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Retired soldiers may become civil servants through MND exam

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday announced that it will complete the exam system for retired soldiers to be able to transfer to civil servant positions. The move is made in order to attract more people to join the armed forces after the all-volunteer military system is launched in 2017.

According to the MND, along with the promotion of the all-volunteer military system, the government has been focusing on how to attract more people to join the force, including improving salaries and maintaining dignity for soldiers.

The MND said that having a financially stable future is another crucial factor that affects the youth's decision on whether or not they should join the military.

According to the MND, it will work with the Examination Yuan to conduct debate and research on the exam system that will allow retired soldiers to be transferred to civil service positions.

Based on the 10th Article of the Amendment of the Constitution, the MND said, the nation should respect the contributions that soldiers make to society, so the government should protect the soldiers' right to work after they retire from the military.

The MND said that the exam system that allows veterans to be transferred could also reduce the government's financial burden while attracting more people to join the Army.

According to the MND, the maximum years of service or age limit of commissioned officers is 10 to 15 years for captains and 20 to 28 years for colonels based on the Act of Military Service for Officers and Noncommissioned Officers of the Armed Forces, which means that most are in their 30s or 40s when they retire from the military.

The MND hopes that the public can support the necessary change of abolishing the existing conscription system and replace it with a full voluntary one, and the government will work harder to make the system more complete.

The military's voluntary recruitment drive has been facing difficulties over the past few years.

The military originally expected to abolish the existing conscription system and replace it with a fully voluntary one by Jan. 1, 2015.

It was originally scheduled to recruit around 28,000 voluntary soldiers by the end of this year. But in the first seven months of this year, only 4,200 have reported to their military units, according to an MND report released in August 2013.

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