The Thahan Phran (ทหารพราน; literally "Hunter Soldiers"; Rangers) is a paramilitary light infantry force which patrols the borders of Thailand and is part of the Royal Thai Army (RTA). The Thahan Phran operate in conjunction with the Border Patrol Police (BPP), but are trained and equipped to engage in combat while the BPP is primarily a law enforcement agency.
Before joining Thahan Phran, all candidates must be able to pass the following requirements:
- Age 18-29
- Thai citizen
- Passing grade on physical fitness exam
- Graduate of grade 5
- Residency near the deployment site
Lacking the above requirements, the candidates must have a special ability such as relevant regional experience.
The headquarters at Pak Thong Chai, some 30 km south-southwest of Korat, was closed on September 30 of 2000 and command transferred to the army's four regional headquarters. The Thahan Phran now has thirteen regimental headquarters (each with 46 headquarters personnel), 107 90-man companies, and twelve women's squads (each 11-strong).
Five regiments, with 37 companies, are now responsible for guarding the border with Myanmar - the 31st, 32nd, 35th and 36th Regiments in the northwest, and the 14th Regiment in Kanchanaburi.