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Myanmar Army

Myanmar Army



Myanmar Army

တပ်မတော် (ကြည်း)


Myanmar Army Flag


1945 - Present


Country Myanmar



Part of




Ye Thaw Ma Thay, Thay Thaw Nga Ye Ma Lar


27 March 1945




Vice-Senior General Soe Win



The Myanmar Army (Burmese: တပ်မတော်(ကြည်း)), pronounced: [taʔmədɔ̀ tɕí]) is the land component of the Military of Myanmar, Myanmar Armed Forces. The Myanmar Army is the largest branch of the Armed Forces of Myanmar and has the primary responsibility of conducting land-based military operations. The Myanmar Army maintains the second largest active force in Southeast Asia after Vietnam's Vietnam People's Army.

The Myanmar Army had a troop strength of around 350,000 As of 2006[1]. [] The army has extensive combat experience in fighting insurgents in rough terrains, considering it has been conducting non-stop counter-insurgency operations against ethnic and political insurgents since its inception in 1948.

The force is headed by the Commander in Chief (Army) (ကာကွယ်ရေးဦးစီးချုပ်(ကြည်း)), currently Vice-Senior General Soe Win, concurrently Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services, with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing as the Commander-in-Chief (တပ်မတော်ကာကွယ်ရေးဦးစီးချုပ်). The highest rank in the Myanmar Army is Senior General, equivalent to Field Marshal position in Western Armies and is currently held by Min Aung Hlaing after being promoted from Vice-Senior General.

In 2011, following transition from military junta government to civilian parliamentary government, the Myanmar Army enacted a military draft for all citizens, all males from the age 18 to 35 and all females age between 18 and 27 years of age can be drafted into military service for two years as enlisted personal in time of national emergency. The ages for professionals are up to 45 for men and 35 for women for three years service as commissioned and non commissioned officers.

An official publication has revealed that almost one-quarter of Myanmar's new national budget will be allocated to defense. The Government Gazette reports that 1.8 trillion kyat (about $2 billion at free market rates of exchange), or 23.6 percent of the 2011 budget will go to defense. [2]

Myanmar Army


Brief history

Post Independence era

At the time of Myanmar's independence in 1948, the Tatmadaw was weak, small and disunited. Cracks appeared along the lines of ethnic background, political affiliation, organizational origin and different services. Its unity and operational efficiency was further weakened by the interference of civilians and politicians in military affairs, and the perception gap between the staff officers and field commanders. The most serious problem was the tension between ethnic Karen Officers, coming from the British Burma Army and Burman (Bamar) officers, coming from the Patriotic Burmese Force (PBF). [3]

coming from the Patriotic Burmese Force (PBF). [ 3 ] Myanmar Army Honour Guards saluting the

Myanmar Army Honour Guards saluting the arrival of Thai delegation in October 2010.

In accordance with agreement reached at Kandy Conference in September 1945, the Tatmadaw was reorganised by incorporating the British Burma Army and the Patriotic Burmese Force. The officer corps shared by ex-PBF officers and officers from British Burma Army and Army of Burma Reserve Organization (ARBO). The British also decided to form what were known as "Class Battalions" based on ethnicity. There were a total of 15 rifle battalions at the time of independence and four of them were made up of former members of PBF. All influential positions within the War Office and commands

were manned with non-former PBF Officers. All services including military engineers, supply and transport, ordnance and medical services, Navy and Air Force were all commanded by former Officers from ABRO and British Burma Army. [3]


Ethnic/Army Composition

No. 1 Burma Rifles

Bamar (Burma Military Police)

No. 2 Burma Rifles

Karen majority + Other Non-Bamar Nationalities (commanded by then Lieutenant Colonel Saw Chit Khin (karen officer from British Burma Army)

No. 3 Burma Rifles

Bamar / Former members of Patriotic Burmese Force

No. 4 Burma Rifles

Bamar / Former members of Patriotic Burmese Force - Commanded by the then Lieutenant Colonel Ne Win

No. 5 Burma Rifles

Bamar / Former members of Patriotic Burmese Force

No. 6 Burma Rifles

Bamar / Former members of Patriotic Burmese Force

No. 1 Karen Rifles

Karen / Former members of British Burma Army and ABRO

No. 2 Karen Rifles

Karen / Former members of British Burma Army and ABRO

No. 3 Karen Rifles

Karen / Former members of British Burma Army and ABRO

Kachin / Former members of British Burma Army and ABRO

Kachin / Former members of British Burma Army and ABRO

No. 1 Chin Rifles

Chin / Former members of British Burma Army and ABRO

No. 2 Chin Rifles

Chin / Former members of British Burma Army and ABRO

No. 4 Burma Regiment


Chin Hill Battalion


Myanmar Army


|+ Ethnic and Army Composition of Tatmadaw in 1948

Formation and structure

The Army has always been by far the largest service in Myanmar and has always received the lion's share of the defence budget. [4][5] It has played the most prominent part in Myanmar's struggle against the 40 or more insurgent groups since 1948 and acquired a reputation as a tough and resourceful military force. In 1981, it was described as 'probably the best army in Southeast Asia, apart from Vietnam's'. [6] The judgement was echoed in 1983, when another observer noted that "Myanmar's infantry is generally rated as one of the toughest, most combat seasoned in Southeast Asia". [7] In 1985, a foreign journalist with the rare experience of seeing Burmese soldiers in action against ethnic insurgents and narco-armies was 'thoroughly impressed by their fighting skills, endurance and discipline'. [8] Other commentators throughout that time characterised the Myanmar Army as 'the toughest, most effective light infantry jungle force now operating in Southeast Asia'. [9] Even the Thais, not known to praise the Burmese lightly, have described the Myanmar Army as 'skilled in the art of jungle warfare'. [10]


