The Volunteer Defense Corps ( th|กองอาสารักษาดินแดน; abbreviated
VDC) is a Thai paramilitary
under the authority of the Department Of Provincial Administration, Ministry of Interior
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.
The Volunteer Defense Corps (colloquially called ''Or Sor'' in Thailand) was formally established on 10 February 1954 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
, and Malaysia
. VDC members were trained by the BPP and sent to protect civilians and farms from extortion
and attacks by insurgents.
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
Volunteer Defense Corps ranks
Category:1954 establishments in Thailand
Category:Law enforcement in Thailand
Category:Military units and formations established in 1954
Category:Paramilitary organizations based in Thailand