Samak arrived at Defence Ministry at the auspicious time of 8.59 am. Defence permanent secretary General Winai Phattiyakul led military leaders to welcome him and organised a briefing on work.
Supreme Commander General Boonsarng Niumpradit and Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Chalit Pukbhasuk were absent due to prior engagement. Boonarng is on an official visit to the Middle East and Chalit is in Sweden to sign the procurement contract for Gripen fighter aircraft.
Samak is the third civilian to hold the position of defence minister. His predecessors are two former prime ministers, Seni Pramoj and Chuan Leekpai.