Myanmar Army had reached some 370,000 active troops in all ranks in the year 2000. There were 337 infantry battalions, including 266 light infantry battalions. Although the Myanmar Army's organisational structure was based upon the regimental system, the basic manoeuvre and fighting unit is the battalion, known as Tat Yinn ((တပ်ရင်း)) in Burmese, which comprised a headquarters unit; four rifle companies Tat Khwe ((တပ်ခွဲ)) with three rifle platoons Tat Su ((တပ်စု)) each; an administration company with medical, transport, logistics and signals units; a heavy weapons company including mortar, machine gun and recoilless gun platoons. Each battalion is commanded a Lieutenant Colonel Du Ta Ya Bo Hmu Gyi or Du Bo Hmu Gyi with a Major (bo hmu) as 2IC (Second in Command), with a total establishment strength of 27 officers and 723 other ranks. Light infantry battalions in Myanmar Army have much lower establishment strength of around 500; this often leads to these units being mistakenly identified by the observers and reporters as under strength infantry battalions.

With its significantly increased personnel numbers, weaponry and mobility, today's Tatmadaw Kyee (တပ်မတော်(ကြည်း))

is a formidable conventional defence force for the Union of Myanmar. Troops ready for combat duty have at least

doubled since 1988. Logistics infrastructure and Artillery Fire Support has been greatly increased. Its newly acquired military might was apparent in the Tatmadaw's dry season operations against Karen National Union (KNU) strongholds in Manerplaw and Kawmura. Most of the casualties at these battles were the result of intense and heavy bombardment by the Tatmadaw Kyee. Not only that Tatmadaw Kyee is now much larger than it was in pre-1988, it

is more mobile and has greatly improved armour, artillery and air defence inventories. Its C3I (Command, Control,

Communications, Computers and Intelligence) systems have been expanded and refined. It is developing larger and more integrated, self-sustained formations which should lend themselves to better coordinated action by different

combat arms. The army may still have relatively modest weaponry compared to its larger neighbours, but it is now in

a much better position to deter external aggression and respond to such a threat should it ever arise except child soldiers may not perform very well in combating with enemies. [11]

Myanmar Army



The first army division to be formed after the 1988 military coup was the 11th Light Infantry Division (LID) in December 1988 with Col. Win Myint as commander of the division. In March 1990, a new regional military command was opened in Monywa with Brigadier Kyaw Min as commander and named North-Western Regional Military Command. A year later 101st LID was formed in Pakokku with Col. Saw Tun as commander. Two Regional Operations Commands (ROC) were formed in Myeik and Loikaw to facilitate command and control. They were commanded respectively by Brigadier Soe

Tint and Brigadier Maung Kyi. March 1995 saw a dramatic expansion of the Tatmadaw as it established 11 Military Operations Commands (MOC)s in that month. MOC are similar to Mechanized Infantry Divisions in western armies, each with 10 regular infantry battalions (Chay Hlyin Tatyin), a headquarters, and organic support units including field artillery batteries. Then in 1996, two new RMC were opened, Coastal Region RMC was opened in Myeik with Brigadier Sit Maung as commander and Triangle Region RMC in Kengtung with Brigadier Thein Sein as commander. Their new ROCs were opened in Kalay, Bhamo and Mongsat. In late 1998, two new MOCs were opened in Bokepyin and Mongsat. [12]

new MOCs were opened in Bokepyin and Mongsat. [ 1 2 ] 101st Light Infantry Division

101st Light Infantry Division

The most significant expansion after the infantry in the army was in armour and artillery. Beginning in 1990, the Tatmadaw procured 18 T-69II Main Battle tanks and 48 T-63 amphibious light tanks from China. Further procurements were made, including several hundred Type 85 and Type 92 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC). By the beginning of 1998, Tatmadaw had about 100+ T-69II Main battle tanks, a similar number of T-63 amphibious light tanks and several T-59D tanks. These tanks and armoured personnel carriers were distributed into five armoured infantry battalions and five tank battalions and formed the first Armoured Division of the Tatmadaw under the name of 71st Armoured Operations Command with its headquarters in Pyawbwe.

Chiefs of Staff and Commanders in Chief

Up until 1990, Myanmar Armed Forces has Chief of Staff system and Myanmar Army was led by Vice Chief of Staff (Army). A new system was introduced in 1990 during Armed Forces reorganisation and all three branches of Armed Forces are now led by Commander-in-Chief. [5]


Name & Rank





Karen Officer, Forced to retire due to civil war with Karen



Member of Thirty Comrades, Later became President and Chairman of Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP)






Later became President



Dismissed and imprisoned for involvement in coup attempt, later became Vice-Chairman of National League for Democracy



Later became Prime Minister



Later became Vice President






later promoted to Senior General, coup in 1988 and formed State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)

Myanmar Army




later promoted to Senior General and Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)


1993 -

later promoted to Vice Senior General and Vice Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)




later promoted to Vice-Senior General

Bureau of Special Operations (BSO)

Bureau of Special Operations (ကာကွယ်ရေးဌာန စစ်ဆင်ရေး အထူးအဖွဲ့) in Myanmar Army are high-level field units equivalent to Field Army Group in Western terms and consist of 2 or more Regional Military Commands (RMC) and commanded by a Lieutenant-General and 6 staff officers. The units were introduced under the General Staff Office on 28 April 1978 and 1 June 1979. In early 1978, the then Chairman of BSPP General Ne Win visited the North Eastern Command Headquarters in Lashio to receive a briefing about Burmese Communist Party (BCP) insurgents and their military operations. He was accompanied by Brigadier General Tun Ye from Ministry of Defence. Brigadier General Tun Ye was the regional commander of Eastern Command for three years and before that he served in North Eastern Command areas as commander of Strategic Operation Command (SOC) and commander for Light Infantry Division for four years. As BCP military operations were spread across three Regional Military Command (RMC) areas (Northern, Eastern and North Eastern), Brigadier General Tun Ye was the most informed commander about the BCP in Myanmar Army at the time. At the briefing, General Ne Win was impressed by Brigadier General Tun Ye and realized that coordination among various Regional Military Commands (RMC) was necessary; thus, decided to form a bureau at the Ministry of Defence. Originally, the bureau was for "special operations", wherever they were, that needed coordination among various Regional Military Commands (RMC). Later, with introduction of another bureau, there was a division of command areas. The BSO-1 was to oversee the operations under the Northern Command, North Eastern Command, the Eastern Command, and the North Western Command. BSO-2 was to oversee operations under the South Eastern Command, South Western Command, Western Command and Central Command. Initially, the chief of the BSO had the rank of Brigadier General. The rank was upgraded to Major General on 23 April 1979. in

1990, it was further upgraded to Lieutenant General. Between 1995 and 2002, Chief of Staff (Army) jointly held the position of Chief of BSO. However, in early 2002, two more BSO were added to the General Staff Office; therefore there were altogether four BSOs. The fifth BSO was established in 2005 and the sixth in 2007.

The fifth BSO was established in 2005 and the sixth in 2007. Bureau of Special Operations

Bureau of Special Operations

The fifth BSO was established in 2005 and the sixth in 2007. Bureau of Special Operations

Regional Military Commands (RMC)

Myanmar Army


Currently there are Six Bureaus of Special Operations in Myanmar order of Battle. [13]

Bureau of Special Operations

Regional Military Commands (RMC)

Bureau of Special Operations 1

Central Command North Western Command Northern Command

Bureau of Special Operations 2

North Eastern Command Eastern Command Triangle Region Command

Bureau of Special Operations 3

South Western Command Southern Command Western Command

Bureau of Special Operations 4

Coastal Command South Eastern Command

Bureau of Special Operations 5

Yangon Command

Bureau of Special Operations 6

Naypyidaw Command

Regional Military Commands (RMC)

For better command and communication, the Tatmadaw formed Regional Military Commands (တိုင်း စစ်ဌာနချုပ်) structure in 1958. Until 1961, there were only two regional commands, they were supported by 13 Infantry brigades and an infantry division. In October 1961, new regional military commands were opened and leaving only two independent infantry brigades. In June 1963, the Naypyidaw Command was temporarily formed in Yangon with the deputy commander and some staff officers drawn from Central Command. It was reorganised and renamed as Yangon Command on 1 June 1965. [13]

A total of 337 infantry and light infantry battalions organised in Tactical Operations Commands, 37 independent field artillery regiments supported by affiliated support units including armoured reconnaissance and tank battalions. RMCs are similar to corps formations in Western armies. The RMCs, commanded by Major General rank officer, are managed through a framework of Bureau of Special Operations (BSOs), which are equivalent to Field Army Group in Western terms. [13]

Regional Military Command (RMC)


States & Divisions




Northern Command (မြောက်ပိုင်းတိုင်းစစ်ဌာနချုပ်)



Infantry Battalions

North Eastern Command (အရှေ့မြောက်ပိုင်းတိုင်းစစ်ဌာနချုပ်)

Northern Shan State Northern



Infantry Battalions


Southern Shan State     Taunggyi 42 Infantry Battalions



Infantry Battalions

Eastern Command (အရှေ့ပိုင်းတိုင်းစစ်ဌာနချုပ်)

including 16× Light Infantry Battalions under Regional Operation Command (ROC) Headquarters at Loikaw

South Eastern Command (အရှေ့တောင်တိုင်းစစ်ဌာနချုပ်)

Mon and Kayin Mon and (Karen) States (Karen) States


Mawlamyaing (Moulmein)


Infantry Battalions

Southern Command (တောင်ပိုင်းတိုင်းစစ်ဌာနချုပ်)

Bago and Magwe Bago and Divisions Divisions



× Infantry Battalions

Myanmar Army


South Western Command (အနောက်တောင်တိုင်းစစ်ဌာနချုပ်)

Division (Irrawaddy


Pathein (Bassein)


× Infantry Battalions


Western Command (အနောက်ပိုင်းတိုင်းစစ်ဌာနချုပ်)

Rakhine (Arakan) and Rakhine ( Chin States Chin States




× Infantry Battalions

North Western Command (အနောက်မြောက်တိုင်းစစ်ဌာနချုပ်)



× Infantry Battalions

Yangon Command




× Infantry Battalions




Coastal Region Command (ကမ်းရိုးတန်းတိုင်းစစ်ဌာနချုပ်)

Division)Tanintharyi Division (Tenassarim Myeik ( Mergui ) 43



Infantry Battalions

including battalions under 2 MOC based at Tavoy

Triangle Region Command (တြိဂံတိုင်းစစ်ဌာနချုပ်)

Eastern Shan State   Kyaingtong ( Kengtung ) 23 Infantry Battalions


Kyaingtong (Kengtung)


Infantry Battalions

Central Command (အလယ်ပိုင်းတိုင်းစစ်ဌာနချုပ်)



Infantry Battalions

Naypyidaw Command (နေပြည်တော်တိုင်းစစ်ဌာနချုပ်)


Formed in 2006 - ? × Infantry Battalions

Commanders of Regional Military Commands


Regional Military


First Commander



Command (RMC)


Eastern Command



South Eastern




Central Command



Original Southern Command in Taungoo was renamed Central Command in March 1990

North Western


Original North western Command in Mandalay was renamed Central Command in March 1990


South Western




Yangon Command



Formed as Naypyidaw Command in 1963 with deputy commander and some staff officers from Central Command. Renamed Yangon Command on 1 June 1965.

