Wed, Jul 30, 2008 - Page 2 News List

US Marine NCO graduate eager to share experience

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER, WITH CNA

Wu Hsiao-ling (吳筱玲), the first Taiwanese woman to complete the US Marine Corps’ noncommissioned officer’s advanced training, told reporters yesterday about her pride on hearing the Republic of China’s anthem being played at her graduation ceremony.

“I became emotional ... and I tried hard not to cry,” the Marine sergeant major said. “They played the national anthem followed by the US Marine Corps song.”

Wu was the first Taiwanese female to complete the course, which included instruction in leadership, physical endurance, the history of warfare, battle strategy, rescue skills and medical assistance.

Wu went through the grueling training program at Camp Pendleton in California, the major US Marine Corps’ base on the West Coast, from April 22 to June 6, and recently returned to the country.

Eighty-two students graduated from the class, after completing 16 different challenges, both academic and physical. Wu said she finished second in her platoon.

Wu was one of only four females to take the course, and the only foreigner.

The 33-year-old has served in the Marines since 1995.

Three Marines registered for the one available spot last year and Wu was selected after passing an English comprehensive test, designed and held by the American Institute in Taiwan.

“Although I passed the exam in Taiwan, I still spent two months in Texas beforehand improving my English before I began the course,” Wu said.

Asked how she would share her experiences or take advantage of what she learned in the US, Wu said: “We have regular workshops for sergeants. I will have plenty of chance to share my experiences and show my colleagues what I have learned in the US.”

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