Royal Bhutan Army

Royal Bhutan Army

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Royal Bhutan Army

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The Royal Bhutan Army (RBA), is a branch of the armed forces of the Kingdom of Bhutan responsible for maintaining the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty against security threats. The King of Bhutan is the Supreme Commander in Chief of the RBA. The Chief Operations Officer is Goonglon Wogma (Major General) Batoo Tshering.

The RBA includes the Royal Body Guards (RBG), an elite branch of the armed forces responsible for the security of the King, the Royal Family, and other VIPs.

It is customary, but not obligatory, for one son from each Bhutanese family to serve. In addition, militia may be recruited during emergencies. It may, from time to time, be called on to assist the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) in maintaining law and order.


The RBA was formed in the 1950s in response to the Chinese take over and subsequent People's Liberation Army actions in Tibet with intense pressure by India. In 1958, the royal government introduced a conscription system and plans for a standing army of 2,500 soldiers. The Indian government had also repeatedly urged and pressured Bhutan to end its neutrality or isolationist policy and accept Indian economic and military assistance. This was because India considered...
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