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KODAM - Komando Daerah Militer (Military Regional Command)

In the New Order period the principle of territorial command duplicated the bureaucratic structure from the local, regional to national level. It was rampant with abuses and corruption acted as the engine for the authoritarian regime of the New Order.

Indonesia’s military operations rely on a well-developed doctrine of national security called Total People’s Defense (Hankamrata). The success of this strategy, according to the doctrine, requires that a close bond be maintained between citizen and soldier to encourage the support of the entire population and enable the military to manage all war-related resources. To support these objectives, the TNI maintained the army’s territorial organization, comprising a fluctuating number [usually about a dozen] of military regional commands (Komando Daerah Militer—Kodams) encompassing an estimated two-thirds of the army’s strength.

The territorial commands parallel the civilian governmental structure, with units at the province, district, and village level. The territorial structure is the structure of command and the deployment of military personal within the framework of Territorial Command (Komando Territorial Koter). Koter is a hierarchy that at the provincial level is called KODAM (Komando Daerah Militer), KOREM (Komando Resort Militer) at the regency level, KODIM (Komando Distrik Militer) at the Kabupaten level, and KORAMIL and Babinsa at the village level. Koter in essence is a military duplicate of the local political administrative structure.

Armed forces personnel also engage in large-scale civic-action projects involving community and rural development in order to draw closer to the people, ensure the continued support of the populace, and develop among army personnel a detailed knowledge of the region to which they are assigned. (Finally, and doctrine aside, the territorial structure provided the base upon which most of the army business empire flourished.)

The chain of command flowing directly from the armed forces commander in chief to the Kodam commanders, and from them to subordinate army territorial commands. Commanders and staff of each Kodam are responsible for administration, logistics, personnel, training, and the general welfare of assigned and attached combat units. Each Kodam is divided into successively smaller administrative units. These include the Military Resort, or Garrison, Command (Korem); Military District Command (Kodim); and Military Subdistrict Command (Koramil). At the bottom of the structure, noncommissioned officers (NCOs) are assigned to every village in the country, where they are known as the village NCO (babinsa).

Military operations are rarely, if ever, conducted in any formation larger than a battalion. Each Korem has control of at least one battalion, and one or more battalions come under the direct control of the Kodam. Army doctrine distinguishes between centrally controlled units and regionally controlled units. Centrally controlled units are found in Kostrad and Kopassus. Regionally controlled units by definition are those assigned to the 12 Kodams. The battalions have a planned strength of nearly 700 personnel, although many—those in the Kodams in particular—are under strength. Each Kodam has at least one designated quick-reaction force battalion; these are the best-trained and equipped units in the territorial structure. Both types of battalions have experienced frequent temporary deployments to areas of insecurity, including East Timor (prior to 1999), Aceh (prior to 2005), and Papua.

Although army recruits receive their basic training in a local training facility located in each Kodam area, specialist corps training is provided at the appropriate national corps centers. NCOs must attend training courses and pass examinations in their specialized fields prior to promotion.

Indonesian Army Chief of Staff General Rudini called on the commanders of the regional military commands [kodam] to study the effects arising from the reorganization of the Indonesian Army, which had been carried out since 1 October 1984 and wasfully operational by 1 April 1986. The general made these remarks when he dissolved six kodams and inaugurated the establishment of several new kodams. According to Rudini, the problem of taking care of army personnel must receive special attention in the reorganization process. He said: "We must assign personnel to suitable posts in accordance with their ability and skills as well as organizational needs. All personnel are expected to assume suitable posts in the new organization. There will be no personnel becoming jobless or retrenched from service."

The six kodams which were dissolved at a ceremony held in the army headquarters in Jakarta 09 April 1985 were the former Sriwijaya 4th Kodam, Jakarta Raya 5th Kodam, Siliwangi 6th Kodam, Diponegoro 7th Kodam, Brawijaya 8th Kodam, and the Udayana 16th Kodam. The newly established kodams are the Sriwijaya 2d Kodam, Siliwangi 3d Kodam, Diponegoro 4th Kodam, Brawijaya 5th Kodam, Udayana 9th Kodam, and Jakarta Raya 10th Kodam. The inauguration of the six new kodams was marked by the presentation of the territorial symbols to Major General Sularso, the commander of the Brawijaya 5th Kodam; Brigadier General A.M. Rustandi, the commander of the Sriwijaya 2d Kodam; Major General Eddy Sudrajat, the commander of the Siliwangi 3d Kodam; Major General Sugiarto, the commander of the Diponegoro 4th Kodam; Brigadier General D. Sutarto, the commander of the Udayana 9th Kodam; and Major General Tri Sutrisno, the commander of the Jakarta Raya 10th Kodam.

