Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - RCAF begins first recruitment drive since onset of pandemic

RCAF begins first recruitment drive since onset of pandemic

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Soldiers take part in exercises at the Kampong Speu training grounds in 2022. HUN MANET VIA FB

RCAF begins first recruitment drive since onset of pandemic

The Ministry of National Defence will be distributing applications to prospective students from February 1-15 as it looks to recruit a new generation of military trainees to meet the needs of various units of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF).

The recruitment drive, which resumes after more than three years of delay due to the Covid-19 crisis, is headed up by Khieu Sophat, deputy head of the ministry’s General Secretariat, and Chea Dara, rector of the National Defence University (NDU).

Dara said the student recruitment and examination team has cooperated with the NDU by starting the physical examinations and application process for students with a high school diploma by having them fill out the required documents to be recruited into the RCAF as active duty officers, infantry officers, officer candidates and military technical officers for 2023.

“Over the past three years, as Cambodia and the rest of the world has been facing the global Covid-19 pandemic, the student recruitment activities to serve in the RCAF and for the replacement of retired officers of the Cambodian defence sector has been suspended,” he said.

Dara called on students who have graduated from high school who wished to join the army to fill out the application form to enter the training for the 24th generation of active duty officers, 13th generation of infantry officers and the 14th candidate officers and military technical officer classes.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that the recruitment of new trainees is necessary for each country to have soldiers because there are people who have to retire. Without new recruits, the country may lack a military force. He said recruitment is not just for war purposes, but soldiers can serve in a society and for intervention in times of crisis, such as natural disasters.

“This defence work is necessary and must continue because it is not possible to say that a peaceful country does not need a military. If the country grows stronger and more peaceful, the defence sector and the army will need to be strengthened. If we look at our neighbours and the rest of the world, they have had peace before us, they are more advanced than we are, and their defence sectors are stronger,” said Yang Peou.

He added that the government should consider strengthening and developing the military and increase the number of active duty soldiers.

Meas Ny, a social development researcher, said that even though Cambodia is small, increasing its military capabilities is necessary as the world is facing wars such as the Russia-Ukraine war and wars around the world, especially, so military reform in Cambodia paves the way for building real human resource capacity for defence in the future.

“Military reform is necessary,” he said, adding that however, he called on the government to try to eradicate corruption in the military in order to recruit capable human resources to serve the nation rather than party and stop officers from recruiting people through relatives, which could adversely affect the entire defence sector in the future,” he said.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm