Army looks to fill elite fe­male unit

Bangkok Post - - NATIONAL - ABDULLAH BENJAKAJ

PAT­TANI: More than 1,000 women are com­pet­ing to be­come one of 15 new army rangers to re­store peace in the deep South.

A to­tal of 1,077 ap­pli­cants sat for the ranger’s phys­i­cal exam yes­ter­day, said Maj Gen Kri­angkrai Si­rak, deputy chief of the 4th Army, dur­ing his visit to the Ingkhayut­tha­bori­han mil­i­tary camp in Nong Chik dis­trict, where the test took place.

Suc­cess­ful can­di­dates will be re­cruited into an all-fe­male ranger unit un­der the 4th Army, Maj Gen Kri­angkrai said.

Ini­tially, 1,261 peo­ple aged be­tween 18-30 ap­plied to sit for yes­ter­day’s exam, but only 1,077 turned up for it, said Col Khomkrit Rat­tanachaya, chief of the army’s ranger force in the south­ern bor­der prov­inces.

Only 135 will be short­listed af­ter the exam yes­ter­day be­fore a sec­ond exam on Tues­day will help se­lect 15 suc­cess­ful can­di­dates, he said, not­ing 45 peo­ple will be put on a wait­ing list in case some back out.

Ap­pli­cants with a de­gree in law will be given spe­cial at­ten­tion in the re­cruit­ment process, Col Khomkrit said, adding two can­di­dates with a master’s de­gree in engi­neer­ing said they were keen to be­come rangers work­ing near the south­ern bor­der.

Ruzmina Denudom, a res­i­dent of Pat­tani, said she trained ev­ery day be­fore at­tend­ing yes­ter­day’s exam as she raised her fit­ness lev­els to help en­sure she passed.

Ms Ruzmina said the work of fe­male mil­i­tary rangers in the deep South is chal­leng­ing, and not some­thing to fear.

Am­phon Rot­nut, who trav­elled from Surin for the exam, said she would feel proud if she be­came one of the 15 suc­cess­ful can­di­dates.

Her fam­ily sup­ports her am­bi­tion to serve in the fe­male army ranger unit, she said, adding she be­lieves this is a good op­por­tu­nity for her to help vil­lagers af­fected by on­go­ing un­rest in the South.

ABDULLAH BENJAKAJ

Sol­diers guide a po­ten­tial re­cruit dur­ing her phys­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion yes­ter­day.

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