The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday denied that they planned to withdraw all military instructors from college campuses.
"I was not aware of such a thing until I read the newspaper this morning," said Admiral Chu Kai-sheng (朱凱生), vice minister of national defense. "Military instructors on campuses are part of our national defense. Being a military instructor on campus is an alternative career option for military personnel. We will not end it at this moment."
Chu made his remarks in response to Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) during yesterday's session of the legislature's National Defense Committee.
Huang asked the admiral whether the ministry was planning to withdraw its 200 military instructors from college campuses as the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported. Chu said he had no knowledge of any plan.
The Apple Daily reported that the Ministry of Education (MOE) wanted military personnel to leave campuses. The deputy director of the MND's personnel department, Major General Hung Ting-chu (洪廷舉), however, rebbuted the story.
"Our exam for being assigned as a military instructor will be held in December as scheduled. It is actually an exam requested by the MOE. In addition to the exam, we will also make sure that our remaining military instructors will not suddenly lose their jobs," Hung said.
The removal of military instructors from campuses has been an issue for some time. Currently, military instructors in high schools and colleges are regarded as school staff members.
Their assignment on campus is to teach basic military training and knowledge, maintain the security of the campuses and help protect students or staff members if incidents take place on campus.
Military officers who want to become campus military instructors must take exams such as those scheduled for next month.
Promotion prospects for military instructors are limited but they have regular office hours and a safe working environment.
As a result, being a military instructor is regarded as an alternative end to a military career for many officers.