Graduate, Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, 1969. Graduate, Army Chief of Staff School, 1978. Graduate, National Defense College, 1997.
From 2004 to 2005 he was the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army. From 2008 to 2011 he was the Minister of Defence of Thailand. Since August 2014 he has again been Defence Minister and additionally Deputy Prime Minister in the post-coup government of General Prayuth Chan-ocha.
He is also the deputy chairman of the military junta that calls itself the "National Council for Peace and Order".
Prawits father was Major General Prasert Wongsuwan. He has four younger brothers: the Senator Admiral Sithawat Wongsuwan, Police General Patcharawat Wongsuwan (the former Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police), deceased football manager Pongphan Wongsuwan, and Phanpong Wongsuwan.
After graduating from Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy (class 17) in 1969, he became an officer in the 21st Infantry Regiment (Queen"s Guard). In 1978, he completed the Thai Command and General Staff course.
In 1984, he was transferred to the 12th Infantry Regiment, of which he became deputy commander in 1986, and commander in 1989.
In 1992, he was appointed royal aide-de-camp. In 1996 he was promoted commander of the 2nd Infantry Division. After graduating from the National Defence College of Thailand in 1997, he became deputy commander, and in 1998 commander of the 1st Army Region (responsible for Bangkok and Central Thailand).
In 2001, he was appointed assistant Chief-of-staff responsible for the army"s operative branch.
He returned to command the 1st Army Region, before being promoted Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Army in 2003 and Commander-in-Chief in 2004. After retiring from active military service, he became a judge at the supreme court-martial.
In December 2008 he was appointed Minister of Defence in Abhisit Vejjajiva"s cabinet, serving until August 2011. Prawit is known as the mentor (or "big brother") of a military clique called the "Eastern Tigers", who usually started their career in the 21st Infantery Regiment (nicknamed the "Queen"s Tigers") based in Prachinburi in Eastern Thailand.
This group includes former Commander-in-Chief Anupong Paochinda, and his successor Prayuth Chan-ocha.
Prawit is often considered a backer of the anti-government protests during the 2013-2014 Thai political crisis, cited as a potential leader in coup rumors (which he denied) or as a possible candidate for Prime Minister in case that the anti-government movement should succeed. After the 22 May 2014 coup d"état, the junta—led by his "younger brother" General Prayuth—appointed Prawit chairman of its "advisory board". On 31 August 2014 he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence in Prayuth"s cabinet.
On 16 September he was also appointed deputy chairman of the "National Council for Peace and Order".
After the 2006 coup d"état, he was appointed member of the National Legislative Assembly.