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The Royal Thai Marine Corps or RTMC (Thai: ราชนาวิกโยธินแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย) are the marines of the Royal Thai Navy. The Royal Thai Marine Corps was founded in 1932, when the first battalion was formed with the assistance of the United States Marine Corps. It was expanded to a regiment in 1940 and was in action against communist guerrillas throughout the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1960s the United States Marine Corps assisted in its expansion into a brigade. The Royal Thai Marine Corps saw action on the Malaysian border in the 1970s, and has now been increased to four brigades.

Royal Thai Marine Corps
Emblem of the Royal Thai Marines.svg
Founded1959; 60 years ago (1959)
Country Thailand
Branch Royal Thai Navy
TypeMarines Combined arms
RoleAmphibious warfare
Part ofEmblem of the Ministry of Defence of Thailand.svg Royal Thai Armed Forces
Garrison/HQRTMC headquarters, Sattahip, Chonburi, Thailand
Nickname(s)นย. ("Nor Yor") Marines
Motto(s)กาย ใจ ชีวิต มอบเป็นราชพลี
เป็น นย. สักครั้งไซร้ จักฝังหฤทัยจนวายปราณ (Once a Marine, Always a Marine)
นำดี ตามดี
(The Few,The Proud)
(Royal Thai Marine Corps march)
AnniversariesJuly 30
Chief of the Royal Thai NavyAdmiral Luechai Rutdit
Commandant of the Marine Corps.Vice Admiral. Ronnarong Sittinan
Flag of the Commander of the Marine CorpsFlag Commander of the Royal Thai Marine Corps.svg
Emblem of the Royal Thai Marines CorpsEmblem of the Royal Thai Marines Corps, original published in Royal Thai Government Gazette.png
Thai marine royal guards (full dress) in the procession in the royal cremation of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana


Historically, there was no distinction in Siam between soldiers and marines, with the army performing both functions. The first "Thahan Ma-Rine", meaning "Marine Soldiers", were formed in 1833, during the reign of King Rama III. "Ma-Rine" was simply a transliteration of the English word. The development of the modern Thai Marine Corps can be divided into three periods:

Early yearsEdit

The Marine Soldiers of the 19th and early 20th centuries were few in number and served mainly as a royal honor guard that provided security for the King whenever he traveled around the country.

On March 2, 1913, however, the Ministry of the Navy reorganized the Marine Soldiers. The Marine artillery platoon was attached to the Operation Command Department of Ships and Fortresses, while the Marine infantry platoon in Bangkok was attached to the Vehicle Division of the Department of the Navy Amphibious Assault Group.

The Revolution in 1932 transformed Thailand from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. Shortly after, the Royal Thai Navy was reorganized, and the vehicle battalion became the Marine Corps Battalion of the Bangkok Navy Station. This is considered the first Marine Corps Battalion in Thailand.

Post–1932 Revolution (1932–1955)Edit

The 2nd Marine Corps Battalion was established at Sattahip in 1937. Two years later, the 2nd Battalion was expanded into the Marine Corps Department. Shortly after that, a border dispute with French Indo-China turned violent, and the Marine Corps Department's "Chanthaburi Division" was engaged in action with the French Foreign Legion several times. During World War II, the Marine Corps sent troops to defend the southern border with Malaya and also guarded Phuket Province from possible attack.

After Imperial Japan's surrender in September 1945, Thai Marines helped disarm the Japanese Army at Baan Pong District in Ratchaburi Province. In 1950, when violence in Malaysia spilled over into Thailand, Marine Corps Troop 6 was sent to help restore the peace in Narathiwat Province.

Surprisingly, on June 29, 1951, the Thai government disbanded the Marine Corps Bureau, and the Marines were distributed into naval units. However, this was during the Korean War, and both the United States Military and the Royal Thai Navy urged Thailand to reconsider.

