The military has sent 103 cadets to study in foreign military academies over the past 12 years, especially to US institutions, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday.
"Since 1989, we have sent a total of 103 cadets to study in foreign military academies such as West Point, Virginia [Military Institute] and the Citadel in the US or the army academy in Honduras and El Salvador," said ministry spokesman Major General Huang Shui-sheng (
"All of these cadets perform well either during their studies abroad or after they graduate. They can contribute a lot to the improvement of the quality of personnel in the military," Huang said.
Huang made the remarks yesterday at a regular ministry press conference. Also speaking at the press conference was Colonel Chiu Chao-li (邱肇理), deputy director of the personnel recruitment center of the ministry.
"We highly value these cadets who are able to study abroad. They are all among the best of their peers in Taiwan. They excel not only in English but also in other courses as well," Chiu said.
"These cadets will have greater room for development after they graduate from the foreign military academies. We need them to work as staff officers handling affairs such as Taiwan's purchase of arms from foreign countries [particularly from the US]," Chiu said.
Chiu also made public statistics on Taiwan's cadets studying in foreign military academies between 1991 and 2000.
A total of 89 cadets have been sent to study in foreign military academies during the ten-year period, Chiu said, 26 of whom are still studying.
Among the 89 cadets, three are women and all of them have yet to finish their studies abroad.
The majority of the cadets choose to study at the Virginia Military Institute, while there is currently one student at the US Military Academy at West Point.
The second most popular foreign military academy is the Citadel in South Carolina, with a total of 22 Taiwan cadets who have either graduated from the school or are currently enrolled there.
Second Lieutenant Lin Chih-wei (
"Studying at the Virginia Military Institute is not significantly different from studying at a civilian university. We don't learn a lot of military knowledge during our four years there," Lin said.
"I have been commissioned as an air force officer. But I feel I have yet to learn a lot about the military knowledge I failed to get in touch with much during the college study.
"Had I chosen to study at Taiwan's air force academy, however, I would have learned much more military knowledge. That's the advantage of studying in Taiwan's military academy," Lin said.