The new mobilization training policy for males discharged from military service in Taiwan will be implemented alongside the old regulations, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Thursday.
In an online press conference, MND spokesman Shih Shun-wen (???) said that when the new policy takes effect Jan. 1, 2022, reservists can be asked to train in consecutive years rather than every other year.
Currently, a maximum eight-year training period is mandated for conscripted reservists and up to 12 years for former enlisted personnel, and this will be maintained under the new policy, according to the MND.
Only adult male citizens in Taiwan are subject to mandatory mobilization training, while reservists are retrained to maintain their combat readiness. Female citizens are not included in the policy, as they are not subject to conscription but can enlist voluntarily in the military.
The current training policy, which is managed by the Taiwanese Armed Forces Reserve Command, mandates mobilization training at least twice in eight years for conscription reservists after their discharge from the military, with the possibility of four training call-ups during that period.
Those who have had at last two training periods are placed at the bottom of the call-back list.
Several conscription reservists have said that to date, they have been called back four times for training.
Meanwhile, reservists who had enlisted voluntarily are required to undergo four mobilization training sessions within eight years after their discharge from the military.
If they do not meet that goal, their mandatory training period would automatically be extended from eight to 12 years, according to the policy.
Tao Cheng-chun (???), deputy head of the MND's department of mobilization, said that when the new policy takes effect next January, conscription and enlistment reservists may be called up annually for training.
Under both the old and new policies, priority will be given to retraining newly discharged personnel, ahead of those who left the military earlier, he said.
Reservists who are called up for retraining under the old policy will receive five to seven days of training, depending on their rank, while all those summoned under the new policy will have to train for 14 days, Tao said, adding that the financial compensation will increase after the fifth session.
He said that 97,000 reservist will be trained each year under the old policy, and 15,000 under the new one, with the calls issued between January and February, and in December, respectively.
While the new policy will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2022, in tandem with the old one, it will only be carried out for the first nine months of the year, as the other three months will be dedicated to progress assessments, according to Tao.
After the three-month assessment, a decision will be made on whether to maintain the new policy, he said.
The new plan was devised after the MND said last year it wanted to maintain a more reliable and competent reserve force in the country, amid China's increasing military maneuvers around Taiwan, including a growing frequency of Chinese military aircraft entering Taiwan's air defense identification zone.
In its 2021 National Defense Report, the MND also unveiled plans to upgrade its All-out Defense Mobilization office to an All-out Defense Mobilization Agency and increase the staff from 30 to 150, so as to help improve the capabilities of national reservists.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel