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Record number volunteer for military service: MND

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A salary raise for voluntary soldiers that was approved by the government earlier this year has proved successful as an incentive to boost recruitment as the latest numbers show a record-high number of applicants have applied to join the R.O.C. armed forces.

According to statistics released by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday, a total of 21,294 men and women have applied to join Taiwan military since January.

The number is almost double that of the MND's original annual target of 10,557. The number also is an 83-percent increase in comparison with the same period last year, the MND announced during a press conference in Taipei, yesterday.

The MND ultimately recruited 7,127 among the 21,294 applicants, said Major General Liu Ching-chung (劉靖中) of the MND's Human Resources Division.

Among them 6,101 are males and 1,026 females, he noted.

The MND is confident that it can reach its annual recruitment goal this year as early as September, he added.

The high application rate means government-initiated incentives are proving successful, he noted.

The military had been suffering from poor recruitment over the past few years.

In a move to boost recruitment, the Cabinet approved the military's proposal of a NT$2,000 to NT$4,000 salary raise for volunteer soldiers in late 2013. The starting salary hike took effect in January this year.

A private with a previous starting salary of NT$29,000 now receives an additional NT$4,000, bringing his or her monthly pay to NT$33,000.

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