Face, cor­rect mis­takes to build bet­ter mil­i­tary: Ma

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou yesterday called on the R.O.C. Armed Forces to hon­estly face their mis­takes and cor­rect them in or­der to build a sounder sys­tem within the mil­i­tary in the wake of the latest mil­i­tary scan­dal that marred the im­age of Tai­wan’s mil­i­tary.

Mak­ing his ad­dress dur­ing a con­fer­ral cer­e­mony to pro­mote se­nior mil­i­tary of­fi­cials, the pres­i­dent gave pep talks to en­cour­age all mil­i­tary per­son­nel to re­main in high spir­its de­spite a re­cent in­ci­dent that has largely tar­nished the im­age of the mil­i­tary as a whole.

The in­ci­dent Ma was re­fer­ring to was a high-pro­file scan­dal in which a pi­lot of the Taoyuan-based Army Avi­a­tion Spe­cial Forces 601st Brigade al­lowed civil­ians to take pho­to­graphs of an AH-64E Apache he­li­copter with­out go­ing through the proper chan­nels.

Us­ing the Apache in­ci­dent as an ex­am­ple, Ma called on sol­diers to learn from the ex­pe­ri­ence and amend the mis­takes.

“We all make mis­takes; the im­por­tant thing is that we should learn from our mis­takes,” he said.

In­stead of feel­ing up­set, the pres­i­dent said the mil­i­tary should face up to the in­ci­dent, make amends and re­form and to make sure sim­i­lar cases will not hap­pen again.

Com­mand­ing of­fi­cers of mil­i­tary units should not be afraid of wash­ing his or her dirty laun­dry in public, the pres­i­dent added.

Only by fac­ing their prob­lems will the R.O.C. Armed Forces con- tinue to build a sounder sys­tem and be­come more ca­pa­ble of de­fend­ing the coun­try, he said.

Mean­while, the pres­i­dent said the na­tion’s on­go­ing push to con­vert its mil­i­tary into fully vol­un­teer force is go­ing smoothly as the gov­ern­ment has ap­proved waves of pay raises, launched mil­i­tary re­forms and built a more com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment for sol­diers, all of which serve as bet­ter in­cen­tives for sign­ing up.

These re­forms have proven suc­cess­ful in boost­ing re­cruit­ment as the num­bers show that a record high of 15,024 men and women have de­cided to join the armed forces as vol­un­teer sol­diers in 2014.

The re­cruit­ment is also go­ing smoothly this year, he said, adding that the mil­i­tary is con­fi­dent of grad­u­ally but steadily meet­ing the trans­for­ma­tion goal.

Ma made the com­ments dur­ing a cer­e­mony in Taipei to mark the pro­mo­tion of 29 se­nior mil­i­tary of­fi­cers to the ranks of ma­jor gen­eral, or one-star gen­eral, and lieu­tenant gen­eral, or two-star gen­eral.

Of the 29, seven were pro­moted to the rank of lieu­tenant gen­eral. They are listed un­der the MND, Coast Guard Ad­min­is­tra­tion ( CGA) and Na­tional Se­cu­rity Bureau (NSB).

Another 22 peo­ple were to be pro­moted to the rank of ma­jor gen­eral, the MND said. They are from the MND, CGA, NSB as well as the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MOE).

New 542rd Brigade Com­man­der

Among the newly pro­moted on­es­tar gen­er­als are Maj. Gen. Liu Wei-hsin ( ), com­man­der of the Army’s 542nd Brigade. Liu, 46, is the youngest gen­eral in ac­tive ser­vice in the R.O.C. Armed Forces.

Liu took over the post from his pre­de­ces­sor, Maj. Gen. Yu Pei-chen ( ), who re­tired from his mil­i­tary ca­reer ear­lier this year due to health prob­lems.

The 542nd Brigade has been put un­der the media spotlight fol­low­ing the death of Army Cpl. Hung Chung-chiu ( ), a mem­ber of the brigade, in July 2013.

CNA

Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou, cen­ter, shakes hands with newly pro­moted gen­er­als dur­ing a con­fer­ral cer­e­mony in Taipei yesterday to mark the pro­mo­tion of 29 se­nior mil­i­tary of­fi­cers to the ranks of ma­jor gen­eral, or one-star gen­eral, and lieu­tenant gen­eral, or two-star gen­eral.

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