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The Volunteer Defense Corps ( th, กองอาสารักษาดินแดน;
abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power ...
VDC) is a
Thai Thai or THAI may refer to: * Of or from Thailand, a country in Southeast Asia ** Thai people, the dominant ethnic group of Thailand ** Thai language, a Tai-Kadai language spoken mainly in and around Thailand *** Thai script *** Thai (Unicode block) ...

Thai
paramilitary A paramilitary organization is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military A military, also known collectively as armed f ...
under the authority of the Department Of Provincial Administration,
Ministry of Interior A ministry of home affairs is a common type of government department that serves as an interior ministry. Lists of current ministries of home affairs Named "ministry" * Ministry of Internal Affairs (Adygea) * Ministry of Interior Affairs (Afgh ...
.http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2559/A/006/26.PDF It was founded in 1954 to provide extra military support to the
Royal Thai Armed Forces The Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) ( th, กองทัพไทย; ) are the armed forces of the Kingdom of Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is ...
and to protect local civilians living near Thailand's borders.


History

The Volunteer Defense Corps (colloquially called ''Or Sor'' in Thailand) was formally established on 10 February 1954 by the Thai
Border Patrol Police The Border Patrol Police ( th, ตำรวจตระเวนชายแดน); (BPP) is a Thai Thai or THAI may refer to: * Of or from Thailand, a country in Southeast Asia ** Thai people, the dominant ethnic group of Thailand ** Thai lang ...
(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 An insurgency is a violent, armed rebellion Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an established authority In the fields of sociology Socio ...
who had crossed into Thai border provinces from neighboring
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
,
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...

Laos
, and
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
. VDC members were trained by the BPP and sent to protect civilians and farms from
extortion Extortion is the practice of obtaining benefit through coercion Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threat A threat is a communication of intent to inflict harm or loss on another person. Intimid ...
and attacks by insurgents. In 1974, the VDC was expanded by the
Internal Security Operations Command ('Conquer evil by the power of good') , logo = , logo_width = 150 , logo_caption = , seal = Logo for Thailand's Internal Security Operations Command.png , seal_width = 200px , seal_caption = , picture ...
(ISOC) to urban areas to fight
communist insurgents
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 ''For the Royal Thai Army unit see: Royal Thai Army Ranger'' The Thahan Phran (ทหารพราน; literally "hunter soldiers"; AKA Thai Rangers) AKA the Royal Thai Paramilitary Force is a paramilitary A paramilitary organization is ...
, 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 The South Thailand insurgency ( th, ความไม่สงบในชายแดนภาคใต้ของประเทศไทย; ms, Pemberontakan di Selatan Thailand) is an ongoing conflict centered in southern Thailand Sou ...
.


Volunteer Defense Corps ranks

;Officers ;Enlisted


References

1954 establishments in Thailand Law enforcement in Thailand Military units and formations established in 1954 Paramilitary organizations based in Thailand {{Thailand-stub