Anniversary of the Ministry of Defense in Thailand Date in the current year: April 8, 2024

Anniversary of the Ministry of Defense in Thailand The anniversary of the Ministry of Defense in Thailand is celebrated on April 8. It was officially established by the government of Thailand on June 13, 1980, and the first celebration was held on April 8, 1981.

The Ministry of Defense of the Kingdom of Thailand (Krasuang Kalahom) is a government department responsible for the control and management of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, which are tasked with maintaining national security and territorial integrity, as well as achieving the goals of national defense. The military of the Kingdom of Thailand consists of three branches: the Royal Thai Armed Forces, the Royal Thai Navy, and the Royal Thai Air Force.

Officially, the supreme head of the Royal Thai Armed Forces is the King of Thailand, but his position is purely nominal. The Minister of Defense is responsible for administering the Ministry of Defense and the armed forces. Since 2019, this post has been held by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who also serves as Prime Minister of Thailand (as of April 2020).

The predecessor of the present-day Ministry of Defense of Thailand was the Department of Defense of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It was created to protect the southern border of the kingdom. The department continued to exist when the Ayutthaya Kingdom was succeeded by the Kingdom of Thonburi and the Rattanakosin Kingdom.

In 1887, the Department was replaced with the Ministry of Defense by an order of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), as the country needed to create a permanent military command to counter the increasing threat of European expansion. The anniversary of this event, April 8, is now celebrated as Ministry of Defense Day. At first, the Ministry only administered the army, which had been founded forty years prior. It incorporated the navy after its foundation in 1887 and, finally, the air force, created in 1913.

In 1914, King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) decided that the act on martial law, first adopted by his father in 1907, was not consistent with modern laws of war and didn’t contribute much to preserving the internal or external security of the state. So he promulgated a new version of the act, which has been in force ever since (with minor amendments). As there were several major coups in the modern history of Thailand, the act is applied quite often, and the Minister of Defense of Thailand has considerable power.

As of 2020, the budget of the Ministry of Defense of Thailand is over 233.3 bln baht, or 7% of the country’s total budget. The military also has additional sources of income, such as racetracks, golf courses, boxing stadiums, and radio stations and television channels. Due to owning radio and television stations, the Ministry of Defense also has the ability to exert censorship.

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