Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar today led the list of Askar Wataniah (Territorial Army) honorary and senior officers who were promoted at the Wisma Pertahanan, here, today.

Khairy was promoted from Colonel to Brigadier-General, effective Jan 14, 2015.

Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman was appointed as Honorary Brigadier-General, and Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Abdullah Serigar as Honorary Major-General.

The event was officiated by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

Khairy is the first minister to be awarded a military rank after going through various courses organised by the Territorial Army, and he leads the Territorial Army Regiment 508 based at the Rasah Camp in Negeri Sembilan.

He joined the Territorial Army on Jan 20, 2010, before being commissioned a Colonel on Oct 28, 2013. He attended the basic recruit course for a month on April 26, 2010, in Regiment 508, and the basic parachute course on Jan 13, 2011 at the Special Warfare Training Centre (PULPAK) at the Sungai Udang Camp in Melaka before becoming the commander of Regiment 508 on Oct 28, 2013.

Commenting on the promotion, Khairy hoped more youths would join the Territorial Army in the future.

"I hope more youths join the territorial is not easy, as the training is quite tough and difficult, but I believe this is one of the best ways to build discipline and contribute to the country," he said ,

Meanwhile, Mohd Irwan Serigar said it was a great honour for him to receive the honorary rank of Major-General.

"If there is a course offered, I would be willing to enroll in it to get into shape, because every leader must be fit, and have a healthy mind, and in case the need arises, we should be able to serve the country," he said.