Nationwide review of military discipline will be staged following security lapse
Chief of the General Staff Gen. Yen De-fa ( ) has issued a directive for a comprehensive review of discipline in the R.O.C.’s armed forces, a process that will be carried out nationwide Tuesday.
All military personnel on duty Tuesday are required to attend the review meetings within their units, according to Yen’s directive, which was issued in the wake a security lapse at an Army base in Taoyuan where Apache helicopters are stationed.
Soldiers who are hospitalized will be given lectures on discipline, while those who are on leave will be required to attend follow-up meetings upon their return to duty, the military said.
During Tuesday’s sessions, the heads of all military departments and units will reiterate the military’s rules and guidelines of interior management, gender relations and information security, and will review recent lapses in discipline.
As part of the effort to tighten discipline, Defense Minister Kao Kuangchi ( ) has called for disciplinary action to be taken against military personnel who violate the rules of ethics and integrity, and for them to be placed on a list for possible expulsion from military service.
The directives were issued after it was discovered that Apache helicopter pilot Lt. Col. Lao Nai-cheng ( ) had taken a group of 26 relatives and friends, including a Japanese man and five foreign domestic helpers, on a tour of his base in Longtan District in Taoyuan on March 29.
Without his superiors’ approval, Lao allegedly gave his visitors access to a hangar on the base that houses AH-64E Apaches, the Army’s most advanced attack helicopter, and even allowed them to board one of the choppers and take photos.
It is also alleged that late last month, the 40-year-old pilot sneaked out his Apache helmet, which is listed as a controlled item, and wore it to private parties.
The military penalized Lao on April 3, issuing a major demerit and removing him from his post as a deputy head of a helicopter squadron under the Army Special Forces Command.
In another recent case, Army commander Yang Chia- chih (
) , who was stationed in Dongyin Island, was removed from his post last week for alleged sexual harassment of female officers.
In addition, a company commander of the 8th Army Command was accused of sexual harassment in a case that surfaced Sunday. Those incidents, along with allegations of a volunteer Navy sailor going on a drinking spree on a military base, have drawn public criticisms of loose military security.
The military’s decision to hold the review on discipline is the first such nationwide action since 1949, when the Republic of China government relocated from mainland China to Taiwan after losing a civil war against communist forces.