Chapter 4. National Defense Policy Implementation
/Section 2. Devise Well-planned Transformation of Military Service
The adoption of the Volunteer Military System represents a key reform to our military service, and it will determine the successful transformation of ROC national defense. The Volunteer Military System is expected to be beneficial for improving ROC Armed Forces operational capacity, allowing rational personnel deployment, and reducing social costs. To effectively improve ROC Armed Forces operational capacities, we have been recruiting and cultivating highly motivated and experienced candidates to join long-term volunteer service so as to reduce training costs, make the best of their expertise, and resolve inherent weaknesses of the conscription system such as high turnover and difficulties in accumulating military competences.
I. Dedicate to the Volunteer Military System
In order to carry out the policy of the Volunteer Military System, the MND is focusing on implementation of transitional conscription mechanism, recruitment for volunteer service members, and improvement on professional training. Under the leadership of Executive Yuan's Volunteer Military Program Task Force, the MND has been coordinating other governmental agencies to carefully implement the policy stepwise, so as to ensure the successful transition of the current military service.
( I ) Transit ion Conscript ion Mechanism for Successful Transformation of Military Service
In accordance with the Act of Military Service System, the Executive Yuan has prescribed that from 1 January 2013, male adults born after 1 January 1994 shall undergo 4 months of regular military service training. For male adults born on 31 December 1993 or earlier without prior records of conscription, they shall serve in substitute service for 1 year. However, in light of current threats, increased tensions in the region, commissioning of highly capable new equipment, and the need to ensure national security, we are conscripting male adults born in 1993 or before and revising the verification schedule for the volunteer military system, so as to ensure a smooth and successful transformation of military service.
( II ) Continue Recruiting for Securing Manpower Sources
Recruitment target for 2014 was to recruit 16,069 individuals to attend all opening classes, and the result was 19,355 individuals recruited for an achievement rate of 120.5%. Among those recruited, there were 15,024 individuals for volunteer enlistee vacancies with an achievement rate of 142.3%. In comparison with 11,069 individuals recruited in 2012 and 10,942 in 2013, our recruitment is growing steadily. Following the recruitment success in 2014, we have set the recruitment target for 2015 at 14,000 individuals, and have recruited 11,901 individuals by the end of August. The ROC Armed Forces shall continue to provide thoughtful incentives to achieve the recruitment targets for 2015 and 2016.
( III ) Strengthen Professional Training and Enhance Force Performance
To achieve the advantage of quality over quantity, we have to recruit individuals to join the volunteer service with long service terms, and train them with extensive professional skill sets because they are the key to improve our force performance through the Volunteer Military System. Volunteer enlistees shall undergo improved professional military education in basic training and military occupational specialty (MOS) training to enhance their operational competences. It is hoped that they can assume duty positions in their designated units after graduation. When they join the active force, they shall receive advanced combat and composite training to further transform them into versatile combatants so as to help improve overall force performance.
II. Provide Comprehensive Incentives for Recruiting
To acquire stable recruitment sources and retain needed personnel, the MND, guided by the Executive Yuan and assisted by other governmental agencies, has been taking steps to construct complete legal basis for recruiting incentives, host events to elaborate policies, strengthen recruitment advertisements, make reasonable wage increases, renovate living quarters, encourage advanced education during off-hours, and improve systems for veteran affairs.
By recruiting individuals to serve as highly motivated and experienced members in volunteer service with long service terms, the ROC Armed Forces may thus have an edge to exert their potential of professionalism to effectively enhance our force performance.
1.2.To acquire stable recruitment resources and retain needed personnel, the MND has been taking steps to construct incentives, host events to elaborate policy, strengthen recruitment advertisements, make reasonable wage increases, renovate living quarters, encourage advanced education during off-hours, and improve systems for veteran affairs.
