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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Army pushes creature comforts to broaden appeal

ROC Central News Agency

2013/10/08 21:43:54

Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) In a bid to boost lower-than-expected enlistment figures, the Army said Tuesday it has implemented initiatives at around three dozen military units that allow soldiers to use smartphones and live off-base.

The measures, which also include air-conditioning in soldiers' quarters, took effect Oct. 1 in a three-month trial of the new incentives program, according to Lt. Gen. Tseng Yu-fi, director of the Army's Political Warfare Office.

Smartphone use, previously strictly regulated by the military on security concerns, is now permitted at certain periods of time among volunteer servicepeople in 35 designated Army units, who are now allowed to sleep off-base, Tseng said.

In order to provide some creature comforts, soldiers in the select units are also provided with desks, in addition to their regular beds and lockers, he added.

The trial-run will end on Dec. 31, and if all goes well, will be expanded to all Army personnel, Tseng said.

The military hopes to attract more enthusiasm as it aims to shift from a conscript-based force to an all-volunteer system by 2017.

Taiwan originally planned the transition for 2015, but pushed the date back due to lower-than-expected recruitment.

(By Elaine Hou)

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