Red and black cards held the fate of more than 1,100 Pattaya-area men who lined up in Banglamung to see if they would be conscripted into Thailand’s military.
The Royal Thai Army and Navy conscripted 171 new cadets – 123 for the navy and 48 for the army – at their annual draft event April 9 at Banglamung Community Center. Another 108 volunteered, bringing the enlistment total to 279.
One of the males at the military conscription is ecstatic when picking the black card.
All Thai male nationals at age 21 must submit themselves for the draft, although many are turned away for not meeting physical requirements, excused for educational reasons or dismissed due to trans-gender issues.
The men from Nongprue, Huay Yai, Nong Plalai, Khao Maikaew, Takientia, and Pong sub-districts excitedly completed applications, took blood tests and physicals, and were measured for height and weight. Some were disqualified for health reasons while about 100 requested postponements due to educational, religious or gender issues.
The decision came down to a drawing of cards; red meant conscription and black excused them. Families cheered on the drawing much like a sporting event, with participants and families cheering, laughing, screaming and some crying.