The Royal Thai Marine Corps or RTMC ( th, ราชนาวิกโยธินแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย) 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 four brigades.


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

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. Politics of Thailand, 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)

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 British Malaya, Malaya and also guarded Phuket Province from possible attack. After Imperial Japan's surrender in September 1945, Thai Marines helped disarm the Imperial Japanese Army, 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)

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 Cambodia, Cambodian border but shown on French maps as being in 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 "Operation 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 Province, Yala, and Narathiwat. Since 1975, Thai Marines have been assigned to Narathiwat as 1st Reconnaissance Battalion (Thailand), Force Reconnaissance Battalion. 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 currently affected by the South Thailand insurgency. A monument to their valor stands at the Royal Thai Navy base at Sattahip.

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

* United Nations Iraq–Kuwait Observation Mission ** 1st Combat Engineer Company in Iraq * United Nations Operation in Burundi ** 1st Combat Engineer Company in Burundi * United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur * United Nations Mission in Sudan ** 1st Force Reconnaissance Company in Sudan ** 1st Armored Company in Sudan


Royal Thai Marine Corps Headquarters

* Royal Thai Marine Corps Education Commandhttp://www.marines.navy.mi.th/index.php/main/index www.marines.navy.mi.th/index.php/main/ ** Marine Corps School ** Recruit Training Division ** Support Division * RTMC: Marine Division ** RTMC: 1st Marine Regiment *** RTMC: 1st Infantry Battalion King's Guard *** RTMC: 2nd Infantry Battalion *** RTMC: 3rd Infantry Battalion ** RTMC: 2nd Marine Regiment *** RTMC: 4th Infantry Battalion *** RTMC: 5th Infantry Battalion *** RTMC: 6th Infantry Battalion ** RTMC: 3rd Marine Regiment *** RTMC: 7th Infantry Battalion *** RTMC: 8th Infantry Battalion *** RTMC: 9th Infantry Battalion King's Guard ** RTMC: Marine Artillery Regiment (Thailand), Marine Artillery Regiment *** RTMC: 1st Artillery Battalion *** RTMC: 2nd Artillery Battalion *** RTMC: Air Defense Artillery Battalion *** RTMC: 4th Artillery Battalion ** RTMC: Marine Service Support Regiment (Thailand), Marine Service Support Regiment *** RTMC: Medical Battalion *** RTMC: Dental Battalion *** RTMC: Maintenance Battalion *** RTMC: Transport Battalion *** RTMC: Marine Assault Amphibious Vehicle Support Company *** RTMC: Marine Band Platoon **RTMC Reconnaissance Battalion also known as (Force Recon Marine/Marine Special Force) ** RTMC: Marine Assault Amphibian Vehicle Battalion: equipped with Assault Amphibious Vehicle, AAV-7A1 and BTR-3, BTR-3E1 ** RTMC: Marine Tank Battalion: equipped with Type 69 tank, Type 69-ll Main Battle Tank, MBT *** RTMC: Anti-Tank Company ** RTMC: Marine Combat Engineer Battalion: ** RTMC: Marine Signals Battalion ** RTMC: Marine Military Police Company * RTMC: Marine Security Regiment * RTMC: Marine Psychological Company * RTMC: Marine Task Forces ** RTMC: Marine 61st Special Operations Center ** RTMC: Marines Task Unit 411 ** RTMC: Paramilitary Marine Regiment (Thailand), Paramilitary Marine Regiment


* The Royal Thai Marine Corps uses the Subskimmer


Small arms

Rocket, grenade and MANPAD

Combat vehicles

Logistic vehicles

Field artillery

History equipment

Armoured fighting vehicles

Field artillery

Combat Engagements

*Haw wars * World War II ** Franco–Thai War ** Pacific War ** Malayan Campaign *Cold War ** Korean War ** Vietnam War ** Communist insurgency in Thailand ** Communist insurgency in Malaysia (1968–89), Communist insurgency in Malaysia ** Third Indochina War ** Cambodian–Vietnamese War ** Vietnamese border raids in Thailand ** Thai–Laotian Border War *Gulf War, Persian Gulf War *1999 East Timorese crisis ** International Force East Timor *Global War on Terrorism *South Thailand insurgency, Southern Insurgency ** Battle of Bacho (2013) *United Nations peacekeeping ** United Nations Iraq–Kuwait Observation Mission ** United Nations Operation in Burundi ** United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur ** United Nations Mission in Sudan

In popular culture

*''Mercury Man (film), Mercury Man'' is a 2006 Thai superhero martial arts action film. It is directed by Bhandit Thongdee with martial arts choreography by Panna Rittikrai of ''Ong-Bak'', ''Tom-Yum-Goong'' and ''Born to Fight''. Thai marines is control Afghan terrorist group in movies.

Rank structure

Personnel of the RTMC use the uniform, ranks and insignia used by the personnel of the Royal Thai Navy, but with exceptions, such as: * Personnel of the RTMC wear combat helmets as part of their ceremonial uniforms instead of sailor caps or peaked caps (except officers who wear peaked caps) * Usually, Marines wear naval style insignia on the chest marks in their combat uniforms * Marines wear in semi-formal situations the Navy's khaki dress uniform

See also

* Royal Thai Navy * Air and Coastal Defence Command * RTMC Reconnaissance Battalion * Royal Thai Naval Air Division


External links

English information on the Royal Thai Marine Corps
{{Association of SouthEast Asian Nations Armed Forces 1932 establishments in Siam Infantry divisions of Thailand Marines, Thai Military of Thailand Military units and formations established in 1932 Royal Thai Navy