Duty or obstacle? _ a look at conscription and national service
A personnel shortfall may lead the army to close some of the exemptions to the military draft. 'Spectrum' speaks to some who found expensive or creative ways to escape military service, some who felt they wasted their time and others who returned refreshed, fit and disciplined for the life ahead
Last month, army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha made a shocking announcement - especially for males under 21 who had never been conscripted - that those who had attended Ror Dor military school might no longer be exempt from national service.
SHORN AND SHAPED: New conscripts get their hair cut prior to training. Many of the recruits are from parts of the deep South judged to have a high level of separatist infiltration. They will be taught politics and history to boost their patriotism.
Before April every year, Thailand's armed forces launch a search for healthy men aged between 21 and 30. The draft consists of drawing a numbered card bearing either a red or black stamp from a box at a municipal district office or at designated schools or temples upcountry.
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