Western Command



North Eastern




Northern Command



Myanmar Army


Southern Command



Traingle Region


Thein Sein later became Prime Minister and elected as President in 2011


Coastal Region




Sit Maung was killed in Helicopter crash along with the then Chief of Staff (Army) Lt. General Tin Oo in 19 February








Eastern Central



Original Southern Command in Taungoo was renamed Central Command in March 1990


Regional Operations Commands (ROC)

Regional Operations Commands (ROC)( ေဒသကြပ္ကဲမႈ စစ္ဌာနခ်ဳပ္) are commanded by a Brigadier General, are similar to infantry brigades in Western Armies. Each consists of 4 Infantry battalions (Chay Hlyin Tatyin), HQ and organic support units. Commander of ROC is a position between LID/MOC commander and tactical Operation Command (TOC) commander, who commands only three infantry battalions. However, ROC commander enjoys financial, administrative and judicial authority while the MOC and LID commander does not have judicial authority. [5][15]

Regional Operation Command (ROC)



Loikaw Regional Operations Command


Laukai Regional Operations Command


Kalay Regional Operations Command


Sittwe Regional Operations Command


Pyay Regional Operations Command


Tanaing Regional Operations Command

Formerly ROC Bahmaw

Wanhseng Regional Operations Command

Formed in 2011 [16]

Military Operations Commands (MOC)

Military Operations Commands (MOC) (စစ်ဆင်ရေး ကွပ်ကဲမှု ဌာနချုပ် (စကခ)), commanded by a Brigadier-General, are similar to Infantry divisions in Western Armies. Each consists of 10 Mechanized Infantry battalions equipped with BTR-3 Armored Personnel Carriers, Headquarters and support units including field artillery batteries. These ten battalions are organized into three Tactical Operations Commands : one Mechanized Tactical Operations Command (with BTR-3 armored personal carriers) and two Motorized Tactical Operations Command (with EQ-2102 6x6 trucks).

MOC are equivalent to Light Infantry Division (LID) in Myanmar Army order of battle as both command 10 infantry battalions through three TOC (Tactical Operations Command). [15]

Myanmar Army


Military Operation Command (MOC)



1st Military Operations Command (MOC-1)

Kyaukme (ကျောက်မဲ), Shan State


2nd Military Operations Command (MOC-2)

Mong Nawng (မိုင်းနောင်), Shan State


3rd Military Operations Command (MOC-3)

Mogaung (မိုးကောင်း), Kachin State


4th Military Operations Command (MOC-4)

Hpugyi (ဖူးကြီး), Yangon Region

Designated Airborne Division

5th Military Operations Command (MOC-5)

Taungup (တောင်ကုတ်), Rakhine State


6th Military Operations Command (MOC-6)

Pyinmana (ပျဉ်းမနား), Mandalay Region


7th Military Operations Command (MOC-7)

Hpegon (ဖယ်ခုံ), Shan State


8th Military Operations Command (MOC-8)

Dawei (ထားဝယ်), Tanintharyi Region


9th Military Operations Command (MOC-9)

Kyauktaw (ကျောက်တော်), Rakhine State


10th Military Operations Command (MOC-10)

Kyigon (ကျီကုန်း (ကလေးဝ)), Sagaing Region


12th Military Operations Command (MOC-12)

Kawkareik (ကော့ကရိတ်), Kayin State


13th Military Operations Command (MOC-13)

Bokpyin (ဘုတ်ပြင်း), Tanintharyi Region


14th Military Operations Command (MOC-14)

Mong Hsat (မိုင်းဆတ်), Shan State


15th Military Operations Command (MOC-15)

Buthidaung (ဘူးသီးတောင်), Rakhine State


16th Military Operations Command (MOC-16)

Theinni (သိန်းနီ), Shan State


17th Military Operations Command (MOC-17)

Mong Pan (မိုင်းပန်), Shan State


18th Military Operations Command (MOC-18)

Mong Hpayak (မိုင်းပေါက်), Shan State


19th Military Operations Command (MOC-19)

Ye (ရေး), Mon State


20th Military Operations Command (MOC-20)

Kawthaung (ကော့သောင်း), Tanintharyi Region


21st Military Operations Command (MOC-21)

Bhamo (ဗန်းမော်), Kachin State


Light Infantry Divisions (LID)

Light Infantry Division (Chay Myan Tat Ma or Ta Ma Kha), commanded by a Brigadier-General, each with 10 Light Infantry Battalions organised under 3 Tactical Operations Commands, commanded by a Colonel, (3 battalions each and 1 reserve), 1 Field Artillery Battalion, 1 Armour Squadron and other support units. [5][15]

These divisions were first introduced to the Myanmar Army in 1966 as rapid reaction mobile forces for strike operations. 77th Light Infantry Division was formed on 6 June 1966, followed by 88th Light Infantry Division and 99th Light Infantry Division in the two following years. 77th LID was largely responsible for the defeat of the Communist forces of the CPB (Communist Party of Burma) based in the forested hills of the central Bago Yoma in the mid-1970s. Three more LIDs were raised in the latter half of 1970s (the 66th, 55th and 44th) with their headquarters at Pyay, Aungban and Thaton. They were followed by another two LIDs in the period prior to the 1988 military coup (the 33rd LID with headquarters at Sagaing and the 22nd LID with headquarters at Hpa-An). 11th LID was formed in December 1988 with headquarters at Inndine, Bago Division and 101st LID was formed in 1991 with its headquarters at Pakokku. [5][15]

