Written by journalist Chou Li-hsing from Military News Agency in Taipei on March 10
Major general Pai Chieh-lung, the deputy director-general of the Department of Resources Planning of the Ministry of National Defense, explained about the performance and effect of “recruiting volunteer soldiers” by the Armed Forces at the regular press conference held today. He emphasized that 15,024 people were recruited by the Armed Forces, and it was planned to recruit 14,000 people this year. If the performances in this year and the next year could be as good as in the last year, the ratio of actual personnel to enlisted personnel would become 85%, which might fulfill the demand of the Armed Forces.
Pai Chieh-lung indicated that the Ministry of National Defense has referred to the “volunteer military” systems of other developed countries with the support from the Executive Yuan and other government agencies. According to the characteristics of long-term service for volunteer soldiers in volunteer military system, related supporting measures were all properly modified, and incentive for joining army and staying in service was also enhanced. The supporting measures and incentive improved include promoting the salary and welfare of basic level personnel, ensuring leadership of humanity, permission for more times of living outside base or camp, encouraging further education during spare time, reforming and building dormitories, improving facilities for daily life use, reasonably planning training contents, gradually permitting the use of smart phone and completing the care for the retired.
Pai Chieh-lung said that there were 15,024 people recruited in 2014 with statistics. It was more than the numbers in 2012 (11,069 people) and 2013 (10,942 people) respectively by about 4,000 people. Besides, the rate of volunteer soldiers who were willing to stay in camps reached 61.4% in 2014. It was also more than the average number in 2012 and 2013 by 15.1 percentages. Currently, the manpower for volunteer soldiers is still growing.
Pai Chieh-lung further indicated that according to the good performance in the recruit and the keeping at camps of volunteer soldiers in 2014, if the performance could be maintained in year 2015 and year 2016, it was estimated that the manpower of volunteer soldiers could fulfill the demand generated from volunteer military system by the end of year 2016.
In order to ensure the continuous growth of the manpower of volunteer soldiers and enhance the incentive for combating forces to stay in service, Pai Chieh-lung said that the Armed Forces has currently been fighting for budgets with the proposals of “salary bonus for combating forces” and “compensation for soldiers staying at camps” to encourage soldiers to join the service of combating forces; Besides, the Ministry of National Defense also has let the acts such as “Statute of Favors for Military Servicemen & Their Dependents”, “The ROC Veterans Assistance Act” and “Temporary Act for the Realization of Volunteer Military System” to be enacted together with the Ministry of Interior and the Veterans Affairs Council to attract young people to serve and stay in the army for a long term for improving the conditions of the Armed Forces for recruiting talents in the society.
Pai Chieh-lung also indicated that “Volunteer Military” will be a significant change in the military service system of our country, and 2015 and 2016 are the key period for this change. The Ministry of National Defense will continue to facilitate related supporting measures to increase the manpower of volunteer soldiers and properly fulfill the need of personnel replenishment for basic level corps, which can help in maintaining the war potential of the Armed Forces. The planned target for fully becoming “Volunteer Military” is expected to be reached by the end of 2016.