( I ) Construct Complete Legal Basis for Incentives and Improve Care for Service Members
To construct complete legal basis for increasing wage, improving dignity, and exploring career opportunities after separation from the military for personnel recruited from the Volunteer Military System, the MND, working with the Ministry of the Interior and the Republic of China Veterans Affairs Council (VAC), has been proposing for the stipulation of the Provisional Act for the Implementation of the Volunteer Military System and amendments to the Statute of Welfare for Service members and Dependents and the ROC Veterans Assistance Act, so as to finish all legal processes, and establish a systemic guarantee for the protection of welfare for both active and retired personnel to whom we shall provide multi-faceted care.
( II ) Host Events to Elaborate Policies and Acquire Public Recognition
To earn public recognition to the benefits of the Volunteer Military System policy, the MND has been making full use of the timings of major annual exercises and training sessions, all-out defense education activities, open house events, Midshipman Cruise Training, and local reservist sports events, to host recruiting events in local communities. By hosting these events, we may invite local people, students, and reservist counseling organizations to participate, and elaborate our recruiting policy to them in order to encourage young adults to pursue a military career.
( III ) Strengthen Recruitment Advertisements and Promote Military Service
To encourage perspective young adults to sign up, the MND has designed and issued brochures and video promotion through multiple channels to disseminate recruitment information. Moreover, we have constructed an interactive guided-tour section titled Starting a Military Career on the official website of the Recruitment Center of the ROC Armed Forces, using online real-time interaction to keep young adults informed, and help them to choose a military career track that meets their expertise and ideals. In addition, we have adopted diverse recruitment means, including producing realistic promotional films, such as homeland guardians, elite armed forces, and uniform of glory, to help young adults and the public to gain a better understanding on the real life and training in the ROC Armed Forces so as to encourage them willingly join the service.
( IV ) Make Reasonable Wage Increases and Raise Allowances
As of 1 January 2014, the Executive Yuan has raised volunteer service allowance and class 1 and class 2 offshore island allowances, which are indeed beneficial to our recruitment and retention. To speed up volunteer replacements for operational forces and other strenuous units, the Executive Yuan on 1 April 2015 has approved 2 extra allowances: operational forces service allowance and retention bonus, in order to maintain a stable recruitment and retention, and provide more incentives for young talents to serve than those offered by the private sector.
( V ) Renovate Living Quarters and Improving Service Environments
The MND has introduced corporate management for 3 specialized funds, namely the ROC Armed Forces Camp and Facility Rebuilding Fund, ROC Armed Forces Fund for the Rebuilding of Old Military Dependents' Village, and ROC Armed Forces Production and Service Operations Fund. Aiming at effective integration of defense resources, and following the government policy of land use revitalization, the MND has been pouring the revenues generated from these funds in renovating old camps and living quarters, so as to improve service environments, and rid service members of worries about their families.
( VI ) Encourage Advanced Education during Off-hours and Elevate Quality of Service Members
To facilitate service members to undergo advanced education, the MND, under the assistance from the Ministry of Education (MOE), has been building strategic alliances with willing universities and colleges to open credited courses for diplomas and training courses for certificates for service members during off-hours as of 2014. We are requesting the MOE and educational institutions to which we have established alliance to further expand those courses in both Taiwan Proper and offshore islands, so as to elevate the quality and skill levels of our volunteer service members.
( VII ) Improve Systems for Veteran Affairs and Assist in School Admissions and Job Employment
Under the guidance of Executive Yuan's Employment Promotion Policy for Youth, the MND has been working with the VAC and the Ministry of Labor to establish a communication platform and a career counseling system to cater to the employment and training requirements of service members pending discharge, and to improve pre-discharge training counseling and job matching programs so as to help service members acquire technical certificates and have a smooth transition to future employment after discharge. To promote the Volunteer Military System, the VAC has also proposed revisions to the ROC Veterans Assistance Act, which is now under review by the Legislative Yuan to provide counseling services to veterans who have served between 4 and 10 years. The revision also focuses on providing counseling services categorized by different MOSs and ranks, with attention paid to school admissions and job employment, so as to ensure that volunteer service members after discharge are able to receive necessary counseling for future employment.