This picture of mine was taken in early 1978 when I was being trained at the School for Political Warfare Officers, now Fu Hsing Kang College of University of National Defense, to become a reserve officer. Before then, I had spent three months at an army base in Taichung for basic training. My training completed in late March and I was given my commission as a second lieutenant and a ten-day leave before reporting my duty to my assigned outfit to start my compulsory military service for sixteen months.
Recently President Ma was bitterly lashed out for bouncing his campaign check about “full volunteer armed forces.” The Ministry of National Defense admitted that there weren’t enough volunteers recruited so the males born in 1993 would still be drafted to serve. Ma administration said former president Chen Sui-bian should be blamed. Why the military could not get enough manpower started when Chen began to shorten the service time. This was typical political trick to evade responsibility.
2016 is Taiwan’s campaign year. I dare say any candidate with some sense will not actively raise this issue. I would like to give all candidates a word of advice: Never try to overthrow an existing system completely if you are not sure the new one is at least 90% reliable.