Lieutenant General Hun Manet, deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), said the high number of candidates taking recruitment exam this year indicates strong support the military has garnered from young people.

The Ministry of National Defence will select 380 out of the more than 6,000 young candidates, Manet said during a March 5 event marking the start of the exam at Bak Touk High School in Phnom Penh.

A total of 6,399 candidates, 2,998 of them women, took the exam at four testing centres, all in the capital. Those who pass this exam will still have to compete for rankings as the number of openings is limited.

Manet encouraged all candidates to make an effort to complete all subjects and answer all questions and to be thorough in General Knowledge, English and Physical Education as candidates will have to compete to get a ranking according to the set number.

“If you do not do well in any subject, do not be discouraged, try to do well in the other subjects, because when totalling the score, it is cumulative. Because I am a scorer, I know, some do well at general knowledge, but are poor at English. Others are not very good at sports. Some do not do well in general knowledge, but their English is very good,” he said.

But Pheap, director of the School of Active Military Thmart Porng, said the recruitment of the new generation of RCAF soldiers this year will be fair and transparent.

He noted that the candidates’ worksheet will be packed and sent from the testing centres to another place where the letterhead will be cut and marked with password before being sent to another location.

“Different letterhead, different worksheet … so there’s no knowing who correct the worksheet, who cut the letterhead or who mark them aside from the heads of the exam committee. That is why I think it is accurate and eliminates favouritism,” he said.