The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program, implemented since 1997, is to see the first batch of eight cadets commissioned on Saturday together with graduates from military academies.
The eight would-be officers will go into service in the army by the end of this month, becoming the first to serve as ROTC officers in Taiwan's military history, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced yesterday.
The ROTC is an experimental program based on a US system with the same name.
It is expected to widen the sources of enlistees in the armed forces.
The eight ROTC cadets will be commissioned on Saturday together with hundreds of graduates from different military academies in a joint commissioning and graduation ceremony scheduled to be presided over by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). The ceremony is to take place at the Taipei-based Political Warfare College.
The eight ROTC cadets, from different universities around the island, are now taking political education courses at the Political Warfare College, which is a must for all enlistees. They initially had six other fellow trainees, but these six dropped out of the program within one year of registering. They are to serve for five years in the army, which is the required term of service in exchange for the scholarships and allowances they receive from the military from sophomore to senior years.
They may opt to extend their service term after the five years are up, but they will not be given any guarantee about how many more years they can stay in the service because higher-ranked positions are becoming fewer due to the Ching Shih personnel streamline project, a defense official said.
"Although the ROTC program had only 14 accepted applicants in its first year , it has been attracting more and more college students over the past three years," Colonel Tang Hsiang-yun (
"Accepted applicants in the second year rose slightly higher to 19 in total. The figure jumped to 83 last year. This year sees a further growth to 115 in all. We plan to accept a total of 120 next year," Tang said.
Besides the financial subsidies given to the program participants during their college years, Tang said, they are also granted the flexibility to pursue a higher degree while in service.
"They may apply for graduate schools both at home and abroad. If they are accepted, they may start their post-graduate study after serving one year in the army," Tang said.
"Because of the growing popularity of the ROTC program among college students, the air force and navy are now considering following in the army's footsteps to try and recruit new blood," he said.
In addition, the army also plans to widen operational choices for the ROTC cadets, who are now only offered places in the most physically-demanding branches of the army, such as infantry and artillery.
"This year, we offer an extra operational choice for the ROTC cadets -- communications," Tang said.
AMPHIBIOUS EXERCISES: The defense ministry said that it had detected 24 Chinese PLA Air Force planes entering Taiwan’s air defense zone over the previous 24 hours Chinese movements around Taiwan were “abnormal,” Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said yesterday, flagging recent amphibious exercises in addition to drills Taipei has observed in China’s Fujian Province. Taiwan has reported a rise in Chinese military activity over the past week as dozens of fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships, have operated around the nation. “Our initial analysis is that they are doing joint drills in September, including land, sea, air and amphibious,” Chiu told reporters at the legislature in Taipei. The “recent enemy situation is quite abnormal,” he said. The comments followed a statement from the
IN MOURNING: Tsai visited the site and spoke with family members of those killed, while all the major presidential candidates said they would temporarily halt campaigning A fire and subsequent explosions at a golf ball factory at Pingtung Technology Industrial Park (屏東科技產業園區) killed at least seven people, including four firefighters, and injured 98, while three were still missing, authorities said yesterday. The blaze at Launch Technologies Co’s (明揚國際) plant on Jingjian Road raged for more than 12 hours after it started at about 5pm on Friday, officials said. The Pingtung County Fire Bureau early yesterday used large excavators to search for missing people, while family members waited at the scene. Pingtung County Fire Bureau Director Hsu Mei-hsueh (許美雪) said the bureau received a call about the fire at 5:31pm
DETERRENCE: The president on Thursday is to launch the first indigenous submarine, which is to enter sea trials next month before being delivered to the navy next year Taiwan hopes to deploy at least two new, domestically developed submarines by 2027, and possibly equip later models with missiles to bolster its deterrence against the Chinese navy and protect key supply lines, the head of the program said. Taiwan has made the Indigenous Submarine Program a key part of an ambitious project to modernize its armed forces as Beijing stages almost daily military exercises. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who initiated the program when she took office in 2016, is expected to launch the first of eight new submarines on Thursday under a plan that has drawn on expertise and technology from
FISHING FUROR: The latest spat was sparked by a floating barrier that was found across the entrance of Scarborough Shoal during a resupply mission to fishers Beijing yesterday warned Manila not to “stir up trouble” after the Philippine Coast Guard said it removed a floating barrier at a disputed reef that was allegedly deployed by China to block Filipino fishers from the area. Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island, 黃岩島) in the South China Sea has long been a source of tension between the nations. China seized the ring of reefs from the Philippines in 2012 and has since deployed patrol boats. The latest spat was sparked by a 300m floating barrier that was found across the entrance of the shoal last week during a routine Philippine government resupply mission