Military Needs Basic IT Training, Top Officer Says

The commander of the armed forces said more military officials needed to learn English and become proficient internet users, and even suggested adding basic IT tutorials to military training courses so soldiers could communicate better online.

“I want to put IT program courses into the training agendas, and…it must also include testing,” Pol Saroeun, the commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, told about 50 senior military officials at an annual meeting at high command headquarters in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.

General Saroeun said that some higher-ranking, older officials never had the opportunity to learn web skills because they were born during Cambodia’s civil war. They would not be required to take the proposed computer classes, he said.

“Try to find the money to support your children to study. Maybe some of you will not be able to learn,” Gen. Saroeun said.

“I will not force your excellencies and all of you to do that,” he added, referring to older generals. “You are maybe too late. No need to learn.”

In the modern day, he said, it would be difficult to communicate across regional borders without knowing English and having basic technology skills.

“If we still do not understand technology, it is impossible,” he said.

One military general he knew could not even use mobile-messaging app WhatsApp.

“He said he did not know how to use it. You are like this,” Gen. Saroeun told the officials. “That is why I am asking you to learn. It’s just sending a WhatsApp message. You cannot do it.”

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