General Udomdej Sitabutr is another "Eastern Tiger" who has made his way to the top of the Army, succeeding his elder "tiger" General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Both Udomdej and Prayut belong to the Burapha Phayuk or Eastern Tigers faction, otherwise known as the 2nd Infantry Division. Many years ago, Udomdej fought alongside Prayut in Sa Kaew’s Ta Phraya district.
Unlike outspoken Prayut, Udomdej is quiet, calm and subtle. In fact, he mostly kept a low profile until he was made secretary-general of the National Council for Peace and Order and the deputy defence minister. Trusted by Prayut, Udomdej was always the strongest candidate to be Army commander-in-chief.
Udomdej has held several key posts in the Army, including First Army Area commander, Army chief of staff, and deputy Army chief. Like Prayut, he is known to be decisive with determination and loyalty to the monarchy.
Udomdej has been assigned to take charge of the insurgency in the far South and peace talks with insurgent groups.
After his appointment, the Army chief announced that he would not allow even a centimetre of Thailand to be lost. He will have one year in office to prove himself before he retires next year.