Selected Indigenous Papuan Sons Being Soldiers of the Indonesian National Army (TNI)

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Commander of Military Command (Pangdam) XVII/Cenderawasih Maj. Gen. Hinsa Siburian mentions from 2013 to 2017 as many as 1,500 indigenous Papuan sons inaugurated at enlisted level, non-commissioned officers, and army officers.


“From 2013 to 2017, we have trained nearly 1,500 indigenous Papuan men to be soldiers whose career is as enlisted, commissioned, and officers, and today from 320 inaugurated, 60 percent are indigenous Papuan sons,” said Hinsa Siburian inaugurated 320 new envoys at Pancasila Square, Rindam, Sentani, Jayapura District, Papua, Saturday (15/4/2017).

These soldiers are the result of coaching cooperation with local leaders in Papua and West Papua so that the indigenous sons of Papuan who wishes to devote himself as a servant of the country can be well accommodated. From the 320 newly enlisted inaugurates with the rank of Soldier II (Prada), 80 of them are the Indigenous sons of the central mountains of Papua. These 80 people came from the furthest, remote or inland regions such as from Oksibil, Sinak, Mulia, Wagete. Hopefully that they can represent their region.

Dozens of soldiers from the remote or farthest regions, said Pangdam, are expected to be able to return to their area as Bintara Pembina Desa (Babinsa) after attending and completing their next education which can be applied in the community.[1]

One of the sons of indigenous Papuan who assigned to guard the sovereignty of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) in the land of Papua is the soldier II (Prada) of the TNI, Yustus Dolfinus Rembe, member of the 411/Raider Kostrad Battalion based in Salatiga, Central Java. In his first assignment to follow the Border Security Task Force (Satgas Pamtas) RI-PNG, Soldier II (Prada), Yustus and his fellow soldiers are entrusted by the state and TNI leaders to maintain the boundary in the northern border sector of RI-Papua New Guinea (PNG) precisely in Post Wutung, District Muara Tami, Jayapura City. “This is a pride and an honor for me as the Indigenous son of Papua to be on duty in Papua for the first time,” said Justus.

In addition to Soldier II Yustus, there are other Papuan sons who serve the nation and country by joining the TNI, they have become high-ranking officers in each generation. They are Laksmana Madya (Purn) Freddy Numberi, Brig. Gen. Marinir Bram O Otoruri and First Admiral TNI Dick Henk Wabiser.

Meanwhile, from the Army (AD), there is Brig. Gen. Nico Obaja Woru, the first son of indigenous Papuan who won the rank of General (Brigjen) in 2010. Obaja said that he very proud to get the rank of general, especially, not the case easily won the rank of high officer for every personnel who serve the country.

“As soldiers, we are very proud, especially for now we are the only one from the military of the army who won the rank of general, which means that the sons of indigenous Papuan can also get the rank of General,” he said in 2010.

The same thing is also experienced Joppye Onesimus Wayangkau, who was born in Serii, Papua, was appointed Brigadier General in 2015. He was appointed as Kasdam V/Brawijaya Wayangkau was a graduate of the Military Academy (Akmil) class of 1987.

Every strategic position can be achieved by anyone regardless of the background or tribe of each soldier, only those with high dedication, integrity, and discipline can reach the highest rank in the military environment.[2]

Keywords: Papua, West Papua, indigenous Papuan, soldiers, TNI, security forces, NKRI, sovereignty, military, army

By Sakhiyatun K (MaCDIS Researcher)

[1] Sekitar 1.500 Putra Asli Papua Jadi TNI, diakses dari laman

[2] Yulistyo Pratomo, Kisah Putra-Putra Papua yang Bangga Jadi Prajurit TNI, diakses dari laman