Hun Sen Promotes Pailin Governor to 4-Star General Rank

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 that 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 that the military should con­­sider advancing older government officials who once 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, then adding that there are 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 could not offer an exact breakdown, Mr Sucheat made an approximation that there there are 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, there were 70 officers that were promoted to bri­gadier general.

By comparison, according to 2004 figures that were published on the website Global Security, 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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