Military volunteers increase 10% in latest conscription

Military volunteers increase 10% in latest conscription

Young men take part in the military conscription event in Bangkok's Prawet district. (Photo by Kosol Nakachon)
Young men take part in the military conscription event in Bangkok's Prawet district. (Photo by Kosol Nakachon)

Volunteers for military service increased more than 10% this year, accounting for nearly 44% of the year’s total intake.

Army deputy spokesman Col Sirichan Ngathong said Friday that 496,748 young men participated in the April 1-12 military conscription. The armed forces accepted 99,373 of those: 75,404 as army conscripts, 7,969 as air force conscripts and 16,000 navy conscripts.

But 43,446, or 43.7%, didn't have to wait for their red card to be pulled: They volunteered. Col Sirichan said volunteered increased this year by 10.36%, she said.

Incentives such as higher wages, better welfare benefits and good image of the military, and government career advancement opportunities were among reasons for young men wanting to be conscripts.

Will he draw red or black? A potential conscript draws the card setting his fate during military conscription April 1. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Fifty-five districts in 19 provinces met the number of volunteers targeted by the military, she added.

The provinces included Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Suphan Buri, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Phetchaburi, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Nan, Mae Hong Son, Tak, Phayao, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Satun, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

Every year, between April 1 and 12, Thai men between the ages of 21 and 29 face the military draft. If they have completed high school training, known as ror dor, they can avoid conscription.

They may also defer national service, for education, health reasons or family obligations. Buddhist monks, the disabled and transgenders with legal health certificates are exempted.

Transgender females with proper health certifications can be exempted from military service. (Bangkok Post photo)

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