Lt-Gen Mya Tun Oo Appointed Burmese Military’s Chief of General Staff

By The Irrawaddy 29 August 2016

An announcement by the Burmese military on Friday saw Lt-Gen Mya Tun Oo as the third most powerful official in the armed forces after being promoted to a general and appointed Chief of General Staff.

Born on May 5, 1961, Mya Tun Oo went to the Defense Services Academy (DSA) in 1980 and is a graduate of 25th intake of the DSA. The 55-year-old has been widely tipped as the next chief of Burma’s military.

Burmese military observer Ko Ye of Tagaung Institute said Mya Tun Oo’s rapid promotions over the last six years are “quite rare” in the army. In 2010, he was a brigadier general and the rector of the DSA before rising through the ranks.

In 2011, he was appointed commander of newly minted Eastern Central Command in Kho Lam, Shan State. The next year, he was promoted to the rank of major general.  Then, he served in the positions of army chief of staff, the chief of military security affairs, and chief of Bureau of Special Operations 6 which oversees military operations in Chin and Arakan States and Magwe Division.

Finally, he was promoted to the rank of a general on August 26 and the chief of general staff for the army, navy and air force.

Current Burma Army commander-in-chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing turned 60 this year, but Mya Tun Oo said at a recent press conference that the commander-in-chief and deputy commander-in-chief of the military are permitted to serve until age 65, according to the military council.

In accordance with these regulations, Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing may retire around 2020.

Commander-in-Chief of the air force, Gen Khin Aung Myint, concurrently served as Chief of General Staff after General Hla Htay Win retired from the position to join the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) ahead of the 2015 general election.

In other promotions on Friday, the Burmese military promoted Maj-Gen Win Min Tun to lead the Eastern Command, Maj-Gen Than Hlaing to take over the Eastern Central Command, Brig-Gen Lin Aung to head the Coastal Region Command, Maj-Gen Maung Maung Soe to serve as the commander of the Western Command, and Brig-Gen Thet Pone to take on the Northwestern Command.