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Royal Military College
File:Logo Royal Military College.png
Active July 1952 – Present
Country Malaysia
Type Cadet training
Garrison/HQ Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Motto(s) Serve to Lead

The Royal Military College (also known as RMC) is a school established to train young Malaysians for service in the Malaysian Armed Forces. The RMC campus covers an area of 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) near the town of Sungai Besi (about 10 miles (16 km) from Kuala Lumpur) with a view of the Mines Resort and the 1998 Commonwealth Games Bukit Jalil Stadium. RMC shares its grounds with the National Defence University of Malaysia. In the Malay language, it is known as Maktab Tentera Diraja. A current student of RMC is known as a Present Putera, while a graduate of the institution is known as an Old Putera or "OP" in short. The term Putera, literally meaning prince in Malay, is attributed to the RMC's royal status.


The Charter of the Royal Military College says that the Royal Military College has been established with the objective of preparing young Malaysians to take places as Officers in the Malaysian Armed Forces, in the higher divisions of the public service and as leaders in the professional, commercial and industrial life of the country.

The motto of the college is "Serve to Lead" or Berkhidmat Memimpin.

Sportsman's Prayer

The Sportsman's Prayer is inscribed on a bronze plaque, on a white rock that sits by the rugby field in the college compound.

The Sportsman's Prayer is traditionally recited before a sporting competition by the members of a team. The prayer is as follows:

"Oh God, please help me to win for I always want to win. But if in thy inscrutable wisdom Thou willest me not to win, then make me a good loser. For when the one great scorer comes to write against your name, he writes not that you won or lost, but how you played the game."


Prior to 1952, there had been what was called the “Training Depot of the Malay Regiment” in Port Dickson. Here courses were held in signals, tactics and military administration. The Depot also provide educational facilities to bring selected members of the Regiment up to the necessary academic standard for acceptance at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, for higher military training, with a view to qualifying for commissioned rank.

A passing-out parade at the RMC's marching grounds, also known as the parade square. The building in the foreground is the Tun Templer Hall.

On 3 July 1952, Mr. M.E.B. David, the Secretary of Defence, in the Federal Legislative Council Meeting, announced the decision to expand the Malay Regiment Training Depot. The expansion was to result in the formation of The Malay Regiment Training Center, that was to constitute two additional sections: The Pre-Officer Cadet Training Unit (Pre-OCTU) and an inter-racial Boys Company.

The Boys Company was to be part of the Malayan Army, serving the Malay Regiment and the Federation Regiment. The function of the Boys Company was to provide education to sons of serving officers and other ranks in the Malay Regiment, leading to the School Certificate level, coupled with the rudiments of military training.

The first intake of 74 Boys into the Boys Company were recruited in August 1952, from a total of 100 applicants. The ages of the Boys ranged between 14 and 15 years. Their educational qualification, according to a 1952 newspaper buletin, was to be the equivalent of Standard 4 (English-medium). In addition to these academic requirements those who were shortlisted had to undergo various aptitude tests too.

The task of looking after the academic aspects in the Boys Wing was entrusted to a Director of Studies (DOS) – a civilian Senior Education Officer. He was responsible to the Commandant for carrying out the scholastic policy drawn by the Board of Governors of the College and thus adviser to the Commandant on general educational policies. The DOS had two Senior-Assistants each responsible for the teaching of a group of subjects – called the Head of Science and Mathematics (HOS) and Head of Arts (HOA).

For the purpose of military training, and the co-ordination of domestics military administration required within the Boys Wing, an Officer-in-Charge (O.C.) (later to be known as Chief Instructor - CI) was posted. He was responsible to the Director of Studies (DOS) and thus ultimately to the Commandant.

In September 1954, the Commemoration Foundation Day was celebrated. Present to witness the Commemoration Day Parade were the High Commissioner, Sir Donald MacGillivray, His Highness, the Sultan of Selangor, the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, The Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak and a large number of dignitaries.


The conferment of the Royal Colours to the college by HM the King of Malaysia

In 1958, reports of a proposed $20 million cantonment, covering an area of 1,200 acres (4.9 km2), to be located near Sungai Besi (about 10 miles (16 km) from Kuala Lumpur) began appearing in local press. The entire project, expected to be completed by 1963, was financed by the British Government under the United Kingdom Grants-in-aid Funds. An area of 200 acres (0.81 km2) was allocated for the new Federal Military College.

The site reserved for the College consisted of scenic surroundings. The new home of the FMC was situated on a hill overlooking a disused mining pool. The College buildings were to be modelled on the lines of some of the best military academies overseas such as West Point in the United States and Royal Military College of Canada. They were to consist of an assembly hall, dormitories, classrooms, a gymnasium, laboratories, some 140 married-quarters for all ranks and civilians employees and numerous playing fields.

On 20 June 1961, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, as Supreme Commander of the Malayan Armed Forces, officially opened the new complex. In acknowledgement of the immense debt of which the FMC owed the High Commissioner Field Marshal Tun Sir Gerald Templer, the Assembly Hall was named Tun Templer Hall (Dewan Tun Templer).

