Recruits subject to new military service rules

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Feb 20, 2013 - Page 3

Nearly 2,800 men are set to become the first individuals subject to new military service rules as the nation begins its transition to an all-volunteer military.

The men, who would have been required to perform a year of compulsory military service in the past, will begin a four-month mandatory training period today.

A total of 2,203 men will be sent to the Chengkungling (成功嶺) military training base in Taichung, and 580 will be trained at a military base in Chiayi County.

They will do two months of boot camp followed by two months of specialist training, the military said yesterday.

The transition to an all-volunteer defense force aims to develop a leaner, but more professional and flexible military and make better use of the nation’s human resources.

To bring about the change, all Taiwanese men born after Jan. 1, 1994, were exempted from the one-year compulsory military service requirement.

After training for four months, the men will return to their civilian lives, but will be subject to recall for further training for the next eight years.

They also have the option of enlisting voluntarily to follow a professional military career.

The military said the new training regimen will require young servicemen to meet higher physical requirements than those mandated under the one-year military service system.

They will have to complete 37 push-ups within two minutes, compared with 25 previously, and run 3,000m in 18 minutes, down from 19 minutes.

Men born before 1994, but who have not been called up by the time compulsory military service ends will still have to serve for a year, but will be able to perform alternative service in a non-military capacity during the transitional period.