Hun Sen Promotes Pailin Governor to 4-Star General

Pailin Governor Y Chhien has been promoted to the rank of four-star general, a Defense Ministry spokesman said, joining the ranks of the country’s more than 2,000 RCAF generals.

Defense Ministry spokesman Lieutenant-General Chhum Sucheat said Prime Minister Hun Sen conferred the new rank on Mr Chhien during the inauguration of an office building and barracks at the Royal Cambodian Navy Headquarters in Phnom Penh on Monday.

Mr Chhien, a former bodyguard for Pol Pot and secretary of Khmer Rouge Division 415, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mr Hun Sen mentioned the possibility of Mr Chhien’s promotion weeks earlier while speaking on Dec 24 at a groundbreaking ceremony for an agricultural fertilizer factory in Kandal province. He said the military should consider advancing older government officials who served as soldiers in the past.

“We should promote other RCAF soldiers from all [time periods] to generals. For example, Y Chhien,” the premier said, adding that there were about 17,000 active duty troops in Cambodia.

The RCAF officer corps currently counts more than 2,000 RCAF generals, according to figures given by Mr Sucheat.

Although he did could not offer an exact breakdown, Mr Sucheat said there were more than 20 four-star generals, more than 100 lieutenant generals and more than 2,000 major generals and brigadier generals.

In 2006, Defense Minister Tea Banh said the armed forces had a total of 613 generals for its estimated 110,000 men, a ratio of one general to around 179 troops. In January 2009, 70 officers were promoted to brigadier general.

By comparison, according to 2004 figures published on the website GlobalSecurity, the US armed forces have a total of 876 generals, or one general to every 1,347 enlisted men and women.



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