On 9 December 1966, in a ceremony held at the college, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong conferred the 'Royal' title to the FMC. This was a great honour for the college for no other educational institution in the history of this nation has the 'Royal' title bestowed upon it. Hence since 1966, the former Federation Military College came to be known as the Royal Military College.

College Anthem

The college anthem is entitled Berkhidmat Memimpin (Serve to Lead) which refers to the college motto. The college song is sung during all assemblies.

Berkhidmat Memimpin
Berkhidmat Memimpin Cogan Yang Mulia,
Maktab Tentera Diraja Yang Ternama,
Putera-putera Sentiasa Bersama,
Menjunjung Harapan Nusa dan Bangsa.
Menuntut Ilmu Tekun Usaha,
Bersukan Ukir Daya Sejahtera,
Menuntut Ilmu Tekun Usaha,
Bersukan Ukir Daya Sejahtera.
Berdikari Amalan Yang Terpuja,
Memupuk Semangat Wira Waja.


The college has won numerous awards and accolades at all levels of competition and at various sports, most significantly in rugby and hockey. The college also fields a formidable English Debate team that has won the prestigious Prime Minister's Trophy a record number of times, only to be equalled by its arch-rival on the debating stage, the Tunku Kurshiah College. The College also organises an annual multi-game carnival with its other arch-rival, the Malay College Kuala Kangsar. Both colleges take turns to host the competition. Up to date, RMC is well known to be the most prestige college of the country of all time.

File:Commemorative fountain, Royal Military College, Malaysia (12 October 2005).jpg

A commemorative fountain with the college charter inscribed on it at the parade square

Within the College, each Putera belongs to one of eight Companies. They are:

  • Alpha (navy blue)
  • Bravo (yellow)
  • Charlie (green)
  • Delta (red)
  • Eagle (black)
  • Foxtrot (maroon)
  • Golf (orange)
  • Hotel (blue)

The eight companies compete with each other for four trophies:

  • Piala Ali (academic)
  • Piala Murad (military)
  • Piala Halim (field sports)
  • Piala Razak (other sports).

The overall winner is presented the Commandant's Trophy, which is awarded to the winning company at the Annual Passing-out Parade, usually inspected by the Defence Minister of Malaysia. The victorious company will hold the title of Commandant Company, and all the Puteras of that company shall be entitled to wear a royal yellow lanyard cord on their right shoulder during the Passing-out Parade and for the rest of the academic year.

Organisation and rank

All Companies have four senior rankholders and five junior rankholders.

The Royal Military College rank structure from the 1980s until 1996

Every Company is led by one Senior Under Officer (SUO) and assisted by three Junior Under Officers (JUOs), who are fourth year Puteras appointed by the College administration. The terms SUO and JUO are a throwback to the traditions of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, where such titles are still in use today for senior rankholders. Fourth year Puteras who are not rankholders are entitled to be referred to as Senior Puteras (SP).

The SUO is responsible for all aspects of the Puteras under his command, and is the highest ranking Putera in the Company. The three JUOs, covering the General, Administration and Quartering billets of the Company, are equal in terms of rank and assist the SUO in the running of the Company on a day-to-day basis. All Under Officers are entitled to a private bunk each, and SUO's are also entitled to have their meals at the High Table in the Mess Hall.

SUO's lead their Company at all Parades and are the main liaisons between the military administration and the Puteras under his care. SUOs and JUOs are also subject to the authority of the Company's commissioned officers and instructors, and play a role in the selection of junior rankholders.

The Royal Military College rank structure from 1997 onwards

Rank is denoted by slip-on shoulder epaulettes and is worn on all uniforms except the Mosque Order (traditional Malay dress) and the Planters' Order (formal blazer and College tie dress). Prior to 1997, these slip-on epaulettes were only worn by the senior and junior rankholders, and its use was accompanied by a metallic shoulder title, bearing the name Maktab Tentera Diraja underneath the rank insignia on the epaulette.

In 1997, this rank insignia structure was amended to bring it in line with the Officer Cadet rank insignia in use at the Army College (KTD, Kolej Tentera Darat) and the then-newly established Malaysian Armed Forces Academy (ATMA, Akademi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia). The main difference between an Officer Cadet rank insignia and the Putera rank insignia is the color of the insignia; the bars, knots and chevrons on an Officer Cadet rank are white in color, while the same on a Putera rank is royal yellow in color.

An SUO's rank insignia consists of four horizontal bars (one bar for each year of study at the College) with an Austrian knot and chevron pointing upwards underneath the knot, on a dark green epaulette.

A JUO's rank insignia is identical to the SUO's, except that there is no chevron underneath the Austrian knot.

The letters MTD (acronym of the College's Malay name, Maktab Tentera Diraja) are also emblazoned in royal yellow at the bottom edge of the epaulette for both ranks.

Junior rankholders on the other hand are understudies for the senior rankholder posts and are invested with similar authority with senior rankholders. Nevertheless, all actions of junior rankholders are subject to review by the senior rankholders and the College administration.

