1492930938, p 15
  4. ^ Ricklefs (1991), pages 214 – 215
  5. ^ Friend (2003), page 35
  6. ^ Reid (1974), page 78
  7. ^ David A. Blumenthal and Timothy L. H. McCormack (2007). The Legacy of Nuremberg: Civilising Influence or Institutionalised Vengeance? (International Humanitarian Law). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 9004156917 pp. 80–81.
  8. ^ Schwarz, Adam (1994) A Nation in Waiting: Indonesia in the 1990s Allen & Unwin ISBN 1-86373-635-2, p 215
  9. ^ Hill-Smith, Charlie (2009) Strange Birds in Paradise: A West Papuan Story
  10. ^ a b IISS, The Military Balance 1976-77, p.55, ISBN 0-900492-98-8
  11. ^ Ken Conboy, Kopassus: Inside Indonesia's Special Forces, Equinox Publishing, Jakarta/Singapore, 2003, p.79
  12. ^ Library of Congress Country Study, Indonesia, November 1992, Organization of the Armed Forces
  13. ^ The Military Balance 2006, International Institute for Strategic Studies
  14. ^ For further authoritative details on Kopassus, see Ken Conboy (2003) KOPASSUS Inside Indonesia's Special Forces, Equinox Publishing, ISBN 979-95898-8-6.
  15. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2008, 382.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Letjen Budiman Ditunjuk Gantikan Jenderal Moeldoko". 30 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "Presiden SBY Resmi Lantik Gatot Nurmantyo Menjadi KSAD". 25 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "KSAD Resmi Berpangkat Jenderal TNI". 9 August 2014. 


  • Friend, Theodore (2003). Indonesian Destinies. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-01834-6. 
  • Reid, Anthony. The Indonesian National Revolution 1945-1950. (Publisher: Longman Pty Ltd., Melbourne, 1974) ISBN 0-582-71046-4.
  • Ricklefs, M.C. A History of Modern Indonesia Since c. 1300. (Second Edition. MacMillan, 1991)

Further reading

  • Harold Crouch, The Army and Politics in Indonesia, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 1978
  • Sukarti Rinakit, The Indonesian Military after the New Order, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Copenhagen and Singapore, 2005

External links