Alex Kawilarang Founder of Special Forces in Indonesia
Alex Evert Kawilarang was known as the commander who had slapped Lieutenant Colonel. Suharto, who at the time was a disgrace of a subordinate.
In the 1950s, as Commander of Wirabuana, Kawilarang had just reported to President Soekarno that the atmosphere in Makassar was guaranteed. But Soekarno instead offered a radiogram he had just received which reported that the Dutch KNIL forces had inhabited Makassar.
It turned out that the Mataram Brigade, an army that was supposed to defend the city of Makassar, had fled to the Mandai airfield.
Hearing the radiogram, Kawilarang, who had the rank of Colonel, decided to immediately return to Makassar. At that time he was reportedly furious. On arrival at Mandai Field, he immediately scolded the Commander of the Mataram Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Suharto, while slapping him.
“What’s the circus?” said Colonel Alex, slapping the cheek of Lieutenant Colonel Suharto.
However, it turned out that there was a clarification given by Commander Alex. Through an interview, he testified that the real event was Lieutenant Colonel Soeharto who had slapped Lieutenant Parman for being reminded of his mistake, namely the plan to smuggle several spoiled cars. Instead of feeling guilty, Lieutenant Colonel Suharto slapped Lieutenant Parman instead.
Establish Special Forces
Reported from the Tirto.id page, After the RMS was successfully crushed, Alex returned to Java and in November 1951 was appointed Commander of the Army Command and Territorial III of Siliwangi. At that time, he pioneered the Siliwangi Command III (Kesko III) Unit – the forerunner of the Special Forces Command (Kopassus) on April 16, 1952. Based on bad experiences in Ambon, Alex wanted to form a fast-moving elite force with various abilities. “I proposed Mohammad Idjon Janbi, so he would like to be his coach. Apparently he accepted our invitation,” Alex said in A.E. Kawilarang: for the Red and White (1988). Alex also appointed Idjon Djanbi as Commander of the Unit III Command. Idjon Djanbi is a former member of the Troepen Specialist Corps of KNIL, an elite unit of the KNIL. Alex also placed Kesko III in Batujajar. The first trial of this troop was to crush DI / TII. Kesko III shows the success of eroding the power of DI.
Colonel (Pur) AE Kawilarang received a red beret and commando knife and was appointed as an honorary citizen of Kopassus in an official ceremony on April 15, 1999, a day before the 47th Kopassus Anniversary.
The award was given directly by the then Kopassus General (Danjen) Commander, Maj. Gen. TNI Syahrir MS at the Kopassus Command Headquarters in Cijantung, Jakarta.
A year after that, Alex died at the age of 80 at Cipto Mangun Kusumo Hospital, Jakarta on June 6, 2000. His body was buried in the Cikutra Heroes Cemetery, Bandung.