New Age (1955–present)Edit

Royal Thai Marines storm ashore from a U.S. Navy Landing Craft Air Cushioned during an amphibious raid event of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training in 2004
Royal Thai Marines storm ashore in an amphibious assault vehicle in 2007
Royal Thai Marine Corps and U.S. Marines discuss how to eliminate hostile forces firing on them from a building during a mock mechanized raid on Feb. 11 2011
Royal Thai Marine along with Republic of Korea and US Marines conduct an amphibious assault during Cobra Gold 2011

Four years later, the Thai Government acknowledged that a Marine Corps could perform a useful role in national defense. On July 30, 1955, the government created the Marine Corps Department. In 1961, tensions flared over the disputed Preah Vihear Temple, situated on the Thai side of a high cliff on the Cambodian border but shown on French maps as being in the Cambodia. The Chanthaburi and Trat borders with Cambodia gave the Marine Corps Department its first assignment, safeguarding the coastline and southeastern border. Since 1970 the Marine Corps' Chanthaburi-Trat Task Force has been officially assigned the defense of this area.

Royal Thailand Marines, along with U.S. infantry Marines with Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade Forward, III Marine Expeditionary Force, assault the beachhead in a amphibious assault raid here Feb. 10, during Exercise Cobra Gold 2011.

During 1972 and 1973, Thai Marines were involved in the "Operation Sam-Chai" anti-communist operations in Phetchabun Province and the "Pha-Phum" anti-communist operations in Chiang Rai Province. In 1973 and 1974, they took part in anti-communist operations in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

Since 1975, Thai Marines have been assigned to Narathiwat as Force Reconnaissance Battalion. In 1977, they captured the communist camp at Krung-Ching in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, and remaining there until 1981.

Thai Marines today are responsible for border security in Chanthaburi and Trat provinces. They have fought communist insurgents in engagements at Baan Hard Lek, Baan Koat Sai, Baan Nhong Kok, Baan Kradook Chang, Baan Chumrark, and in the battle of Hard Don Nai in Nakhon Phanom Province.

Many Thai Marines have lost their lives serving their country, and they continue to do so today, especially in the southern border provinces currently affected by the South Thailand insurgency. A monument to their valor stands at the Royal Thai Navy base at Sattahip.

United Nations Peacekeeping OperationsEdit

  • 1st Combat Engineer Company in Iraq
  • 1st Combat Engineer Company in Burundi
  • 1st Force Reconnaissance Company in Sudan
  • 1st Armored Company in Sudan


Royal Thai Marine Corps HeadquartersEdit

  • Royal Thai Marine Corps Education Command
  • RTMC: Marine Division
    • RTMC: 1st Marine Regiment
      • RTMC: 1st Infantry Battalion King's Guard
      • RTMC: 2nd Infantry Battalion
      • RTMC: 3rd Infantry Battalion
    • RTMC: 2nd Marine Regiment
      • RTMC: 4th Infantry Battalion
      • RTMC: 5th Infantry Battalion
      • RTMC: 6th Infantry Battalion
    • RTMC: 3rd Marine Regiment
    • RTMC: Marine Artillery Regiment
      • RTMC: 1st Artillery Battalion
      • RTMC: 2nd Artillery Battalion
      • RTMC: Air Defense Artillery Battalion
      • RTMC: 4th Artillery Battalion
    • RTMC: Marine Service Support Regiment
      • RTMC: Medical Battalion
      • RTMC: Dental Battalion
      • RTMC: Maintenance Battalion
      • RTMC: Transport Battalion
      • RTMC: Marine Assault Amphibious Vehicle Support Company
      • RTMC: Marine Band Platoon
    • RTMC: Marine Assault Amphibious Vehicle Battalion
    • RTMC: Marine Reconnaissance Battalion also known as (Force Recon Marine/Marine Special Force)
    • RTMC: Marine Tank Battalion
    • RTMC: Marine Combat Engineer Battalion
    • RTMC: Marine Signals Battalion
    • RTMC: Marine Military Police Company
  • RTMC: Marine Security Regiment
  • RTMC: Marine Psychological Company
  • RTMC: Marine Task Forces