Each LID, commanded by Brigadier General (Bo hmu gyoke) level officers, consists of 10 light infantry battalions specially trained in counter-insurgency, jungle warfare, "search and destroy" operations against ethnic insurgents and narcotics-based armies. These Battalions are organised under three Tactical Operations Commands (TOC; Nee byu har). Each TOC, commanded by a Colonel (Bo hmu gyi), is made up of three or more combat Battalions, with command and support elements similar to that of brigades in Western armies. One infantry battalion was held in reserve. As of 2000, all LID have their own organic Field Artillery units. For example, 314th Field Artillery Battery

Myanmar Army


is now attached to 44th LID. Some of the LID battalions have been given Parachute and Air Borne Operations training and two of the LIDs have been converted to mechanised infantry formation with divisional artillery, armoured reconnaissance and tank battalions [5]

LIDs are considered to be a strategic asset of the Myanmar Army, and after the 1990 reorganisation and restructuring of the Tatmadaw command structure, they are now directly answerable to Chief of Staff (Army). [5][15]

Light Infantry Division (LID)









1988 Inndine Col. Win Myint   Formed after 1988 military coup.



Col. Win Myint


Formed after 1988 military coup.

11th Light Infantry Division

1987 Hpa-An Col. Tin Hla   Involved in crackdown of unarmed protestors during 8.8.88 democracy


Col. Tin Hla


Involved in crackdown of unarmed protestors during 8.8.88 democracy uprising

22nd Light Infantry Division

1984 Sagaing Col. Kyaw Ba    


Col. Kyaw Ba


33rd Light Infantry Division

1979 Thaton Col. Myat Thin    


Col. Myat Thin


44th Light Infantry Division

1980 Sagaing /Kalaw Col. Phone Myint    


Col. Phone Myint


55th Light Infantry Division

Myanmar Army


1976 Pyay Col. Taung Zar Khaing  


Col. Taung Zar Khaing


66th Light Infantry Division

1966 Hmawbi Col. Tint Swe  


Col. Tint Swe


77th Light Infantry Division

1967 Magway Col. Than Tin  


Col. Than Tin


88th Light Infantry Division

1968 Meiktila Col. Kyaw Htin  


Col. Kyaw Htin


99th Light Infantry Division



Col. Saw Tun

Units of 101st LID were deployed during the purge of Military Intelligence faction in 2004.

Myanmar Army


Artillery and armoured units

Artillery and armoured units were not used in an independent role, but were deployed in support of the infantry by the Ministry of Defence as required. The Directorate of Artillery and Armour Corps was also divided into separate corps in 2001. A dramatic expansion of forces under these directorates followed with the equipment procured from China, Russia, Ukraine and India. [5] [15]

Directorate of Artillery

No. 1 Artillery Battalion was formed in 1952 with three artillery batteries under the Directorate of Artillery Corps. A further three artillery battalions were formed in the late 1952. This formation remained unchanged until 1988. Since 2000, the Directorate of Artillery Corps has overseen the expansion of Artillery Operations Commands(AOC) from two to 10. Tatmadaw's stated intention is to establish an organic Artillery Operations Command in each of the 12 Regional Military Command Headquarters. Each Artillery Operation Command is composed of the following: [13]

Operation Command is composed of the following: [ 1 3 ] 707th Artillery Operation Command As

707th Artillery Operation Command

As of 2000, the Artillery wing of the Tatmadaw has about 60 Battalions and 37 independent Artillery companies/batteries attached to various Regional Military Commands (RMC), Light Infantry Divisions (LID), Military Operation Command (MOC) and Regional Operation Command (ROC)s. For example, 314th Field Artillery Battery is under 44th LID, 326 Field Artillery Battery is attached to 5th MOC, 074 Field Artillery Battery is under the command of ROC (Bhamo) and 076 Field Artillery Battery is under North-Eastern RMC. Twenty of these Artillery battalions are grouped under 707th Artillery Operation Command (AOC) headquarters in Kyaukpadaung and 808th Artillery Operation Command (AOC) headquarters in Oaktwin, near Taungoo. The remaining 30 battalions, including 7 Anti-Aircraft artillery battalions are under the Directorate of Artillery Corps. [5] [15]

Artillery Operations Command (AOC) (အမြောက်စစ်ဆင်ရေးကွပ်ကဲမှု ဌာနချုပ်)


HQ battalion

• 3 Medium Field Artillery battalion equipped with 155 mm, 130 mm, 122 mm howitzers and field guns,

• 1 Multiple Rocket Launcher battalion equipped with 122 mm self-propelled and towed launchers,


1 Air Defence Artillery battalion with 37 mm, 57 mm Anti-Aircraft

guns or SA 18 IGLAs) man portable surface-to-air missiles and 1 target acquisition battalion.


support units

1 target acquisition battalion. •• support units Armoured Operation Command Light field artillery battalions

Armoured Operation Command

Light field artillery battalions consists of 3 field artillery batteries with 36 field guns or howitzers (12 guns per battery). Medium artillery battalions consists of 3 medium artillery batteries of 18 field guns or howitzers (6 guns per one battery). [13] As of 2011, all field guns of Myanmar Artillery Corps are undergoing upgrade programs including GPS Fire Control Systems.

