Senior General Than Shwe(Burmese: သန်းရွှေ; pronounced ; born 3 February 1933) is a Burmese military leader and politician who was chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) from 1992 to 2011. During the period, he held key positions of power including commander-in-chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces and head of Union Solidarity and Development Association. In 2011, he officially resigned from his position as head of state, in favor of his hand-picked successor, Thein Sein.
Than Shwe was born in Minzu village, near Kyaukse, British Burma in 1933. In 1951, Than Shwe attended Government High School in Kyaukse. He took up employment at the Meikhtila Post Office as a postal clerk in 1952. Later he enlisted in the Burmese Army and partook in the ninth in take of Army Officer Training School.
After graduating from the Officer Training School, Second Lieutenant Than Shwe was posted to No. 1 Infantry Battalion as a squad leader on 11 July 1953. He was promoted to platoon commander with the rank of Lieutenant on 11 July 1955 and to Company Commander with the rank of Captain in 21 February 1957 in the same battalion. He was involved in military operation carried out by No. 1 Infantry Battalion in Karen State, Southern Shan State and Eastern Thanlwin area.