Small armsEdit

Name Origin Type Caliber Notes
M16A1/A2/A3   United States Assault rifle 5.56x45mm Standard marine rifle.
M4A1/A3   United States Assault rifle 5.56x45mm Standard marine rifle.
CAR-15   United States Carbine 5.56×45mm NATO
Colt AR-15   United States Carbine 5.56×45mm NATO
AR-15   United States Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO
Bushmaster M4   United States Carbine 5.56×45mm NATO Used By Special forces.
IWI Tavor   Israel Assault rifle 5.56x45mm Standard marine rifle.
IWI X95   Israel Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO
IWI ACE   Israel Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO
IWI Galil   Israel Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO Used in small numbers.
G36C   Germany Assault rifle 5.56x45mm Used by recon.
G36KV   Germany Assault rifle 5.56x45mm Used by recon.
Heckler & Koch HK416 A5/A7   Germany Assault rifle 5.56x45mm Used by recon.
FN SCAR   Belgium Assault rifle 5.56x45mm Used by recon.
Heckler & Koch HK33   Thailand
Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO
Type 11 assault rifle   Thailand Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO
CQ M-311   China Assault rifle 5.56x45mm
SIG Sauer SIG516   United States
Assault rifle 5.56x45mm Used by SEALs.
Sako Defence Tikka   Finland Sniper rifle 5.56x45mm/.338 Lapua
M249   United States Light machine gun 5.56x45mm
M60   United States General-purpose machine gun 7.62x51mm
M2 Browning   United States Heavy machine gun 12.7x99mm

Rocket, grenade, and missile systemsEdit

Name Origin Type Notes
M203   United States Grenade launcher
Armbrust   Germany Anti-tank weapon
M47 Dragon   United States Anti-Tank Guided Missile
BGM-71 TOW   United States Anti-Tank Guided Missile Use in Humvee.
M40A2   United States Recoilless rifle
QW-18   China MANPAD

Armoured fighting vehiclesEdit

Name Origin Type Quantity Notes
Type 69-ll   China Main battle tank 5
AAV-7A1   United States Armoured personnel carrier 36 Variants include: AAVP-7A1, AAVC-7A1, AAVR-7A1.
BTR-3E1   Thailand
Armoured personnel carrier 12
V-150 Commando   United States Armoured car 24
DTI Black Widow Spider   Thailand Armoured personnel carrier 5

Utility vehicles and prime moversEdit

Name Origin Type Notes
Humvee   United States Utility vehicle RTMC use M998,M1097A2,M997,M1025,M1045A2,M966.
M151   United States Utility vehicle RTMC use M151A2, M151A2 mounting TOW,M718A1,M825.
M813   United States Prime Mover RTMC use M54A2,M543A2.
M35 2-1/2 ton cargo truck   United States Prime Mover RTMC use M35A2,M50A2,M49A2,M109A2.
Isuzu   Thailand
Prime Mover RTMC use SBR,TXD 4x2,TSD 4x4,TWD 6x6,HTW,FTR 4x4.

Field artilleryEdit

Name Origin Type Quantity Notes
GC-45 howitzer   Austria 155mm towed howitzer 12
GHN-45 A1 APU howitzer   Austria 155mm towed howitzer 6
M101A1 mod   United States 105 mm towed howitzer 6 Improve the Nexter LG1 caliber.
M101A1   United States 105 mm towed howitzer 30
M120 mortar   Israel 120 mm Mortar
M29A1 mortar   United States 81 mm Mortar
M19 mortar   United States 60 mm Mortar
M224 mortar   United States 60 mm Mortar

History equipmentEdit

Armoured fighting vehiclesEdit

Name Origin Type Quantity Notes
LVT   United States Amphibious vehicle 16
M3 Half-track   United States Half-track armored personnel carrier 12+

Field artilleryEdit

Name Origin Type Quantity Notes
M1A1   United States 75mm Pack howitzer 16+

In popular cultureEdit

  • Mercury Man is a 2006 Thai superhero martial arts action film. It is directed by Bhandit Thongdee with martial arts choreography by Panna Rittikrai of Ong-Bak, Tom-Yum-Goong and Born to Fight. Thai marines is control Afghan terrorist group in movies.