Myanmar Army


Artillery Operations Command (AOC)



505th Artillery Operations Command



606th Artillery Operations Command



707th Artillery Operations Command



808th Artillery Operations Command



909th Artillery Operations Command


901st Artillery Operations Command



902nd Artillery Operations Command


903rd Artillery Operations Command



904th Artillery Operations Command



905th Artillery Operations Command


Directorate of Armour

No.1 Armour Company and No.2 Armour Company was formed in July 1950 under the Directorate of Armour and Artillery Corps with Sherman tanks, Stuart Light Tanks, Humber Amour Scout Cars, Ferret Armoured Cars and Univerl Bren Carriers. These two companies were merged on 1 November 1950 to become No. 1 Armour Battalion with Headquarter in Mingalardon. On 15 May 1952 No. Tank Battalion was formed with 25 Comet Tanks acquired from United Kingdom. The Armour Corps within Myanmar Army was the most neglected one for nearly thirty years since the Tatmadaw did not procure any new tanks or armour carriers since 1961. [17]

Armoured divisions, known as Armoured Operations Command (AROC), under the command of Directorate of Armour Corps, were also expanded in number from one to two, each with four Armoured Combat battalions equipped with Infantry fighting vehicles and Armored personnel carriers, three Tank battalions equipped with Main battle Tanks and three Tank battalions equipped with Light Tank. [15] In mid-2003, Tamadaw acquired 139+ T-72 Main battle Tanks from Ukraine and signed a contract to build and equip a factory in Myanmar to produce and assemble 1,000 BTR Armored personnel carriers in 2004. [18] In 2006, the Government of India transferred an unspecified number of T-55 Main battle Tanks that were being phased out from active service to Tatmadaw along with 105 mm Light Field Guns, armoured personnel carriers and indigenous HAL Light Attack Helicopters in return for Tatmadaws support and cooperation in flushing out Indian insurgent groups operating from its soil. [19]

Armoured Operations Command (AROC)

Armoured Operations Commands (AROC) are equivalent to Independent Armoured Divisions in western term. Currently there are 5 Armoured Operations Commands under Directorate of Armoured Corps in Tatmadaw order of battle. Tatmadaw planned to establish an AROC each in 7 Regional Military Commands. [13] Typical Armoured Division in Myanmar Army composed of Headquarter, Three Armored Tactical Operations Command - each with one Mechanized battalion equipped with 44 BMP-1 or MAV-1 Infantry Fighting Vehicles, Two Tanks Battalions equipped with 44 Main Battle Tanks each, one Armored Reconnaissance battalion equipped with 32 Type-63A Amphibious Light Tanks, one Field Artillery battalion and a Support battalion. Support battalion composed of an engineer squadron, two logistic squadrons and a signal company. [13]

Myanmar Army has taken delivery of 150 EE-9 Cascavels from Israeli army(?) surplus in 2005. Although EE 9 are armoured reconnaissance vehicle, Myanmar Army categorized them as light tank and deploys them in eastern Shan State and triangle regions near Thai-Myanmar border.

Myanmar Army


Armoured Operations Command (ArOC)



71st Armoured Operations Command



72nd Armoured Operations Command



73rd Armoured Operations Command



74th Armoured Operations Command



75th Armoured Operations Command



Bureau of Air Defense

The Air Defence Command was formed during the late 1990s but was not fully operational until late 1999. It was renamed Bureau of Air Defense in the early 2000s (decade). In early 2000, Tatmadaw established Myanmar Integrated Air Defence System (MIADS) with help from Russia, Ukraine and China. It is a tri-service bureau with units from all three branches of Myanmar Armed Forces. All Air Defence assets except Anti-Aircraft Artillery within Tatmadaw arsenal are integrated into MIADS. AAA guns are mostly unguided and deploy to use in barrage-style firing against attacking aircraft. MIADS is directly answerable to Bureau of Air Defence under Ministry of Defence. [13]

In 2010, Myanmar Air Defense Command has completed installation of optical fiber communication network throughout the country. Those network are to be used for Air defense operations between Central Command HQ from capital & several air bases, early warning radar stations & mobile anti air craft missile & artillery units. After completion of fiber optic project & radar stations, MIADS (Myanmar Integrated Air Defense System) becomes the most advance AD system in the region.

Chief of Staff of Air Defence



Lt. General Soe Win


Later became Prime Minister

Lt. General Myint Hlaing



Lt. General Sein Win

2010 - current


Sector Operations Commands

Under MIADS, the country was divided into six Air Defense Sectors, each controlled by a Sector Operations Center (SOC) and reporting directly to the National Air Defense Operations Center (ADOC) in Yangon. Each SOC transmitted data back to Intercept Operations Centers (IOC), which in turn controlled SAM batteries and fighter/interceptor squadrons at various Air Bases. Each IOC was optimized to direct either SAMs or fighter/interceptor aircraft against incoming enemy aircraft or missile. Each IOC was connected to observer and early warning area reporting posts (RP) via military owned underground fibre optic cable network. There were about 100 radar stations located at approximately 40 sites throughout the country. New Air Defence radars such as 1L117 radars, Galaxy Early Warning Radar and P series radars are installed in all radar stations. [13]

Each Sector Operation Center (SOC) is commanded by a Major General and it consists of one air defense division from Myanmar Army and one fighter-interceptor wing from Myanmar Air Force. Sometimes Air Defense Frigates from Myanmar Navy also operates under the direct command of respective SOC.

Each Air Defense division is commanded by a Brigadier General and consists of three Air Defense Tactical Operations Command (TOC) and support units. One Medium Range Surface to Air Missile Tactical Operations Command (MRSAM-TOC), with three battalions equipped with Buk M-1 or Kub missile system is deployed in an Area Defense Belt role. One Short Range Air Defense Tactical Operations Command (SHORAD-TOC), with three battalions equipped with Tor M-1 missile system is deployed in a Point Defense role for critical areas such as radar stations, fighter bases and SOC headquarters. One Electronic Reconnaissance Tactical Operations Command

Myanmar Army


(EIR-TOC) with 6 to 8 radar and communication companies for early warnings and interdiction detection.

