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Taiwan remains committed to shifting to all-volunteer force

Taiwan remains committed to shifting to all-volunteer force

Taipei, March 10 (CNA) Taiwan's military will continue its efforts to shift to an all-volunteer force and will provide more incentives to attract more people to enlist, military officials said Tuesday. "There's no going back on shifting to an all-volunteer force," said Ministry of National Defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he (???), adding that the coming two years will play a key role in the shift. The military will offer a series of incentives for career soldiers such as increasing pay, offering opportunities for further study while serving, and improving creature comforts and allowing smartphone use on military bases, said Pai Chieh-lung (???), deputy director general of the ministry's Department of Resource Planning. The military recruited 15,024 volunteer soldiers in 2014, more than 11,069 in 2012 and 10,924 in 2013, Pai said at a news conference on military recruitment. In addition, more volunteer soldiers finishing their terms of service chose to stay on instead of being discharged, he said, because of new incentives introduced last year. In 2014, 61.4 percent of volunteer servicemen and women agreed to sign on, up 15.1 percentage points from the previous two years, he said. To give young people more incentives to pursue a military career, the government last year increased its monthly duty allowances for volunteer soldiers and non-commissioned officers by between NT$2,000 (US$66.60) and NT$4,000. Pai said the military hopes to recruit 14,000 volunteer soldiers in 2015 and another 14,000 in 2016. If those targets are met, the military will have enough manpower to support an all-volunteer force, he said. Taiwan plans to complete the shift by 2017. It had originally aimed at the end of 2015, but pushed the date back due to lower-than-expected recruitment numbers. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-27 10:25 GMT+08:00