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List of Chiefs of Defence Forces (Thailand)

The Chief of Defence Forces, previously known as the Supreme Commander, (Thai: ผู้บัญชาการทหารสูงสุด) is the overall field commander of Royal Thai Armed Forces. He is also in charge of managing the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters (abbreviated as the RTARF HQ). Prior to 1960 the post was an ad hoc creation by Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram, during World War II. However, under Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat the position became permanent, and in its early life was even combined with the post of Prime Minister of Thailand. In February 2008 the English name of the post was changed from Supreme Commander to Chief of Defence Forces with the reorganization of the Supreme Command Headquarters into the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters (though the Thai term remained the same). It is customary to appoint the chief of defence to four-star rank in all three branches in the Armed Forces. The current commander is General Pornpipat Benyasri since October 2018. Not to be confused with the ceremonial Head of the Royal Thai Armed Forces who is the constitutional Head of State and Monarch of Thailand. Since the Chief of Defence Forces of Thailand acts more like a coordinator between three military branches and he commands smaller military force than the Army, the Navy, of the Air Force has, the position is usually reserved for Thai army generals who does not be appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army.

Chief of Defence Forces
Thai: ผู้บัญชาการทหารสูงสุด
Flag Thai Chief of the Defence Forces.svg
Flag of the Chief of Defence Forces
Adm. Phil Davidson participates in an honors ceremony. (44513478195) (cropped).jpg
General Pornpipat Benyasri

since 1 October 2018
Ministry of Defence
Member ofRTARF HQ
Reports toMinister of Defence
SeatLak Si, Bangkok
NominatorMinister of Defence
AppointerKing of Thailand
Formation13 November 1940
First holderField Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram
WebsiteOfficial website

List of ChiefsEdit

Supreme Commanders (1941−2008)Edit

No. Supreme Commander Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
Temporary command during the Franco-Thai War
1Phibunsongkhram, PlaekField Marshal
Plaek Phibunsongkhram
13 November 194030 April 1941168 days  Royal Thai Army
Temporary command during the Pacific War
(1)Phibunsongkhram, PlaekField Marshal
Plaek Phibunsongkhram
12 November 194124 November 19432 years, 12 days  Royal Thai Army
Permanent command
2Thanarat, SaritField Marshal
Sarit Thanarat
27 September 19578 December 1963 †6 years, 72 days  Royal Thai Army
3Kittikachorn, ThanomField Marshal
Thanom Kittikachorn
11 December 196330 September 19739 years, 293 days  Royal Thai Army
4Chullasapya, DaweeAir Chief Marshal
Dawee Chullasapya
1 October 197330 September 1974364 days  Royal Thai Air Force
5Sivara, KrisGeneral
Kris Sivara
1 October 197430 September 1975364 days  Royal Thai Army
6Chaloryu, SangadAdmiral
Sangad Chaloryu
1 October 197530 September 1976365 days  Royal Thai Navy
7Dachatungkha, KamonAir Chief Marshal
Kamon Dachatungkha
1 October 197630 September 1977364 days  Royal Thai Air Force
8Chamanan, KriangsakGeneral
Kriangsak Chamanan
1 October 197730 September 1978364 days  Royal Thai Army
9Na Nagara, SermGeneral
Serm Na Nagara
1 October 197930 September 19811 year, 364 days  Royal Thai Army
10Kerdphol, SaiyudGeneral
Saiyud Kerdphol
1 October 198130 September 19831 year, 364 days  Royal Thai Army
11Kamlang-ek, ArthitGeneral
Arthit Kamlang-ek
1 October 198331 August 19862 years, 334 days  Royal Thai Army
12Gajaseni, SupaAdmiral
Supa Gajaseni
1 September 198630 September 19871 year, 29 days  Royal Thai Navy
13Yongchaiyudh, ChavalitGeneral
Chavalit Yongchaiyudh
(born 1932)
1 October 198731 March 19902 years, 181 days  Royal Thai Army
14Kongsompong, SunthornGeneral
Sunthorn Kongsompong
1 April 199030 September 19911 year, 182 days  Royal Thai Army
15Kraprayoon, SuchindaGeneral
Suchinda Kraprayoon
(born 1933)
1 October 19914 April 1992186 days  Royal Thai Army
16Rojananil, KasetAir Chief Marshal
Kaset Rojananil
(born 1933)
6 April 199231 July 1992116 days  Royal Thai Air Force
17Aphichari, VoranatAir Chief Marshal
Voranat Aphichari
1 August 199230 September 19942 years, 60 days  Royal Thai Air Force
18Wootisiri, WatanachaiGeneral
Watanachai Wootisiri
1 October 199430 September 1995364 days  Royal Thai Army
19Sangsanit, VirojGeneral
Viroj Sangsanit
1 October 199530 September 1996365 days  Royal Thai Army
20Amphornpisit, MongkonGeneral
Mongkon Amphornpisit
1 October 199630 September 20003 years, 365 days  Royal Thai Army
21Chusri, SomphaoGeneral
Somphao Chusri
1 October 200030 September 2001364 days  Royal Thai Army
22Yuthavong, NarongAdmiral
Narong Yuthavong
1 October 200130 September 2002364 days  Royal Thai Navy
23Chulanont, SurayudGeneral
Surayud Chulanont
(born 1943)
1 October 200230 September 2003364 days  Royal Thai Army
24Attanand, SomtatGeneral
Somtat Attanand
1 October 200330 September 2004365 days  Royal Thai Army
25Shinawatra, ChaiyasitGeneral
Chaiyasit Shinawatra
(born 1945)
1 October 200430 September 2005364 days  Royal Thai Army
26Mahasaranon, RuangrojGeneral
Ruangroj Mahasaranon
(born 1946)
1 October 200530 September 2006364 days  Royal Thai Army
27Niumpradit, BoonsrangGeneral
Boonsrang Niumpradit [th]
(born 1948)
1 October 200630 September 20081 year, 365 days  Royal Thai Army

Chiefs of Defence Forces (2008−present)Edit

No. Chief of Defence Forces Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
28Jaggabatara, SongkittiGeneral
Songkitti Jaggabatara
(born 1950)
1 October 200830 September 20112 years, 364 days  Royal Thai Army
29Patimaprakorn, ThanasakGeneral
Thanasak Patimaprakorn
(born 1953)
1 October 201130 September 20142 years, 364 days  Royal Thai Army
30Sanganetra, WorapongGeneral
Worapong Sanganetra [th]
(born 1955)
1 October 201430 September 2015364 days  Royal Thai Army
31Kaotira, SommaiGeneral
Sommai Kaotira [th]
(born 1956)
1 October 201530 September 2016365 days  Royal Thai Army
32Suwan-ath, SurapongGeneral
Surapong Suwan-ath [th]
(born 1956)
1 October 201630 September 2017365 days  Royal Thai Army
33Srisuwan, ThanchaiyanGeneral
Thanchaiyan Srisuwan
(born 1958)
1 October 201730 September 2018364 days  Royal Thai Army
34Benyasri, PornpipatGeneral
Pornpipat Benyasri [th]
(born 1960)
1 October 2018Incumbent1 year, 40 days  Royal Thai Army

See alsoEdit