Sun, Oct 07, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Army officers to face strict fitness criteria next year

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Stricter criteria for physical fitness will apply to ranking officers starting next year, the Army said yesterday.

"Whoever fails to meet standards will face potential administrative punishment -- and the punishment will affect her or his promotion," said Lieutenant-General Chou Yen-chung (周彥中), spokesman for the Army.

Those who fail the tests will also be asked to attend an intensive physical training camp until they have made satisfactory progress, he said.

"We hope these high-ranking officers will follow [physical fitness standards] themselves while they are requiring stricter physical training for their soldiers," Chou said.

The stricter physical fitness requirements will apply mainly to colonel-class and general-class officers, Chou said.

For majors and lieutenants-colonel, a test will be carried out every three months.

Colonels will face testing every six months and generals will be tested every year.

New physical fitness standards for higher-ranking officers have yet to be decided.

In related news, last Friday, 86 officers, including seven female officers, graduated from the Army Infantry School's "intensive physical training program" and became physical training instructors for Army units.

"Since the intensive program was established in 1969, more than 20,000 physical instructors have been recruited, and the number is still growing," said Lieutenant-General Liu Hung-ming (劉鴻鳴), principal for the Army's Infantry School.

"Almost every company has an officer who graduated from the program, but it is our goal that in the future every platoon will have one," Liu said.

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