Putera Sergeants (P/SGT) are normally appointed from the third year Puteras in the first quarter of the academic year, and they are further promoted to Acting Senior Under Officer (A/SUO) and Acting Junior Under Officer (A/JUO) ranks by the third quarter of the academic year to allow for the gradual takeover of the Company from the graduating seniors.

A P/SGT's rank insignia consists of three horizontal bars and three chevrons pointing downwards. An A/SUO's rank insignia consists of three horizontal bars and a bright red Austrian knot and chevron pointing upwards underneath the knot. An A/JUO's rank insignia is identical to the A/SUO's, except that there is no chevron underneath the Austrian knot. The letters MTD (acronym of the College's Malay name, Maktab Tentera Diraja) are in royal yellow at the bottom edge of the epaulette for all three ranks.

P/SGTs, A/SUOs and A/JUOs are not entitled to any privileges accorded to the senior rankholders.

Rank Structure from 2009 to Present

As of 2009, new epaulette were introduced for the Puteras following the changes in intakes from Form 2 to Form 4 in the year 2006. The first year Puteras (or New boys) initially wears a pair of epaulettes having only one yellow horizontal bar above the MTD acronym. Later on, some of the Puteras who are promoted to A.P/SGT wears a pair of epaulettes consists of one red horizontal bar above the MTD acronym and three red chevrons pointing downwards. The A.P/SGT are the Puteras that will take up the senior ranks of the Company in the following year.

Notable alumni

The alumni association of the RMC is known as the Old Putera Association or OPA.

Alumni include:

  • Raja Nongchik Raja Zainal Abidin
  • HH Tengku Iskandar Tengku Panglima Raja Ahmad of Kelantan
  • Samsudin Osman
  • Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik
  • Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, former Home Minister
  • Jomo Kwame Sundram
  • Mirnawan Nawawi, former national hockey player
  • Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam
  • Ramli Ibrahim, Indian classical dancer
  • Joshua Raj, orthopaedic surgeon and author
  • Samuel Ong, cardiologist (Commandant's Prize winner, 1971)
  • Late Ahmad Ammar Ahmad Azam, receiver for the 1435H/2014 Maulidurrasul Figure Awards at national and state (Selangor) level

Almost all the former Chiefs of Armed Forces, Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force of Malaysia are graduates of RMC.[citation needed]

Past Commandants

  • 1953 - 1955: Lt. Col. J Mahoney OBE MC
  • 1956 - 1958: Lt. Col. P A C Don DSO
  • 1959 - 1961: Lt. Col. R DE L King
  • 1962 - 1964: Lt. Col. JW Pearson
  • 1965 - 1967: Lt. Col. DW Grove DSO
  • 1967 - 1968: Col. Abdul Jamil Bin Ahmad jssc psc
  • 1969 - 1970: Col. Jaafar Bin Dato Onn SMK KMN psc
  • 1971 - 1972: Col. Syed Hamzah Bin Syed Abu Bakar JSD KMN PJK psc
  • 1973 - 1974: Col. Baharuddin Bin Mohd Diah
  • 1974 - 1977: Col. Nik Mahmood Fakharuddin Bin Tan Sri Nik Ahmad Kamil PSK KMN psc
  • 1978 - 1980: Col. Murad Bin Haji Jaafar KMN AMP PIS BE(UM) MEIM Eng jssc psc
  • 1981 - 1983: Col. Mohamad Bin Munip SMK MIprod E AMIAME psc
  • 1983 - 1985: Col. Aboo Samah Bin Aboo Bakar KMN Dip. Pol MBIM AMITD psc
  • 1985 - 1990: Col. Abdul Ghani Bin Yunus PAT AMN MA psc
  • 1990 - 1993: Col. Hussin Bin Haji Yusoff AMT AMK PIS PJK MA psc
  • 1993 - 1995: Col. Haji Yusop Bin Haji Hussin KAT AMN PMC PJK BSoc Sc (Hons) M Ec psc
  • 1995 - 1996: Col. Ramli Bin Haji Nik DNS AMT PMC MA (Lancs) PAT psc te
  • Sept 1996 – Oct 1996: Col. Khalid Bin Saad AMN PJK MSM (US) mpat psc
  • 1996 - 1999: Col.Ahmad Rodi Bin Zakaria PAT KAT AMN PNBB mpat psc
  • 1999 - 2000: Lt. Col. Ahmad Ghazali Bin Abu Hassan AMN LLM (Lancs) psc
  • 2000 - 2002: Col. Mohd Razif Bin Hj Idris ADK KAT ACM DBS (Mktg) DIM (UKM) mpat psc (Phil)
  • 2002–2004: Col. Azizan Bin Md Delin KMN AMK AAP MA (NPS) LL.B (Hons) psc
  • 2004 - 2006: Col Mohd Shukri bin Ahmad
  • 2006 - 2007: Kept Syed Shahirudin Putra bin Syed Osman TLDM
  • 2007 - 2010: Kept Alias bin Baharuddin TLDM
  • 2010 - 2011: Col Zakaria Yadi
  • 2011 - 2012: Col Amirrudin Bin Dato Sulaiman
  • 2012–Present: Col Wan Ghazali bin Wan Din


Information and links

External links

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