Wed, Sep 23, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Military berates officer for use of personal equipment

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Top defense officials yesterday admonished a marine squadron commander for using personalized combat equipment in training exercises. They also reminded all soldiers and officers not to violate regulations by using online social media networks to discuss internal military matters.

“Commanding officers did not give approval for squadron commander Lieutenant Colonel Hsu Cheng-yi (許誠宜) to use personally acquired equipment during the Han Kuang military exercises (漢光演習), and we will continue to prohibit active-duty personnel from doing so,” Marine Corps Command Headquarters official Major General Liang Ming-te (梁明德) said.

Liang said that the nation’s armed forces have rules governing their conduct and that all personnel must maintain discipline.

“It is not appropriate to go online to voice personal views. This could cause misunderstandings with the public. We hope such discussion can be carried out through the proper chain of command within the military,” Liang added.

The Ministry of National Defense continues to uphold its policy forbidding military personnel from purchasing their own equipment.

Earlier this week, media outlets reported that Hsu had posted pictures of his personalized T91 assault rifle and field equipment, complaining that he was forced to acquire his own gear because items issued by the military failed to meet his expectations of quality and performance.

Hsu, who heads an explosives demolition team attached to a Marine Corps Amphibious Reconnaissance and Patrol Unit, said he spent NT$130,000 on items to upgrade his equipment, including a US-made combat helmet, a flak jacket and a tactical handgun holster.

Liang said the Marine Corps would not be punished and that Hsu would only receive a “verbal reprimand,” acknowledging the squadron commander was acting under his own initiative in an effort to improve his equipment, and said some of Hsu’s suggestions would be taken into consideration.

Ministry spokesperson Major General David Lo (羅紹和) said the ministry has allocated budget to replace worn-out uniforms and field equipment, adding that a program to put “digital camouflage” combat uniforms into service is already under way and would be completed in all branches of the armed forces by the end of next year.

Lo added that Marine Corps officers have resisted the uniform change, because they want to retain their traditions and distinct appearance, as the new outfit is standardized to look the same across the military.

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