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Taiwan overhauls military training for new conscripts

Conscripts to undergo reformed boot camp beginning next year

Conscription to be extended to one year in 2024.

Conscription to be extended to one year in 2024. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Conscripts will undergo a revamped training program beginning next year, according to a Cabinet report released recently.

As mandatory service will be extended to one year on Jan. 1, 2024, for those born after 2005, the military has reformed training requirements to better prepare conscripts for battle, Liberty Times reported.

Training for compulsory and voluntary service troops will be combined into one eight-week boot camp. To enhance individual rifle firing accuracy, a rapid response shooting technique will be implemented, the report said.

Target practice will integrate battlefield scenarios and the number of rounds fired will be increased to 160 for soldiers to have a solid foundation in marksmanship.

Basic physical training will be divided into four categories: upper body muscle groups, core abdominal muscle groups, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. It includes exercises such as: push-ups, pull-ups, kettlebell lifting, planking, crunches, 5-kilometer walks, 800-meter swims, 20-meter PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run) tests, 3,000-meter runs, 5-minute jump rope sessions, and seated forward bends.

Additionally, soldiers will be taught civil defense, including first aid training, and disaster search and rescue. There will also be a 24-hour military exercise integrating training across different military branches held once per quarter.

The exercise will simulate an invasion by China's People's Liberation Army, focusing on preserving combat capabilities, overall air defense, and joint defense operations.

The Cabinet said that in response to the extension of conscription, all levels of the military need to reevaluate future training policies and focuses. Whether it is voluntary or compulsory service, there must be consistent objectives and assessment standards based on the requirements of joint warfare operations — with the ultimate goal of defeating the enemy, it said.