Wild Tiger Corps

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Wild Tiger Corps
Standard of the Honourable Corps of Wild Tigers (Maha Saradul Dhavaj).svg
"Maha Saradul Dhvaj" (Great Tiger Flag),
the main Standard of the Wild Tiger Corps
Active1 May 1911
AllegianceKing of Siam
SizeAbout 4,000 members
Part ofRoyal Household
Garrison/HQSanam Suea Pa, Dusit Palace, Bangkok

The Wild Tiger Corps (Thai: กองเสือป่า) was a national paramilitary corps founded in Thailand in 1911 by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI). Inspired by the British Volunteer Force, the unit was intended to maintain civil order.

The Wild Tiger Corps was founded on 1 May 1911 by King Vajiravudh.[1]:4 The corps was meant to be a nationwide paramilitary corps, answerable only to the monarch. At first a ceremonial guard, it became a military force of 4,000 within its first year. Filled with commoners, the king would often mess with them and socialize with them openly. The corps eventually rivaled the army in strength and the civil service in influence. The king even went so far as appointing some to high ranks in the army and nobility.

While the king socialized with members of the corps, the regular army and aristocrats were deeply dissatisfied. Army officers were not permitted to join the organization.[2]:148 They saw these new appointments and the corps as a threat to the honour of the army. Combined with the king's spending on new palaces and attention on dramatic productions, the kingdom was deeply in debt and was in danger of financial collapse. This dissatisfaction partially led to the Palace Revolt of 1912.

The unit drew its Thai name from the Sua Pa Maew Mong scout corps founded by King Naresuan around 1600.

The Wild Tiger Corps also included a junior division known as Luk Sua ("Tiger Cubs") based on the Boy Scout movement.

The origins of the beverage company Osotspa date to 1900, when a pharmaceutical product called Kilane was developed by the Pae family in response to a dysentery outbreak within the corps. The epidemic was cleared in days and Mrs. Pae was awarded the "Wild Tiger Corps" pin.[3]

The movement was quietly disbanded after the death of King Vajiravudh in 1925.


Wild Tiger Corps have ranking like military ranking, see list.

  • Captain General (Thai: นายกองใหญ่), this rank was exclusively for King Vajiravudh but in 1915 he created rank General of the Wild Tiger Corps (Thai: นายพลเสือป่า) for members who are leaders of corps. The rank was equivalent Brigadier.
  • Colonel (Thai: นายกองเอก)
  • Lieutenant Colonel (Thai: นายกองโท)
  • Major (Thai: นายกองตรี)
  • Captain (Thai: นายหมวดเอก)
  • Lieutenant (Thai: นายหมวดโท)
  • Second Lieutenant (Thai: นายหมวดตรี)
  • Acting Second Lieutenant (Thai: ว่าที่นายหมวดตรี)
  • Third Lieutenant (Thai: นายหมู่ใหญ่), This rank was the lowest commission officer rank but wearing uniforms like enlist rank.
  • Sergeant (Thai: นายหมู่เอก), The highest rank of the enlisted.
  • Corporal (Thai: นายหมู่โท)
  • Lance Corporal (Thai: นายหมู่ตรี)
  • Corp (Thai: นายเสือป่า)


The ranks were reused in Volunteer Defense Corps but the Insignia are different.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Boontanondha, Thep. "King Vajiravudh and the Making his Military Image". Academia. Paper presented at the 8th Singapore Graduate Forum on SE Asian Studies. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  2. ^ Kesboonchoo Mead, Kullada (2004). The Rise and Decline of Thai Absolutism (Paper ed.). London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 978-0-415-65407-4. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Heritage". Osotspa. 2010. Retrieved January 13, 2011.