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Taiwan appoints first Indigenous Army commander

General Hsu Pen-pu, an Atayal, previously served as Army deputy chief of staff

General Hsu Pen-pu

General Hsu Pen-pu (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense announced on Thursday (June 24) that General Hsu Pen-pu (徐衍璞) has been promoted to Army commander, making him the first Indigenous person to ever hold the position.

Hsu, who is proud of his Atayal heritage, encourages Indigenous youth to join the military, CNA reported. His father hails from Shandong, China, while his mother is from the Atayal tribe in Nan’ao Township, Yilan County.

Hsu graduated from Taiwan’s military academy in 1983 and later served as chief of staff of the 10th Army Corps, deputy chief of the general staff for personnel, commander of the Sixth Army Corps, and Army deputy chief of staff.

Hsu has contributed to significant undertakings such as national strategic defense planning and military restructuring. As deputy chief of staff, he pushed for measures to build up the military and ensure proper combat preparations were made.

After the Black Hawk crash last year, Hsu coordinated the memorial ceremony for the victims and their families. His commitment and organization of the event so soon after the tragic accident was recognized by his superiors, CNA reported.