Ror Dor, or more well known as ROTC, is a mandatory military service, provided to international school students all around Thailand if they don’t want their name put in the military draft when they are 18. This provides the chance to go through real-life military routines for 8 hours during a Saturday, for 10 Saturdays a year. You are allowed to skip 2 saturdays, with the ability to skip more due to military service. Each student is required to do 3 years of ROTC, and as a ROTC participant, here is a day in the life of an ROTC soldier.
Most people get to sleep in on their Saturdays, but not us soldiers. We have to wake up, eat, and prepare our uniform by 6:20a.m., to catch the bus to the military campus at 6:30.
We arrive at the campus around 7:15, just enough time to touch up on your uniform for the 7:45 roll-call.
During roll-call, we have to stand in numerical order, and sign a paper signifying that you have arrived and is willing to participate in the first part of the day, which is usually marching and lectures. We then, at 8 on-the-dot, sing the Thai national anthem, and if you are Buddhist, recite your prayers. We also learn basic military movements, like how to turn, salute, and properly communicate with your instructor. This lasts about 4 hours from 8:30-11:30, which is lunch time.
Lunch lasts from 11:30-12:20, which is afternoon roll call. We then proceed to more marching, and basic military command movements which are repeated till the movements are embedded in your muscles. We practice these movements till 3, where then, we have a 20 minute break to get snacks and a beverage, as it is usually incredibly hot at the military base.
After the break, we then get lectured from 3:20-4:30, where we revise the movements that we have learnt over the day, and the group with the most in-sync and steady movements get to leave first. Before leaving, you have to pass uniform inspection, which if you don’t pass, will have to stay until 6:30 at night to tidy and redo your whole uniform. When you pass uniform inspections, you march out the gate as a group and then you’re fully dismissed.
Overall, ROTC was set-up to communicate with Thai citizens that no matter what you do, or wherever in the world you are, you must always be prepared to put your life on the line for the monarch and the country.