Many Thai students and their parents got a bit of a shock this week when the army chief said students in the territorial defence programme (Ror Dor) might not be exempted from army conscription. Here’s the latest clarification.
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3 years as reservist could trim conscript term
Ror Dor students from KIS International School. Photo from KIS blog.
Students who complete three years in the army reserve force may face a shorter stint in the army if they are conscripted, military officials say.
The army is contemplating ending the exemption from conscription granted to students who undergo the territorial defence programme (widely known as “Ror Dor”).
A shortfall in recruits through the normal conscription process prompted the move. Thai men who reach the age of 21 must submit their names for a conscription draw, but if they have served in the reserves at school they are normally exempt.
Army Reserve commander Lt Gen Wichit Sriprasert said yesterday students who finish the first three years of the territorial defence programme are currently exempt from conscription.
Officials said military service could be trimmed from two years to six months for those who are drafted after completing three years of the reserve programme.
Maj Gen Thaweechai Krisicheewin, commander of the Reserve Affairs Centre, said students have been competing to enter the territorial defence programme to avoid conscription.
More than 300,000 students have joined the programme but only about 10,000 of them went on to complete the fourth and fifth years of training.
Students who complete the five-year reserve programme will remain exempt from conscription, he said.
Lt Gen Wichit said those who are aged under 16 or leave school early were not eligible to join the reserves, which was unfair as they would have to put their names forward for the conscription draw. It was impossible to open up the reserves to all young men because it would reduce the number of young men available for conscription.
For more information on the Ror Dor programme from a student perspective, see this blog entry from KIS International School: http://blog.kis.ac.th/manit/thai-studies/thai-army-training-ror-dor/
army reserves – a soldier or a group of soldiers who are not fighting but who are available to fight ทหารกองหนุน
reservist – a member of the reserves (ทหารกองหนุน )
trim – to make something smaller by cutting ตัด
conscription – the practice of ordering people by law to serve in the armed forces การเกณฑ์ทหาร
conscript – someone who has been made to join the armed forces ผู้ที่ถูกเกณฑ์ทหาร
term – a period of time someone holds their job, in this case, as a soldier ช่วงเวลาการดำรงตำแหน่ง
stint – a period of time spent doing something ช่วงเวลาที่ทำสิ่งใดสิ่งหนึ่ง
contemplate – to think carefully about and accept the possibility of something happening; to think about whether you should do something, or how you should do something พิจารณา, คิด
exemption – permission to not have to do something, such as making a payment, following a rule, etc. ข้อยกเว้น
grant – to officially give something ให้
undergo – to experience something, especially something that is unpleasant but necessary ผ่านประสบการณ
shortfall – an amount which is less than the level that was expected or needed จำนวนที่ขาดไป, ปริมาณที่ขาดไป
recruit – a new member of the armed forces ทหารใหม่
prompted – caused ก่อให้เกิด
submit – to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
draw – a way of choosing something such as a name or number by chance การจับฉลาก
commander – the head of an army or army unit ผู้บังคับบัญชา
currently – at this time; now ในปัจจุบัน
draft – (of conscription) to ordering people by law to serve in the armed forces เกณฑ์ทหาร
compete – to try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you แข่งขัน
avoid – to try to prevent something from happening หลีกเลี่ยง
eligible – allowed by rules or laws to do something or to receive something มีสิทธิ
reduce – to make something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc ลดลง
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