Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - RCAF seeing stars yet again

RCAF seeing stars yet again

Military brass, including Defence Minister Tea Banh (saluting), arrive at the 63rd anniversary celebrations of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in Phnom Penh in November.
Military brass, including Defence Minister Tea Banh (saluting), arrive at the 63rd anniversary celebrations of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in Phnom Penh in November. Heng Chivoan

RCAF seeing stars yet again

The inflated ranks of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces are set to swell further still following a recent round of promotions that minted more than 120 new generals, and elevated dozens more.

According to several decrees in royal books for September and October, the Kingdom’s military elevated 123 officers to brigadier general, 63 to major general and 14 to lieutenant general. The influx follows the promotion of 200 people in July to either one, two or three stars.

Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat was unavailable to comment yesterday on the mass advancements. Defence Minister Tea Banh said he was “busy”. There are thought to be more than 2,000 generals in RCAF, though the total number has never been released.

In 2011, Defence Minister Tea Banh was forced to freeze the handing out of general’s stars, conceding there was a gap between some senior officer’s rank and their age and experience.

The discrepancies also complicated cooperation with foreign militaries, he acknowledged, with some Cambodian officers lacking the experience of their rank equivalents from other countries.

“The result is a loss of prestige for the military from an international perspective as it indicates a lack of professionalism,” said Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace research fellow Kevin Nauen of Cambodia’s bloated upper ranks.

“But in the national context, it functions well to ensure overlap of military and party interests. Such promotions are clearly a way to reward loyalty and cultivate support.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all