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Defense News

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(Reported by Military News Agency reporter, Li Zhong-Xuan, Matsu, Sep 24th)

    On President Ma Ying-Jeou’s visit to the Mastsu Defense Zone today, he stressed the importance of combat readiness and acknowledged the results of physical training and the results of the volunteer military system during lunch with the military officers and soldiers.  President Ma expressed in his speech that despite the fact Taiwan and China has maintained over 66 years of stability, “But the combat readiness of our military must never slacken”. As the sages say, “A big but aggressive country is destined to fall while a peaceful country that overlooks war shall be in danger”, hence the military officers and soldiers should always maintain high alertness and awareness for potential risks. There is no room for sloppiness in combat readiness to maintain peace and stability.

    As this year coincides with the 70th anniversary of Republic of China’s (ROC) victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan and the Retrocession of Taiwan, the President stressed that the victory is the greatest contribution of the military to the nation, and the protection and recovery of Taiwan has allowed the people of Taiwan to enjoy a life of stability and peace. During the war, the military has suffered great casualties and despite losing many battles and suffering more casualties than the Japanese forces, Taiwan did not compromise nor surrender and persisted in the resistance, resulting in over a million Japanese forces being engaged in China. After the war, the prisoners of war sent back Japan totaled over 1.2 million which is a great contribution to both Taiwan and the world. Regarding the results of the volunteer military system, the President expressed that the current recruitment is making progress and despite the lack of numbers during initial implementation, the subsequent recruitments are making up for the deficit. In future, the military will continue to recruit draftees born before 1993, and depending on the conscription conditions, may assign them to regular services or substitute services. “In fact, these are stipulated in the law regulations and all draftees are obligated by law for military service” while draftees born after 1994 are only required to serve 4 months of regular service training.

    President Ma also stated that under the implementation of the “volunteer and recruitment policy”, result of last year (2014) recruitment was better than expected. Over 30 thousand participants signed up for 10 thousand 5 hundred vacancies and 15 thousand people were recruited. This year (2015), the military expects to recruit 14 thousand people and as of Sep 2nd, over 27 thousand people signed up and 11 thousand candidates were selected, which has reached 85.3% recruitment rate. On the other hand, the ratio of volunteer military personnel extending their service is 71.1% which is “not bad”, showing the implementation results of the volunteer military system. President Ma expressed that during the first implementation of the new military physical fitness system in 2009, passing rates were only 28%. In the Ministry of Defense random checks of 175 military “Company” units, passing rates have reached 88.8% which is a tremendous improvement. In the combat assessment of the volunteer military forces, last year reflected a score of 85.8 points which is 6.9 points higher than the average military unit. This shows that the government implementation of the volunteer military system has a considerable effect on the professional training of the volunteer military personnel and the efforts should receive acknowledgement and praise. During the meal, the President also shook hands with the military forebears and presented them with Autumn Festival gifts as blessings for the festival.