Each fighter-interceptor wing commanded by a Brigadier General and is composed of three Fighter squadrons of either MiG-29 and F-7M Airguard Interceptors (ten aircraft per squadron) and their ground base support units. [13]

Sector Operation Centers



Northern SOC


Southern SOC


Western SOC


Eastern SOC


South Eastern SOC


Central SOC


Directorate of Signal

Soon after the independence in 1948, Myanmar Signal Corps was formed with units from Burma Signals, also known as "X" Branch. It consisted HQ Burma Signals, Burma Signal Training Squadron (BSTS) and Burma Signals Squadron. HQ Burma Signals was located within War Office. BSTS based in Pyain Oo Lwin was formed with Operating Cipher Training Troop, Dispacth Rider Training Troop, Lineman Training Troop, Radio Mechanic Training Troop and Regimental Signals Training Troop. BSS, based in Mingalardon, had nince sections: Administration Troop, Maintenance Troop, Operating

Troop, Cipher Troop, Lineman and Dispatch Rider Troop, NBSD Singals Troop, SBSD Signals Troop, Mobile Brigade Singals Toop and Arakan Singals Toop. The then Chief of Signal Staff Officer (CSO) was Lieutenant Colonel Saw Aung Din. BSTS and BSS

were later renamed No. 1 Signal Battalion and No.1 Signal Training Battalion. In 1952, the Infantry Divisional Signals Regiment was formed and later renamed to No. 2 Signal Battalion. HQ Burma Signals was reorganised and became Directorate Signal and the director was elevated to the rank of Colonel. In 1956, No. 1 Signal Security Battalion was formed, followed by No. 3 Signal Battalion in November 1958 and No.4 Signal Battalion in October

in November 1958 and No.4 Signal Battalion in October Directorate of Signal 1959. In 1961, signal

Directorate of Signal


In 1961, signal battalions were reorganised as No. 11 Signal Battalion under North Eastern Regional Military Command, No. 121 Signal Battalion under Eastern Command, No. 313 Signal Battalion under Central Command, No.414 Signal Battalion under South Western Command, and No. 515 Signal Battalion under South Eastern Command. No.1 Signal Training Battalion was renamed Burma Signal Training Depot (Baho-Setthweye-Tat).

By 1988, Directorate of Signals command one training depot, eight signal battalions, one signal security battalion, one signal store depot and two signal workshops. Siganl Corps under Directorate of Signal further expanded during 1990 expansion and reorganisation of Myanmar Armed Forces. By 2000, a signal battalion is attached to each Regional Military Command and signal companies are now attached to Light Infantry Divisions and Military Operations Commands.

In 2000, Command, Control and Communication system of Myanmar Army has been substantially upgraded by setting up the military fibre optic communication network managed by Directorate of Signal throughout the country. Since 2002 all Myanmar Army Regional Military Command HQs used its own telecommunication system. Satellite communication links are also provided to forward-deployed infantry battalions. However, battle field communication systems are still poor. Infantry units are still using TRA 906 and PRM 4051 which were acquired from UK in 1980s. Myanmar Army also uses Thura (locally built TRA 906) and XD-D6M (Chinese) radio sets.

Myanmar Army


Frequency hopping handsets are fitted to all front line units. [21]

Between 2000 to 2005, Myanmar army bought 50 units of Brett 2050 Advanced Tech radio set from Aussie through third party from Singapore. Those units are distributed to ROCs in central & upper regions to use in counterinsurgency operations. [13][15]

Directorate of Medical Services

At the time of independence in 1948, the medical corps has two Base Military Hospitals, each with 300 beds, in Mingalardon and Pyin Oo Lwin, a Medical Store Depot in Yangon, a Dental Unit and six Camp Reception Stations located in Myitkyina, Sittwe, Taungoo, Pyinmana, Bago and Meikhtila. Between 1958 and 1962, the medical corps was restructred and all Camp Reception Stations were reorganised into Medical Battalions.

In 19889, Directorate of Medical Services has significantly expanded along with the infantry. In 2007, there are two 1,000-bed Defence Services General

Hospitals (Mingalardon and Naypyitaw), two 700-bed hospitals in Pyin Oo Lwin and Aung Ban, two 500-bed military hospitals in Meikhtila and Yangon, one 500-bed Defence Services Orthopedic Hospital in Mingalardon, two 300-bed Defence Services Obstetric, Gynecological and Children hospitals (Mingalardon and Naypyitaw), three 300-bed Military Hospitals (Myitkyina, Ann and Kengtung), eighteen 100-bed Military Hospitals (Mongphyet, Baan, Indaing, Bahtoo, Myeik, Pyay, Loikaw, Namsam, Lashio, Kalay, Mongsat, Dawai, Kawthaung, Laukai, Thandaung, Magway, Sittwe, and Hommalin), fourteen field medical battalions, which are attached to various Regional Military Commands throughout the country. Each Field Medical Battalion consist of 3 Field Medical Companies with 3 Field Hospital Units and a specialist team each. Health & Disease Control Unit (HDCU) is responsible for prevention, control & eradication of diseases.

for prevention, control & eradication of diseases. Directorate of Army Medical Services Units Headquarter

Directorate of Army Medical Services




Medical Corps Centre

Yangon Command

No.(1) Field Medical Battalion

Central Command

No.(2) Field Medical Battalion

Eastern Command

No.(3) Field Medical Battalion

Southern Command

No.(4) Field Medical Battalion

South Western Command

No.(5) Field Medical Battalion

South Eastern Command

No.(6) Field Medical Battalion


Yangon Command

No.(7) Field Medical Battalion

North Western Command

No.(8) Field Medical Battalion

Western Command

No.(9) Field Medical Battalion

Northern Command

No.(10) Field Medical Battalion

North Eastern Command

No.(11) Field Medical Battalion

Northern Command

No.(12) Field Medical Battalion

Triangle Region Command

No.(13) Field Medical Battalion

Costal Region Command

No.(14) Field Medical Battalion

Yangon Command

Health and Disease Control Unit

Yangon Command

Myanmar Army




Defence academies and colleges




National Defence College - NDC Naypyidaw (ေနၿပည္ေတာ္)


