Head of the Royal Thai Armed Forces
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The Highest Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces ( th, จอมทัพไทย; ) is a position vested in the Thai monarch, who as
sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from the Latin word ''superānus'', meaning "above". The roles of a sovereign v ...

sovereign
and
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
is the
commander-in-chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Command and control is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ... hat A collection of 18th and 19th century men' ...
of 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 ...
. The position is only nominal. The armed forces are actually managed by the
Ministry of Defence Ministry of Defence or Ministry of Defense may refer to: * Ministry of defenceMinistry of Defence or Ministry of Defense may refer to: * Ministry of defence, a type of government department responsible for matters of defence Current ministries ...

Ministry of Defence
, headed by the
Minister of Defence A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent ...
(a member of the cabinet) and commanded by the
Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters The Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters ( th, กองบัญชาการกองทัพไทย) or the RTARF HQ, is the "mostly ornamental" joint headquarters of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, which is composed of the Royal Thai Army, ...
, which in turn is headed by the Chief of the Defence Forces.


History

Ever since the foundation of the first Thai state, the king has always led his armies into battle. The role of the king as chief warrior was derived from Hindu concepts of ''
kshatriya Kshatriya ( hi, क्षत्रिय) (from Sanskrit ''kṣatra'', "rule, authority") is one of the four varna Varna may refer to: Places Europe * Varna, Bulgaria, a large city in Bulgaria. ** Varna Province **Varna Municipality **Gu ...

kshatriya
'', and later much influenced by the ideal of a ''
chakravartin In Indian history, Dharmic religion, religion, and Indian mythology, mythology, a ''chakravarti'' ( sa, चक्रवर्तिन्, ''cakravartin''; pi, cakkavatti; zh, 轉輪王, ''Zhuǎnlúnwáng'', "Wheel-Turning King"; , ''Zhuǎ ...
'' as defender of the realm. This martial responsibility has by tradition been borne by every Thai monarch since, but has never been formally instituted. By the 19th century, with the formal creation of a modern
Thai army Thai or THAI may refer to: * Of or from Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland S ...
and
navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense ...
in 1874 and 1887 respectively, the establishment of a formal
chain of command A command hierarchy is a group of people who carry out orders based on others' authority within the group. It can be viewed as part of a power structure, in which it is usually seen as the most vulnerable and also the most powerful part. Milit ...
was necessary. The titles of Supreme Head of Army (จอมทัพบก; Chom Thap Bok) and Supreme Head of the Navy (จอมทัพเรือ; Chom Thap Ruea) were created around the latter half of the reign of King
Chulalongkorn Chulalongkorn ( th, จุฬาลงกรณ์, 20 September 1853 – 23 October 1910) was the fifth monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or ...

Chulalongkorn
for himself. After the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, Siam's first permanent constitution established the ceremonial role of Head of the Siamese Armed Forces (จอมทัพสยาม; Chom Thap Sayam) in Article 1, Section 5. Since then Thailand has had 16 constitutions and the title has been enshrined in each of them. Under the constitutional system, the king's post as head of the armed forces is a means for the monarchy to be closely related to the armed forces. The king participates in military activities and functions, including the presentation of ceremonial
colours Color (American English) or colour (Commonwealth English) is the visual perception, visual perceptual Physical property, property corresponding in humans to the categories called ''blue'', ''green'', ''red'', etc. Color derives from the sp ...

colours
, based on the national flag, to various units of the armed forces and the presentation of ceremonial swords to all graduating officers of the military academies. The armed forces celebrate the king with an annual parade held on his birthday at the Royal Plaza in central
Bangkok Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern ...

Bangkok
.


Insignia

Since 1910, starting with King Vajiravudh, it is customary for representatives of the armed forces to present the newly acceded monarch his insignia as Head of the Armed Forces, at a formal ceremony at the
Grand Palace The Grand Palace ( th, พระบรมมหาราชวัง, Royal Institute of Thailand The Royal Society of Thailand ( th, ราชบัณฑิตยสภา, , ), formerly known as the Royal Society of Siam, is the national ...

Grand Palace
. These include a golden
marshal's baton The ceremonial baton is a short, thick stick-like object, typically in wood or metal, that is traditionally the sign of a field marshal or a similar high-ranking military officer, and carried as a piece of their uniform. The baton is distinguish ...
(featuring a ''
Garuda Garuda (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; , , ) is a of that belongs to the branch of the . It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had there from the northwest in the late . Sanskrit is the of , the language of ...

Garuda
''), his shoulder boards, a sabre, and a golden ''
aiguillette An aiguillette (, from ''wikt:aiguille#French, aiguille'', "needle"), also spelled , or , is a Cord (sewing), cord with metal tips or lace tags, or the decorative tip itself. Functional or purely decorative fasteners of silk cord with metal ...

aiguillette
'' to be worn on the right shoulder.
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List


References


See also

*
Highest military ranks In many nations, the highest military ranks are classed as being equivalent to, or are officially described as, five-star ranks. However, a number of nations have used or proposed ranks such as ''generalissimo'', which are senior to their five-star ...
*
Monarchy of Thailand The monarchy of Thailand (whose monarch is referred to as the king of Thailand or historically, king of Siam; th, พระมหากษัตริย์ไทย) refers to the constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parlia ...
*
List of monarchs of Thailand This article lists the Monarchy of Thailand, monarchs of Thailand from the foundation of the Sukhothai Kingdom in 1238 until the present day. Sukhothai Kingdom (1238–1368) Phra Ruang dynasty (1238–1368; under Ayutthaya 1368–1438) Ayuttha ...
*
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 ...
**
Field marshal (Thailand) Chom Phon ( th, จอมพล, จอมพลทหารบก) or Field Marshal is the most senior rank of the Royal Thai Army, considered the equivalent to a Field Marshal Field marshal (or field-marshal, abbreviated as FM) is the most s ...
**
Admiral of the fleet (Thailand) Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the United States, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general officer, general in ...
**
Marshal of the Royal Thai Air Force Chom Phon Akat ( th, จอมพลอากาศ) or Marshal of the Royal Thai Air Force is a 5-star rank and the most senior rank in the Royal Thai Air Force. It is equivalent to a Field Marshal (or ''Chom Phon'') in the Royal Thai Army and an ...
*
Dai-gensui , formal rank designations: was the highest rank of the Greater Imperial Japanese Army The was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan The was a historical and that existed from the in 1868 until the en ...
- Japanese equivalent *
Da yuan shuai Da yuan shuai (ta yuan shuai; ) was a Chinese military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchy, hierarchical relationships, within an armed forces, police, intelligence agencies or other institutions organized along military lines. Th ...
- Chinese equivalent *
Taewonsu ''Taewŏnsu'' (; literally grand marshal Grand marshal is a ceremonial A ceremony (, ) is a unified ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence. Ri ...
- Korean equivalent *
Royal Security Command The Royal Security Command ( th, หน่วยบัญชาการถวายความปลอดภัยรักษาพระองค์) is The king of Thailand's military household and is part of Thailand's royal court administ ...
{{Highest Military Ranks Thai monarchy
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...
Military of Thailand