The dissolution of the old kodams and the establishment of the new kodams on 09 April 1985 were implemented in the framework of reorganizing the Indonesian Army, and General Rudini is scheduled to preside over more ceremonies to dissolve other kodams and establish new ones so that the total number of kodams in Indonesia will be 10. Earlier, there were 16 kodams.

The 10 new kodams, expected to be fully operational by 1 April 1986, were as follows:

  1. Bukit Barisan 1st Kodam with headquarters in Medan, covering territories controlled by the former 1st, 2d, and 3d Kodams;
  2. Sriwijaya 2d Kodam with headquarters in Palembang, covering the territory controlled by the former 4th Kodam;
  3. Siliwangi 3d Kodam with headquarters in Bandung, covering the territory controlled by the former 6th Kodam;
  4. Diponegoro 4th Kodam with headquarters in Semarang, covering the territory controlled by the former 7th Kodam;
  5. Brawijaya 5th Kodam with headquarters in Surabaya, covering the territory controlled by the former 8th Kodam;
  6. Tanjung Pura 6th Kodam with headquarters in Banjarmasin, covering territories controlled by the former 9th, 10th, and 12th Kodams; 7. Wirabuana 7th Kodam with headquarters in Ujungpandang, covering territories controlled by the former 13th and 14th Kodams;
  7. Trikora 8th Kodam with headquarters in Jayapura, covering territories controlled by the former 15th and 17th Kodams;
  8. Udayana 9th Kodam with headquarters in Denpasar, covering the territory controlled by the former 16th Kodam; and
  9. Jakarta Raya 10th Kodam with headquarters in Jakarta, covering the territory controlled by the former 5th Kodam.

According to Brigadier General Jhonet Hutomo, head of the army information center, the six dissolved kodams will become military area commands [korem].

In his speech during the ceremony, General Rudini said among other things that as a sociopolitical force in the respective region, a kodam must be able to attain and maintain the stability of sociopolitical situation. To ensure the success in this area, there will be a division in charge of sociopolitical affairs in the new style kodam, while in the korem level, there will also be a similar counterpart. According to Rudini, this means that both kodam and korem have the authority and responsibility to develop sociopolitical awareness within the organization including the development of the armed forces personnel in various ways in an effort to further promote national resilience.

Rudini also said that in an effort to develop territorial defense, there would be a combat unit in every korem. This unit, which constitutes korem's strike force, consists of one infantry brigade or more. To defend the country's territorial integrity as a whole, the army concentrates on the defense and security of each island. This means that each island or each region consists of a strategic compartment which is able to defend its own region. As such, such an island or region will become a source of resistance against any external attacks, thus making it into an island of resistance. With all the potentials in such an island or region, the local military command must be able to defend its territorial integrity.

Rudini also pointed out that a kodam will function as an organizer of territorial defense, which will be assisted by the elements of naval and air forces stationed within a kodam's jurisdiction. Such a kodam can also be assisted by a reserve force, depending on the number of troops needed, time, and location of the kodam concerned. Rudini also stated that the classification and division of the archipelagic nation into several kodams are based on the concept of insular defense system, where the ground defense is focussed on the defense of major islands, or clusters of smaller islands. Based on this concept, the whole Indonesian territory has been divided into the 10 kodams.

The geographic extent of the army KODAM in the early 1990s was as follows: KODAM I, Special Region of Aceh and Sumatera Utara, Sumatera Barat, and Riau provinces; KODAM II, Jambi, Bengkulu, Sumatera Selatan, and Lampung provinces; KODAM III, Jawa Barat Province; KODAM IV, Jawa Tengah Province and the Special Region of Yogyakarta; KODAM V, Jawa Timur Province; KODAM VI, the four provinces of Kalimantan; KODAM VII, the four provinces of Sulawesi; KODAM VIII, Maluku and Irian Jaya provinces; KODAM IX, Bali, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Nusa Tenggara Barat, and Timor Timur provinces; and KODAM Jaya Jakarta, the Special Capital City Region of Jakarta.



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