The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program, implemented since 1997, is to see the first batch of eight cadets commissioned on Saturday together with graduates from military academies.
The eight would-be officers will go into service in the army by the end of this month, becoming the first to serve as ROTC officers in Taiwan's military history, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced yesterday.
The ROTC is an experimental program based on a US system with the same name.
It is expected to widen the sources of enlistees in the armed forces.
The eight ROTC cadets will be commissioned on Saturday together with hundreds of graduates from different military academies in a joint commissioning and graduation ceremony scheduled to be presided over by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). The ceremony is to take place at the Taipei-based Political Warfare College.
The eight ROTC cadets, from different universities around the island, are now taking political education courses at the Political Warfare College, which is a must for all enlistees. They initially had six other fellow trainees, but these six dropped out of the program within one year of registering. They are to serve for five years in the army, which is the required term of service in exchange for the scholarships and allowances they receive from the military from sophomore to senior years.
They may opt to extend their service term after the five years are up, but they will not be given any guarantee about how many more years they can stay in the service because higher-ranked positions are becoming fewer due to the Ching Shih personnel streamline project, a defense official said.
"Although the ROTC program had only 14 accepted applicants in its first year , it has been attracting more and more college students over the past three years," Colonel Tang Hsiang-yun (
"Accepted applicants in the second year rose slightly higher to 19 in total. The figure jumped to 83 last year. This year sees a further growth to 115 in all. We plan to accept a total of 120 next year," Tang said.
Besides the financial subsidies given to the program participants during their college years, Tang said, they are also granted the flexibility to pursue a higher degree while in service.
"They may apply for graduate schools both at home and abroad. If they are accepted, they may start their post-graduate study after serving one year in the army," Tang said.
"Because of the growing popularity of the ROTC program among college students, the air force and navy are now considering following in the army's footsteps to try and recruit new blood," he said.
In addition, the army also plans to widen operational choices for the ROTC cadets, who are now only offered places in the most physically-demanding branches of the army, such as infantry and artillery.
"This year, we offer an extra operational choice for the ROTC cadets -- communications," Tang said.
ONGOING PROBE: A former Military Intelligence Bureau colonel, major general and another colonel, as well as five other people, have been questioned by prosecutors The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that a retired colonel from the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) calling himself Taiwan’s “first special agent” be detained and held incommunicado as part of an ongoing investigation into espionage allegations targeting at least three former bureau officials. The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office was seeking to detain former MIB colonel Chang Chao-jan (張超然) over his alleged involvement in introducing retired agents to Chinese national security authorities and passing confidential documents to China. Chang’s actions, if proven, would contravene the National Security Act (國家安全法), which carries a prison term of three to 10 years, and the National Intelligence
The US House of Representatives’ China Task Force, launched by Republicans earlier this year, yesterday proposed the China task force act, a package of 137 pieces of legislation, seven of which involve Taiwan, in the hope of getting it passed before the 117th US Congress convenes on Jan. 3. The act encompasses a wide range of issues, including combatting Beijing’s influence around the globe, establishing the US’ dominance in determining 5G network standards and means for bringing UN members to task for abusing their influence within the UN system. The seven acts involving Taiwan address concerns such as the Taiwan Assurance Act
Chinese health authorities investigating a COVID-19 outbreak have said that they discovered live coronavirus on frozen food packaging, a finding that suggests the virus can survive in cold supply chains. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday said that it had found traces of live COVID-19 on the outer packaging of frozen cod in the eastern city of Qingdao, marking the first time that live coronavirus has been detected on the outside of refrigerated goods. Researchers were investigating the source of a cluster of cases linked to a hospital in Qingdao. Genetic traces had previously been found in samples of
A Chinese soldier apprehended earlier this week by the Indian Army after he strayed across a tense de facto border was on Tuesday night handed back to China, an Indian government source in New Delhi said yesterday. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier had on Monday been captured in the Demchok area of eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army said in a statement. The Chinese military also released a statement, saying that Corporal Wang Yalong was handed over early yesterday. New Delhi on Monday said that it had detained Wang after he crossed into Indian-controlled territory, while China announced that Wang had gotten