Sat, Mar 10, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ministry raises ROTC age as applications disappoint

By Aaron Tu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

In an effort to enlist enough recruits for the all-volunteer military, the Ministry of National Defense last week announced it would raise the upper age limit from 24 to 26 for the second Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) recruitment drive later this year.

The cut-off date for the first ROTC recruitment drive was Dec. 15 last year, and all recruits completed their interviews and physical exams by Jan. 6 this year, the ministry said, adding that about 300 recruits joined in the first wave.

The second wave of recruitment is to begin on April 2 and last until April 30, it said.

In response to a shortage of First Lieutenants and Second Lieutenants in the army, the ministry is stepping up recruitment through a program to fast-track non-commission officers (NCOs) to first and second lieutenants and a one-year program to train commissioned officers.

Relaxing the age restriction would encourage people to join the military, the ministry said.

The maximum age at which one can join the Air Force as a pilot would not be relaxed and remain 24-years-old, the ministry said.

In accordance with Article 21 of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), Chinese nationals may not enlist in the military unless they have been registered as residents in Taiwan for more than 20 years.

The Act Regarding Hong Kong and Macao Affairs (香港澳門關係條例) stipulates that former Hong Kong and Macao residents cannot enlist under the ROTC program unless they have held Taiwanese residency for at least 10 years.

Officials said 120 junior colleges and institutes are collaborating with the ministry, which hopes to fill 80 percent of the military’s commissioned officer billets by the second half of next year.

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