A class of 110 military officers-in-training who graduated from a Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) academy in Kompong Speu province last week have been granted the name of “Techo Development” officers, according to a post on the website of the ruling CPP.
The class, which graduated from the Ecole des Officer d’Active on Wednesday were the 14th class of officers to graduate from the academy, and were awarded the name, apparently in honor of Prime Minister Hun Sen, in a ceremony presided over by RCAF Commander-in-Chief Pol Saroeun, the CPP’s website says.
“General Pol Saroeun reminded that ‘active officers of the Techo Development generation must: have honest ideals for the motherland, respect and love for the people, sacrifice to protect the independence, stability and territorial integrity [of Cambodia] and protect every achievement of national society,’” reads the news-style post, which is headlined “Techo Development Officers End Training.”
“Techo” is an elite honorific that roughly translates as “powerful” and is commonly used to refer to Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is often called only “Samdech Techo” by officials and his supporters.
Ten women also graduated among the 110 “Techo Development” officers, all of whom had completed a four-year bachelor degree at the Ecole des Officer d’Active.
RCAF Lieutenant-General Phun Sovath, who is mentioned in the article on the CPP website as having attended the ceremony, declined to comment on the philosophical significance of the “Techo” title.
RCAF Brigadier-General Neth Nath, who serves as the deputy director of the academy in Kompong Speu province, said that the granting of the “Techo Development” title was not unusual.
“It is the name of this generation [of officers]. Every generation is given a different name,” Brig. Gen. Sovath explained of the title.
Asked if the “Techo Development” name given to the graduating class of military represented a new philosophy that had been instilled in them, Lt. Gen. Sovath said that he was not sure.
Gen. Saroeun, the RCAF commander-in-chief, also said he could not comment on the significance of the title.
“What you saw on the website, you can publish that,” Gen. Saroeun said, declining to comment further.
In January, Defense Minister Tea Banh used an annual meeting of national military police in Phnom Penh to reiterate that the armed forces should remain committed to defending Mr. Hun Sen in his government’s ongoing dispute with the opposition CNRP.