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Paetongtarn Shinawatra Blends Strategy and Style in Thailand’s First Mini-NDC Defence Course

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In a move that’s stirring up the waters of Thai politics and military education, Pheu Thai Party stalwart Paetongtarn Shinawatra recently stepped into a role that’s part strategic genius and part fashionista. As she sifted through jackets, picking out the perfect ensemble for her orientation day, there was an air of anticipation and style that one could argue, only a Shinawatra could bring to the military corridors. This was no ordinary Friday. Paetongtarn was gearing up to join the orientation for the nation’s inaugural national defence curriculum for young executives, or as the cool kids are calling it, the mini-NDC course.

But why stop at just attending? Paetongtarn Shinawatra is going full-throttle, wearing the hat of an advisory board member for the course, alongside two notable figures: Issara Sereewatthanawut from King Prajadhipok’s Institute, and Khanapoj Joemrith, who’s not just Paetongtarn’s friend but also a visionary in his right. Together, they’re like the Avengers of national defence education, ready to offer sage advice and ensure the mini-NDC course sails smoothly through its inaugural journey.

This isn’t your grandfather’s defence course. We’re talking about a program that’s drawing in the who’s who of Thailand’s youth — from mid-level military buffs and government officials to the glitterati of social media stars, actors, and business moguls. It’s part of the military’s soft-power charm offensive, aimed at knitting together a fabric of society that’s aware, analytical, and ready to take on leadership roles with the agility of a panther. Move over, traditional defence courses for the over-50s; the mini-NDC is here, and it’s making security studies cool again.

Out of a Hogwarts-sized hat of 500 hopefuls, 150 lucky muggles were chosen to embark on this six-month adventure, starting this April. Imagine this: 50 of these are high-ranking colonels and police officers, with the rest being a mix of civilians from every corner of society, including the political arena. It’s like setting the stage for the most riveting reality show, but with national security on the line.

Paetongtarn, with the sparkle of ambition in her eyes, shared her excitement about joining the young executives’ program. “I’ve had my eye on the NDC programme for the longest time, and when I heard about the young executives’ version, you bet I was all in,” she said, practically buzzing with anticipation. She’s banking on the wealth of new connections and fresh perspectives she’ll gain from this experience, especially as she navigates the complex waters of Thai politics. “A new society inspires you to learn new things from new people,” she mused, a twinkle of wisdom in her eye hinting at the strategic depth she brings to the table.

But it’s not all just networking and learning; Paetongtarn’s got her sights set on the bigger picture too — military reform. In a world that spins faster by the day, she believes that staying rooted is not an option, for the military or otherwise. “Conversations are the magic potion here,” she asserts, advocating for open dialogues in parliament to untangle the web of issues, big and small, that shape the future of Thailand.

As Paetongtarn Shinawatra steps into this new role, blending fashion with fortitude, strategy with camaraderie, it’s clear that the mini-NDC course is not just a program but a beacon of change for Thai society. And with leaders like her at the helm, the journey ahead is as promising as it is exciting.


  1. Tommy79 March 22, 2024

    Is it really wise mixing politics and military education like this? Seems like a recipe for partiality and influence peddling.

    • SiamSunray March 22, 2024

      It’s all about perspective. Having a political figure in the mix could offer valuable insights that are often missing in traditional military settings.

      • TrueBlue March 22, 2024

        Valuable insights? More like an opportunity to skew military education with political bias. Not a fan.

    • Tommy79 March 22, 2024

      I do see your point, SiamSunray, about different perspectives. Just worried about the potential downsides.

  2. Judy_inBangkok March 22, 2024

    Paetongtarn stepping into military education is a bold move. She’s definitely breaking stereotypes!

  3. Historian101 March 22, 2024

    This could be a turning point for how military education is perceived. Mixing civilian leaders and military officials in such courses could foster better understanding. Optimistic about this!

    • SkepticGuy March 22, 2024

      Optimistic? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The proof is in the pudding, and this pudding hasn’t even been served yet.

      • Historian101 March 22, 2024

        Fair point, SkepticGuy. It’s true that only time will tell the effectiveness of this initiative.

  4. FashionFoward March 22, 2024

    Can we take a moment to applaud Paetongtarn for bringing some style into the military corridors? It’s refreshing!

    • GrumpyVeteran March 22, 2024

      Style over substance… That’s the problem with today’s leaders. Military is about discipline, not fashion shows.

      • FashionFoward March 22, 2024

        I think there’s room for both. Embracing style doesn’t mean sacrificing substance.

  5. divider_in_chief March 22, 2024

    The Shinawatra family just can’t stay away from the spotlight, huh? Always finding a way to stay relevant, for better or worse.

    • BangkokNative March 22, 2024

      It’s precisely because of their drive and vision. Regardless of your view on the Shinawatras, their impact is undeniable.

      • divider_in_chief March 22, 2024

        Impact, yes, but not always the good kind. It’s a mixed bag with them.

  6. RealTalkRaj March 22, 2024

    Mixing military, politics, and celebrities? Sounds like a reality TV show waiting to happen. Not sure I’m on board with this.

    • CelebWatcher March 22, 2024

      But imagine the visibility and interest it’ll bring to military education! Could be a game-changer in how people perceive it.

      • RealTalkRaj March 22, 2024

        Visibility isn’t always positive. It’s about the quality of engagement, not just turning heads.

  7. GenZVoice March 22, 2024

    As someone from the younger generation, I’m actually excited about this. Makes national defense seem more accessible and less of a distant concept.

    • OldSchool March 22, 2024

      Accessible? Maybe. Diluted? Definitely. National defense isn’t a ‘cool club’ to join. It’s serious business.

      • GenZVoice March 22, 2024

        Nobody’s saying it isn’t serious. But making it relatable can inspire more young people to get involved and understand its importance.

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