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Royal Thai Armed Forces

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The Royal Thai Armed Forces (Thai: กองทัพไทย; rtgs: Kong Thap Thai) is the name of the military of the Kingdom of Thailand. It consists of the following branches:

Created in 1852, the Royal Thai Armed Forces came into existence as permanent force at the behest of King Mongkut, who needed a European trained military force to thwart any Western threat and any attempts at colonialization. By 1887, during the next reign of King Chulalongkorn, a permanent military command in the Kalahom Department was established. However the office of Kalahom and the military of Siam had existed since the days of the Sukhothai Kingdom in the 13th century. In fact the history of the Kings of Siam is teeming with tales of military conquest and power. However, since 1932, when the military, with the help of civilians, overthrew the system of absolute monarchy and instead created a constitutional system, the military has dominated and been in control of Thai politics, providing it with many prime ministers and carrying out many coups d'état, the most recent being in 2014.

The Head of the Thai Armed Forces (จอมทัพไทย; rtgs: Chom Thap Thai) is King of Thailand, however this position is only nominal. The armed forces are ostensibly managed by the Ministry of Defense of Thailand, which is headed by the minister of defence (a member of the Cabinet of Thailand) and commanded by the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters, which in turn is headed by the Chief of Defence Forces of Thailand.

The Royal Thai Armed Forces Day is celebrated on 18 January to commemorate the victory of King Naresuan the Great in battle against the Crown Prince of Burma in 1593.

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