Posted on May 31, 2016
On this date in 1961, the Brunei Armed Forces were formed—actually, a better translation of the name in the Malay language is the Brunei Malay Regiment.
On this date in 1965, the name changed to the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
(In other words, the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment).
There are three branches: the Land Forces is the largest branch, and there is also a small Navy and Air Force.
The weapons and equipment used by the forces have been purchased from Europe and the U.S., and the military has no real combat experience. However, the forces have been used in humanitarian and peacekeeping missions.
You might not be too surprised to realize that Brunei doesn't manufacture its own weapons, nor that its military hasn't fought in any wars, when you realize that Brunei is a tiny nation, smaller than the U.S. state of Delaware, and it has only been independent of the United Kingdom for a few decades. To learn more about Brunei, check out this and this other earlier posts.
Brunei is interesting, because it is completely surrounded (and divided!) by the country of Malaysia, it is located on the same island as a part of Indonesia, it is near to China, and it was colonized by Britain.
Because of all these complexities, the population is largely Malaysian in heritage, with a sizable minority of Chinese heritage and other assorted minorities.
Malay is the official language of the nation, but most people speak Brunei Malay, and there are also a lot of people who speak Chinese and / or English. Of course, there are pockets of speakers of other languages as well.
Brunei has an official religion – Islam – and most Bruneian Malays and Bruneian Chinese people consider themselves Muslim. However, 13% of the population practices Buddhism, 10% practices Christianity, and 7% is atheist.
In other words, there is quite a bit of variety!
Take a look at some photos of Brunei:
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