It was reported that our Ministry of Defense is now planning to produce a soap opera series by copying Descendants of the Sun, a 2016 South Korean TV series, to promote the image of our military. By so doing, the MOD hopes to reach its target of recruiting enough volunteers to serve so that the shortage of manpower could be resolved.
How serious is the manpower problem in our armed forces?
According to a recent news report, a tank battalion of Army’s Lanyang Command should have at least 12 subalterns to run its 12 tank platoons. Due to a shortage of officers of junior ranks, all platoons are now run by senior sergeants.
90 out of the 300 companies of the Sixth Army lack of political warfare officers.
Why can’t the military find enough young officers to fill in these vacancies?
One of the reasons is that senior enlistees do not want to be promoted as non-commissioned officers for they are reluctant to shoulder more responsibilities taking charge of enlistees. And NCOs do not want to be officers for the same reason.
I do not think that making a TV series would make more men and women want to join the army. I do, however, believe that this is a good time for the authorities to consider downsizing our armed forces. Let’s be realistic. How are we going to fight the People’s Liberation Army if they launch a full-scale attack on this island? At present, a symbolic military force is well enough to guard this island, and the defense budget saved can be better used elsewhere. In the long run, we should consider establishing permanent peace mechanism with mainland China.