Royal Thai Marine Corps

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Royal Thai Marine Corps
(ราชนาวิกโยธินแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย)
Insignia of Royal Thai Marine Corps.svg
Royal Thai Marine Corps insignia
Active 1959 – Present
Country  Thailand
Type Marine corps
Role Amphibious warfare
Size 20,000[1]
Garrison/HQ RTMC headquarters, Sattahip, Chonburi
March "มาร์ชราชนาวิกโยธิน (Royal Thai Marine Corps march)
Anniversaries July 30
Engagements Franco–Thai War
Pacific War
Southern Insurgency
Insignia
Flag of the Commander of the Marine Corps Flag Commander of the Royal Thai Marine Corps.svg
Thai marine royal guards (full dress) in the procession in the royal cremation of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana

The Royal Thai Marine Corps (Thai: นาวิกโยธินแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย) are the marines of the Royal Thai Navy. The Royal Thai Marine Corps was founded in 1932, when the first battalion was formed with the assistance of the United States Marine Corps. It was expanded to a regiment in 1940 and was in action against communist guerrillas throughout the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1960s the United States Marine Corps assisted in its expansion into a brigade. The Royal Thai Marine Corps saw action on the Malaysian border in the 1970s, and has now been increased to two brigades.

History[edit]

Historically, there was no distinction in Siam between soldiers and marines, with the army performing both functions. The first "Thahan Ma-Rine", meaning "Marine Soldiers", were formed in 1833, during the reign of King Rama III. "Ma-Rine" was simply a transliteration of the English word. The development of the modern Thai Marine Corps can be divided into three periods:

Early years[edit]

The Marine Soldiers of the 19th and early 20th centuries were few in number and served mainly as a royal honor guard that provided security for the King whenever he traveled around the country.

On March 2, 1913, however, the Ministry of the Navy reorganized the Marine Soldiers. The Marine artillery platoon was attached to the Operation Command Department of Ships and Fortresses, while the Marine infantry platoon in Bangkok was attached to the Vehicle Division of the Department of the Navy Amphibious Assault Group.

The Revolution in 1932 transformed Thailand from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. Shortly after, the Royal Thai Navy was reorganized, and the vehicle battalion became the Marine Corps Battalion of the Bangkok Navy Station. This is considered the first Marine Corps Battalion in Thailand.

Post 1932 Revolution (1932–1955)[edit]

The 2nd Marine Corps Battalion was established at Sattahip in 1937. Two years later, the 2nd Battalion was expanded into the Marine Corps Department. Shortly after that, a border dispute with French Indo-China turned violent, and the Marine Corps Department's "Chanthaburi Division" was engaged in action with the French Foreign Legion several times. During World War II, the Marine Corps sent troops to defend the southern border with Malaya and also guarded Phuket Province from possible attack.

After Imperial Japan's surrender in September 1945, Thai Marines helped disarm the Japanese Army at Baan Pong District in Ratchaburi Province. In 1950, when violence in Malaysia spilled over into Thailand, Marine Corps Troop 6 was sent to help restore the peace in Narathiwat Province.

Surprisingly, on June 29, 1951, the Thai government disbanded the Marine Corps Bureau, and the Marines were distributed into naval units. However, this was during the Korean War, and both the United States Military and the Royal Thai Navy urged Thailand to reconsider.

New Age (1955 – present)[edit]

Royal Thai Marine Corps and U.S. Marines discuss how to eliminate hostile forces firing on them from a building during a mock mechanized raid on Feb. 11 2011

Four years later, the Thai Government acknowledged that a Marine Corps could perform a useful role in national defense. On July 30, 1955, the government created the Marine Corps Department. In 1961, tensions flared over the disputed Preah Vihear Temple, situated on the Thai side of a high cliff on the Cambodian border but shown on French maps as being in the Cambodia. The Chanthaburi and Trat borders with Cambodia gave the Marine Corps Department its first assignment, safeguarding the coastline and southeastern border. Since 1970 the Marine Corps' Chanthaburi-Trat Task Force has been officially assigned the defense of this area.

During 1972 and 1973, Thai Marines were involved in the "Sam-Chai" anti-communist operations in Phetchabun Province and the "Pha-Phum" anti-communist operations in Chiang Rai Province. In 1973 and 1974, they took part in anti-communist operations in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

Since 1975, Thai Marines have been assigned to Narathiwat as Marine Corps special forces. In 1977, they captured the communist camp at Krung-Ching in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, and remaining there until 1981.

Thai Marines today are responsible for border security in Chanthaburi and Trat provinces. They have fought communist insurgents in engagements at Baan Hard Lek, Baan Koat Sai, Baan Nhong Kok, Baan Kradook Chang, Baan Chumrark, and in the battle of Hard Don Nai in Nakhon Phanom Province.

Many Thai Marines have lost their lives serving their country, and they continue to do so today, especially in the southern border provinces now facing an Islamist insurgency. A monument to their valor stands at the Royal Thai Navy base at Sattahip.

Organization[edit]

  • RTMC division headquarters;
  • 3 Marine infantry regiments with 9 Marine battalions (4 Marine battalions designated King's Guards),
  • 1 Marine artillery regiment with 3 Marine artillery battalions and 1 antiaircraft artillery battalion,
  • 1 assault battalion,
  • 1 reconnaissance battalion (formed in 1965, including wardogs and V-150 armored vehicles).

Miscellaneous[edit]

Equipment[edit]

Small arms[edit]

Name Type Caliber Origin Notes
M16A1/A2/A3 Assault rifle 5.56mm  United States Standard marine rifle.
M4A1/A3 Assault rifle 5.56mm  United States Standard marine rifle.
AR-15 Assault rifle 5.56mm  United States
G36C Assault rifle 5.56mm  Germany Used by recon.
G36KV Assault rifle 5.56mm  Germany Used by Seal.
CQ M-311 Assault rifle 5.56mm  China
Sago Defence Tikka Sniper rifle .223inch/.338inch  United States
M249 Light machine gun 5.56mm  United States
M60 General-purpose machine gun 7.62mm  United States
M2 Browning Heavy machine gun 12.7mm  United States

Rocket, grenade, and missile systems[edit]

Name Type Quantity Origin Notes
M203 Grenade launcher  ?  United States
Armbrust Anti-tank weapon  ?  Germany
M47 Dragon Anti-Tank Guided Missile  ?  United States
BGM-71 TOW Anti-Tank Guided Missile  ?  United States Use in Humvee.
M40A2 Recoilless rifle  ?  United States
QW-18 MANPAD  ?  China

Utility vehicles and prime movers[edit]

Name Type Quantity Origin Notes
Humvee Utility vehicle  ?  United States RTMC use M998,M1097A2,M997,M1025,M1045A2,M966.
M151 Utility vehicle  ?  United States RTMC use M151A2, M151A2 mounting TOW,M718A1,M825.
M813 Prime Mover  ?  United States RTMC use M54A2,M543A2.
M35 2-1/2 ton cargo truck Prime Mover  ?  United States RTMC use M35A2,M50A2,M49A2,M109A2.
Isuzu Prime Mover  ?  Japan/ Thailand RTMC use SBR,TXD 4x2,TSD 4x4,TWD 6x6,HTW,FTR 4x4.

Armoured fighting vehicles[edit]

Name Type Quantity Origin Notes
AAV-7A1 Armoured personnel carrier 36  United States Variants include: AAVP-7A1, AAVC-7A1, AAVR-7A1.
BTR-3E1 Armoured personnel carrier 12  Ukraine/ Thailand
M151A2 mod Armoured personnel carrier  ?  Thailand
V-150 Commando Armoured car 24  United States
Phantom 380-X Armoured car  ?  Thailand
Type 69-ll Main battle tank 5  China

Field artillery[edit]

Name Type Quantity Origin Notes
M101A1 mod 105 mm towed howitzer 6  United States Improve the Nexter LG1 caliber.
M101A1 105 mm towed howitzer 30  United States
GC-45 howitzer 155 mm towed howitzer 12  Austria
GHN-45 A1 APU howitzer 155 mm towed howitzer 6  Austria
M19 mortar 60 mm mortar ?  United States
M224 mortar 60 mm mortar ?  United States
M29A1 mortar 81 mm mortar ?  United States
M120 mortar 120 mm mortar ?  Israel

History equipment[edit]

Armoured fighting vehicles[edit]

Name Type Quantity Origin Notes
LVT Amphibious vehicle 16  United States
M3 Half-track Half-track armored personnel carrier 12+  United States

Field artillery[edit]

Name Type Quantity Origin Notes
M1A1 75mm Pack Howitzer 16+  United States

See also[edit]

royal thai marine corps rank[edit]

Officers[edit]

