Ministry of Defence (Thailand)

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Kingdom of Thailand
Ministry of Defence
Emblem of the Ministry of Defence of Thailand.svg
Seal of the Ministry of Defence of Thailand
Ministry overview
Formed 8 April 1887
Jurisdiction Government of Thailand
Headquarters Ministry of Defence HQ, Sanamchai Rd., Bangkok 10200 Thailand
Annual budget 192,949,090,200 Baht (2015)
Ministers responsible
Ministry executive
  • General Preecha Jan-O-Cha, Permanent Secretary

The Ministry of Defence (Thai: กระทรวงกลาโหม; rtgsKrasuang Kalahom; Abrv: MOD), is a cabinet-level government department of the Kingdom of Thailand. The ministry controls and manages the Royal Thai Armed Forces to maintain national security, territorial integrity, and national defence. The armed forces of Thailand composed of three branches: the Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Navy, and Royal Thai Air Force.

Although the king of Thailand is the supreme head of the Thai armed forces (Thai: จอมทัพไทย) his position is only nominal. The ministry and the forces are administered by an appointed politician, the Minister of Defence, a member of the Cabinet of Thailand. The post of Minister of Defence has been held by General Prawit Wongsuwon, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, since August 2014.


Samuha Kalahom redirects here

Initially the Ministry was called "Samuha Kalahom" (Thai: สมุหกลาโหม) or Kalahom Department, and was charged with the protection the southern border. It was founded in the late Ayutthaya period and was retained in the Rattanakosin period. The ministry in its current form was formed in 1887, by the order of King Chulalongkorn, to create a permanent military command. This was a result of the increasing threat posed by Western powers. The ministry was first housed in an old horse and elephant stable opposite the Grand Palace. A new European-style building was built to house it. At first the ministry only commanded the army (founded in 1847), it then incorporated the navy (founded in 1887), and finally the air force (founded in 1913). In 1914, King Vajiravudh determined that the act providing for invoking martial law, first promulgated by his father in 1907, was not consistent with modern laws of war nor convenient for the preservation of the external or internal security of the state, so it was changed to the modern form that, with minor amendments, continues to be in force.[1]

The Secretariat[edit]

Ministry of Defence of Thailand, on Sanamchai Road, opposite the Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Flag of the Minister of Defence

The ministry, like any other government department, is headed by the secretariat which helps the minister and deputy ministers exercise their authority and administer the department.

  • Permanent Secretary: General Preecha Jan-O-Cha
  • Deputy Permanent Secretary: Admiral Anuthai Rattarangsi
  • Deputy Permanent Secretary: General Chaichan Changmongkol
  • Deputy Permanent Secretary: General Porpol Maneerin
  • Deputy Permanent Secretary: Air Chief Marshal Siwakiat Jayema

Royal Thai Armed Forces headquarters[edit]

Formerly the Supreme Command HQ (until February 2008), the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters is in Bangkok and is a joint committee of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, in charge of military planning and execution.

Chief commanders[edit]

  • Chief of Defence Forces: General Sommai Kaotira
  • Deputy Chief of Defence Forces: General Wichien Sirisoonthorn
  • Deputy Chief of Defence Forces: Admiral Prasarn Sukasetara
  • Deputy Chief of Defence Forces: Air Chief Marshal Taworn Maneepluek
  • Deputy Chief of Defence Forces: General Prasooth Rusmepate
  • Chief of Joint Staff: General Surapong Suwana-adth

Royal Thai Armed Forces[edit]

Royal Thai Army[edit]

The Royal Thai Army is the land force of the Thai armed forces. The army is divided into four army groups commanded from Bangkok.

  • Commander-in-Chief: General Teerachai Nakwanich
  • Deputy Commander-in-Chief: General Walit Rochanapakdee
  • Assistant Commander-in-Chief: General Kampanat Ruddit
  • Assistant Commander-in-Chief: General Chalermchai Sitthisad
  • Chief of Staff of the Army: General Pisit Sitthisarn

Royal Thai Navy[edit]

The Royal Thai Navy is the maritime force of the kingdom. It includes several surface light and heavy vessels including one aircraft carrier, the HTMS Chakri Nareubet. The navy also oversees the Royal Thai Marine Corps.

  • Commander-in-Chief: Admiral Na Arreenich
  • Deputy Commander-in-Chief: Admiral Narongpol Nabangchang
  • Assistant Commander-in-Chief: Admiral Graivut Vattanatham
  • Chief of Staff of the Navy: Admiral Panlop Tamisanon

Royal Thai Air Force[edit]

The Royal Thai Air Force is the air wing of the Thai armed forces. It is one of the oldest air forces in the world, founded in 1913. It provides air defence and air transport for the other branches.

  • Commander-in-Chief: Air Chief Marshal Treetod Sonjance
  • Deputy Commander-in-Chief: Air Chief Marshal Wattana Maneenai
  • Assistant Commander-in-Chief: Air Chief Marshal Twidanes Angsusingha
  • Assistant Commander-in-Chief: Air Chief Marshal Padet Wongpinkaew
  • Chief of Staff of the Air Force: Air Chief Marshal Johm Rungswang

Other agencies[edit]

  • Royal Aide de Camp Department
  • The War Veterans Department
  • Battery Organization
  • The Leather Tanning Organization

Associated organizations[edit]


  1. ^ Pakorn Nilprapunt (2006). "Martial Law, B.E. 2457 (1914) — unofficial translation" (PDF). Office of the Council of State. Retrieved May 21, 2014. Reference to Thai legislation in any jurisdiction shall be to the Thai version only. This translation has been made so as to establish correct understanding about this Act to the foreigners. 

External links[edit]