Defence Services Command and General Staff College - DSCGSC Kalaw (ကေလာ)


Defence Services Academy (စစ္တကၠသိုလ္) - DSA Pyin U Lwin (ၿပင္ဦးလြင္)

Defence Services Academy(စစ္တကၠသိုလ္) - DSA

Pyin U Lwin(ၿပင္ဦးလြင္)

Defence Services Technological Academy - DSTA Pyin U Lwin (ၿပင္ဦးလြင္)

Pyin U Lwin (ၿပင္ဦးလြင္)

Defence Services Medical Academy - DSMA Yangon (ရန္ကုန္)


Defence Services Institute of Nursing and Paramedical Science - DSINP Yangon (ရန္ကုန္)

Yangon (ရန္ကုန္)

Military Computer And Technological Institute - MCTI Hopong (ဟိုပုံး)


Training schools

Training Schools



Officer Training School - OTS

Officer Training School - OTS Fort Ba Htoo

Basic Army Combat Training School

Fort Ba Htoo

Basic Army Combat Training School Fort Ba Htoo

1st Army Combat Forces School

Fort Ba Htoo

1st Army Combat Forces School Fort Ba Htoo

2nd Army Combat Forces School

2nd Army Combat Forces School Fort Bayinnaung

Artillery Training School

Mone Tai

Artillery Training School Mone Tai

Myanmar Army


Armour Training School

Maing Maw


Electronic Warfare School


Engineer School

Pyin U Lwin


Information Warfare School


Air, Land and Paratroops Training School

Air, Land and Paratroops Training School Hmawbi

Special Forces School


Ranks and insignia

The various rank of the Myanmar Army are listed below in descending order: [13]

Commissioned officers

Note: Senior General (OF-10) and Vice Senior General rank are currently inactive . General is now the highest rank in Myanmar Armed Forces and Lieutenant General/Vice Admiral in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Bureau of Air Defense, Chief of Staff, Adjutant General, Quartermaster General and Bureau of Special Operations.


Myanmar Armed



ဒုတိယ ဗိုလ်ချုပ်မှူးကြီး


ဒုတိယ ဗိုလ်ချုပ်ကြီး



Bo Gyoke Hmu Gyi

Du Bo Gyoke Hmu Gyi

Bo Gyoke

Du Bo Gyoke Kyee

Bo Gyoke

Bo Hmu Gyoke









Western Version

Vice Senior General








Myanmar Army



Myanmar Armed Forces


ဒုတိယ ဗိုလ်မှူးကြီး




ဒုတိယ ဗိုလ္

Bo Hmu Gyi

Du Bo Hmu Gyi

Bo Hmu

Bo Gyi


Du Bo







Western Version








Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs)

Non-Commissioned Officers are referred to as Saya, meaning Teacher, by both enlisted men and officers. For example, Warrant Officers, Regimental Sergeant Majors and Master Sergeant are referred to as Sayagyi, literally meaning "Old Teacher", Sergeant are referred to as Saya and Corporal/Lance Corporal as Sayalay. These unofficial ranks are used throughout the daily life of all branches. Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) within the Myanmar Armed Forces are usually seasoned veteran soldiers. Thus both Officers and enlisted men refer to them as "teacher" out of respect.

men refer to them as "teacher" out of respect. Myanmar Armed Forces Myanmar title

Myanmar Armed Forces







Ayagan Bo

Du-Ayagan Bo

Tatkhwè Tatkyatkyi




Western Version

Order of battle



13 x Regional Military Commands (RMC) organised in 6 Bureau of Special Operations (BSO)

10 x Armoured Operation Commands (AOC) (Each with 6 Tank Battalions and 4 Armoured Infantry Battalions


6 x Regional Operations Commands (ROC)


20 × Military Operations Commands (MOC) including 1 x Airborne Infantry Division


10 x Light Infantry Divisions (LID)


(IFVs/APCs).) 10 x Artillery Operation Commands (AOC) (with of 113 Field Artillery Battalions)

6 x Anti-Aircraft Artillery/Air Defence Division (Each with 3 × Medium Range SAM Battalions, 3 × Short Range SAM Battalions, 3 × AAA/AD Battalion)

Myanmar Army



40+ Military Affair Security Companies (MAS Units replaces former Military Intelligence Units after the disbandment of the Directorate of Defense Service Intelligence (DDSI)) 45 Advanced Signal Battalions 54 Field Engineer Battalions 4 Armoured Engineer Battalions 14 Medical Battalions






Combat vehicles











Acquired from India.


Main battle tank



Purchased from Ukraine. [23]


Main battle tank










Type 62 [28] Type 62 [ 2 8 ]





Type 63 [ 3 0 ] Type 63 [30]








WWII Vintage








BTR-3U [33][34] B T R - 3 U



(1,000 on

Purchased as kits to be assembled locally until 2013 to circumvent embargo.





delivered in 2007






Mine protected armoured personnel carrier.




Sold By Israel, based in eastern Shan State and triangle regions near Thai-Myanmar border. [39]

Armoured personnel Ferret armoured car carrier 4 5 [40] UK WWII vintage






WWII vintage


Myanmar Army


Humber Pig Armoured personnel 40 [ ] UK  

Armoured personnel









Armoured personnel




1983-1991 locally made 12.7mm machine gun

MAV-1 [42]



Image [44]


Wheeled Tank Destroyer

24+ [45]

Type 84 [ 4 6 ] Armoured unknown   China Seen on Local MRTV

Type 84 [46]



Seen on Local MRTV




Israel Overhaul

Image [47]


Image [47]

Type 653 [49]










SH1 Image[50]

SH 1

China [51]


155mm self-propelled howitzer155mm self-propelled howitzer




mm self-propelled howitzer




Used during Battle of Border Post 9631with Thais, Seen on Local TV