NATO Code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 Student Officer
RTN OF-10 (Admiral of the Fleet).svg RTN OF-9 (Admiral).svg RTN OF-8 (Vice Admiral).svg RTN OF-7 (Rear Admiral).svg RTN OF-6 (Commodore).svg RTN OF-5 (Captain).svg RTN OF-4 (Commander).svg RTN OF-3 (Lieutenant Commander).svg RTN OF-2 (Lieutenant).svg RTN OF-1b (Lieutenant Junior Grade).svg RTN OF-1a (Sub-Lieutenant).svg
Thai title จอมพลเรือ พลเรือเอก พลเรือโท พลเรือตรี พลเรือจัตวา นาวาเอก นาวาโท นาวาตรี เรือเอก เรือโท เรือตรี นักเรียนนายเรือ
RTGS Chom Phon Ruea Phon Ruea Ek Phon Ruea Tho Phon Ruea Tri Phon Ruea Jattawa Nawa Ek Nawa Tho Nawa Tri Ruea Ek Ruea Tho Ruea Tri Nak Rian Nai Ruea
Anglicised version Admiral of the Fleet Admiral Vice Admiral Rear Admiral Commodore
(no longer used)
(Senior Captain)[2]
Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Lieutenant Junior Grade Sub Lieutenant Midshipman
Abbreviation[3] - พล.ร.อ.
ADM
พล.ร.ท.
VADM
พล.ร.ต.
RADM
พล.ร.จ.
CMD
น.อ.
CAPT
น.ท.
CDR
น.ต.
LCDR
ร.อ.
LT
ร.ท.
LT JG
ร.ต.
SUB LT
นนร.
-
UK equivalent Admiral of the Fleet Admiral Vice Admiral Rear Admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Sub-Lieutenant Acting Sub-Lieutenant Midshipman

Naval Officers will additionally add the post-nominal ร.น. as an abbreviation for ราชนาวี (râat-chá-naa-wee, literally "the Royal Navy").

Royal thai marine corps use navy ranks.

nco[edit]

NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-1
RTN OR-9 (Chief Petty Officer 1st Class).svg RTN OR-9 (Chief Petty Officer 1st Class).svg RTN OR-8 (Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class).svg RTN OR-7 (Chief Petty Officer 3rd Class).svg RTN OR-5 (Petty Officer 1st Class).svg RTN OR-4 (Petty Officer 2nd Class).svg RTN OR-3 (Petty Officer 3rd Class).svg No insignia
Thai title พันจ่าเอกพิเศษ พันจ่าเอก พันจ่าโท พันจ่าตรี จ่าเอก จ่าโท จ่าตรี พลทหาร
RTGS Phan Cha Ek Phiset[4] Phan Cha Ek Phan Cha Tho Phan Cha Tri Cha Ek Cha Tho Cha Tri Phon Thahan
Anglicised version Master Chief Petty Officer Senior Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer
1st Class
Petty Officer
2nd Class
Petty Officer
3rd Class
Seaman Seaman apprentice
Abbreviation[5] พ.จ.อ.(พ.)
MCPO
พ.จ.อ.
SCPO
พ.จ.ท.
CPO
พ.จ.ต.
PO1
จ.อ.
PO2
จ.ท.
PO3
จ.ต.
SN
พลฯ
SA
UK equivalent - Warrant Officer Class One Warrant Officer Class Two Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Rate Able Rate Ordinary Rate

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/thailand/marines.htm
  2. ^ The Senior Colonel or Special Colonel is equivalent to a one star General. This is not an actual rank in the Royal Thai Army, but special recognition given to officers of equivalent rank in other countries and on paper. The Senior Colonel will wear the rank-slides of a Colonel, but with a collar insignia showing a crossed baton and sword with wreath below (similar to Chom Phon rank slide). In the same way, the Royal Thai Navy has a "Senior Captain" or a "Special Captain in the Royal Thai Navy" and the RTAF has a "Senior Group Captain" or a "Special Group Captain in The Royal Thai Airforce", with similar collar insignia of both services.
  3. ^ [1], คำสั่งกระทรวงกลาโหมที่ ๓๑๐/๒๕๕๗ เรื่องการใช้คำภาษาอังกฤษยศทหารของกระทรวงกลาโหม.
  4. ^ The "Special Master Sergeant 1st Class" is an honorary rank given to senior enlisted members who are deserving of recognition above and beyond that of the highest enlisted rank. There is no difference in the rank insignia worn, and they do not 'outrank' the normal Master Sergeant 1st Class, although in a group situation they will normally be assign control. They receive a higher salary. In the same way, the RTN has a "Special Chief Petty Officer 1st Class" and the RTAF has a "Special Flight Sergeant 1st Class".
  5. ^ [2], คำสั่งกระทรวงกลาโหมที่ ๓๑๐/๒๕๕๗ เรื่องการใช้คำภาษาอังกฤษยศทหารของกระทรวงกลาโหม.

External links[edit]