Volunteer Defense Corps (Thailand)

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Volunteer Defense Corps
Logo of the Volunteer Defense Corps
Founded10 February 1954 (1954-02-10)
Part ofDepartment Of Provincial Administration, Ministry of Interior[1]
Garrison/HQBangkok, Thailand
Minister of InteriorGen. VDC Gen. Anupong Paochinda

The Volunteer Defense Corps (Thai: กองอาสารักษาดินแดน; abbreviated VDC) is a Thai paramilitary under the authority of the Department Of Provincial Administration, Ministry of Interior.[1] It was founded in 1954 to provide extra military support to the Royal Thai Armed Forces and to protect local civilians living near Thailand's borders.[2][3]


The Volunteer Defense Corps (colloquially called Or Sor in Thailand) was formally established on 10 February 1954[4][5] by the Thai Border Patrol Police (BPP) in response to complaints by civilians of banditry and harassment by insurgent and separatist organizations. Originally, the VDC's purpose was to protect civilians from insurgents who had crossed into Thai border provinces from neighboring Cambodia, Laos, and Malaysia. VDC members were trained by the BPP and sent to protect civilians and farms from extortion and attacks by insurgents.[6]

In 1974, the VDC was expanded by the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) to urban areas to fight communist insurgents. In the late-1980s, VDC strength was estimated at roughly 33,000, down from a peak of about 52,000 in 1980. Part of the decrease in numbers was due to the formation of the Thahan Phran, a paramilitary unit formed to counter communist insurgents, which absorbed some units of the VDC.

Since 2004, the VDC has had a major role in fighting the South Thailand insurgency.[2]

Volunteer Defense Corps ranks[edit]

Flag of Volunteer Defense Corps Thailand


Order NATO Code Ranks Abbreviation
1 OF-9 Volunteer Defense Corps General VDC Gen
2 OF-5 Volunteer Defense Corps Colonel VDC Col
3 OF-4 Volunteer Defense Corps Lieutenant Colonel VDC Lt Col
4 OF-3 Volunteer Defense Corps Major VDC Maj
5 OF-2 Volunteer Defense Corps Captain VDC Capt
6 OF-1 Volunteer Defense Corps First Lieutenant VDC 1st Lt
7 OF-1 Volunteer Defense Corps Second Lieutenant VDC 2nd Lt


Order NATO Code Ranks Abbreviation Insignia
1 OR-9 or OR-8 Volunteer Defense Corps Sergeant Major VDC Sgt Maj OR-9-8 Volunteer Defense Corps Sergeant Major.png
2 OR-5 Volunteer Defense Corps Sergeant VDC Sgt OR-5 Volunteer Defense Corps Sergeant.png
3 OR-4 Volunteer Defense Corps Corporal VDC Cpl OR-4 Volunteer Defense Corps Corporal.png
4 OR-3 Volunteer Defense Corps Lance Corporal VDC Lcpl OR-3 Volunteer Defense Corps Lance Corporal.png
5 OR-2 or OR-1 Volunteer Defense Corps Member VDC Mbr



  1. ^ a b http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2559/A/006/26.PDF
  2. ^ a b "Southern Thailand: The Problem with Paramilitaries". Asia Report. International Crisis Group (140): 14–15. 23 October 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  3. ^ "unk" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Volunteer Defense Corps Act, 1954" (PDF).
  5. ^ "unk". Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Making sense of defense volunteers". The Phuket News. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Sixty-three Years of Volunteer Defense Corps". Department of Provincial Administration. pp. 78–79. Retrieved 27 November 2019.