Rank structureEdit

Personnel of the RTMC use the uniform, ranks and insignia used by the personnel of the Royal Thai Navy, but with exceptions, such as:

  • Personnel of the RTMC wear combat helmets as part of their ceremonial uniforms instead of sailor caps or peaked caps (except officers who wear peaked caps)
  • Usually, Marines wear naval style insignia on the chest marks in their combat uniforms


NATO Code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 Student Officer
Thai title จอมพลเรือ พลเรือเอก พลเรือโท พลเรือตรี พลเรือจัตวา นาวาเอก นาวาโท นาวาตรี เรือเอก เรือโท เรือตรี นักเรียนนายเรือ
RTGS Chom Phon Ruea Phon Ruea Ek Phon Ruea Tho Phon Ruea Tri Phon Ruea Jattawa Nawa Ek Nawa Tho Nawa Tri Ruea Ek Ruea Tho Ruea Tri Nak Rian Nai Ruea
Anglicised version Admiral of the Fleet Admiral Vice Admiral Rear Admiral Commodore
(no longer used)
(Senior Captain)[3]
Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Lieutenant Junior Grade Sub Lieutenant Midshipman
Abbreviation[4] - พล.ร.อ.
UK equivalent Admiral of the Fleet Admiral Vice Admiral Rear Admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Sub-Lieutenant Acting Sub-Lieutenant Midshipman

Naval Officers will additionally add the post-nominal ร.น. as an abbreviation for ราชนาวี (râat-chá-naa-wee, literally "the Royal Navy").


NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-1
              No insignia
Thai title พันจ่าเอกพิเศษ พันจ่าเอก พันจ่าโท พันจ่าตรี จ่าเอก จ่าโท จ่าตรี พลทหาร
RTGS Phan Cha Ek Phiset[5] Phan Cha Ek Phan Cha Tho Phan Cha Tri Cha Ek Cha Tho Cha Tri Phon Thahan
Anglicised version Master Chief Petty Officer Senior Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer
1st Class
Petty Officer
2nd Class
Petty Officer
3rd Class
Seaman Seaman apprentice
Abbreviation[6] พ.จ.อ.(พ.)
UK equivalent - Warrant Officer Class One Warrant Officer Class Two Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Rate Able Rate Ordinary Rate

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ The Senior Colonel or Special Colonel is equivalent to a one star General. This is not an actual rank in the Royal Thai Army, but special recognition given to officers of equivalent rank in other countries and on paper. The Senior Colonel will wear the rank-slides of a Colonel, but with a collar insignia showing a crossed baton and sword with wreath below (similar to Chom Phon rank slide). In the same way, the Royal Thai Navy has a "Senior Captain" or a "Special Captain in the Royal Thai Navy" and the RTAF has a "Senior Group Captain" or a "Special Group Captain in The Royal Thai Airforce", with similar collar insignia of both services.
  4. ^ [1], คำสั่งกระทรวงกลาโหมที่ ๓๑๐/๒๕๕๗ เรื่องการใช้คำภาษาอังกฤษยศทหารของกระทรวงกลาโหม.
  5. ^ The "Special Master Sergeant 1st Class" is an honorary rank given to senior enlisted members who are deserving of recognition above and beyond that of the highest enlisted rank. There is no difference in the rank insignia worn, and they do not 'outrank' the normal Master Sergeant 1st Class, although in a group situation they will normally be assign control. They receive a higher salary. In the same way, the RTN has a "Special Chief Petty Officer 1st Class" and the RTAF has a "Special Flight Sergeant 1st Class".
  6. ^ [2], คำสั่งกระทรวงกลาโหมที่ ๓๑๐/๒๕๕๗ เรื่องการใช้คำภาษาอังกฤษยศทหารของกระทรวงกลาโหม.

External linksEdit