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Defense News

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(Written by Reporter Chuang, Chia-Hung from Military News Agency, Taipei, October 13th)

    Assistant Secretary of Personnel Office Major-general Chou, Hsing-Kou pointed out in today’s press conference that the manpower ratio of national armed forces has exceeded 90%, which helped maintain the solid fighting forces and effectively implement military training of preparedness, disaster rescue, and emergency handling. In the morning, Major-general Chou, Hsing-Kou responded to news stating that “According to Legislative Yuan budget evaluation report, since the issuance of “subsidies for fighting forces” on April 1, the manpower ratio of voluntary soldiers in many operational forces is still less than 50% as of June 30, which affects the fighting forces of the military” reported by the media.

    Chou, Hsing-Kou said that both the compulsory and voluntary military services are currently implemented. The national armed forces would continue to increase the recruitment and retention of voluntary soldiers. This year, the planned number of draftees born before 1993 for the standing soldier service (one year) is 58,615. As of today, 32,333 draftees have been recruited. With the guidance of Executive Yuan and integrated resources, the increase in base salary and improvement in living facilities have been implemented to attract young people to join the army and retain existing soldiers. In 2015, the planned number of voluntary soldiers is 14,000. As of early October, more than 14,407 voluntary soldiers have been recruited. It is expected that the number of draftees at the end of year may exceed 15,024 in 2014.

    In 2015, the retention rate of voluntary soldiers reached 72.1%, a 10.66% increase compared to 61.44% in 2014, showing a steady growth of manpower in voluntary soldiers. Chou, Hsing-Kou emphasized that the armed forces would recruit voluntary soldiers in the first place starting from this year. In addition, since the issuance of subsidies for fighting forces on April 1, the manpower ratio of voluntary soldiers in operational forces increased 11.07% as of October 1, showing that the issuance of subsidies for fighting forces has been the incentives to the recruitment. Currently, the manpower ratio of voluntary soldiers in each fighting forces has increased as scheduled.

    Chou, Hsing-Kou further indicated that the criteria for the issuance of “subsidies for fighting forces” was formulated by each unit based on the task, equipment, and current manpower and was divided into the first category (NT$5,000) and the second category (NT$3,000), instead of the fixed amount; the issuance of “retention subsidies” is based on the length of service and the fixed amount corresponding to the length of service (i.g. NT$17,000 for one year, NT$33,000 for two years, and NT$50,000 for three year ). As to the subsidies for engineering soldiers, communications soldiers, and chemical soldiers listed in fighting forces, the issuance has been planned specifically. The military would continue to apply for the subsidies to enhance incentives. To increase the manpower of voluntary military service, Ministry of National Defense would continue to enhance supporting measures for recruitment and actively improve the service environment to attract young people to join the army and retain existing voluntary soldiers. We appeal to the nationals for support to help achieve the policy objectives and ensure national security.