Taiwan military to double recruitment of 'weekend warriors' next year

05/29/2022 03:15 PM
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Reservists undergo a 14-day training in March. CNA file photo
Reservists undergo a 14-day training in March. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 29 (CNA) Taiwan's military said recently that it will start recruiting twice the annual number of special reservists next year, as part of a reform project to create a more reliable backup force for the country's regular troops, amid China's growing military threats.

In a report sent last week to lawmakers, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said that in 2023 it plans to recruit about 100 "weekend warriors," compared to the 49 it is expected to train this year.

The MND uses the term "weekend warriors" to describe reservists who participate in a short-term voluntary service program, under which they obtain training at military bases on weekends and holidays.

In the report, the MND said Taiwan's military is expected to set up new boot camps, reserve brigades and training centers in the coming years to beef up its reservist training capacity, as China's military threats continue to escalate.

The project will include a larger contingent of "weekend warriors" who are familiar with the regular troops' operations and training, the MND said.

Previously, the defense ministry had said that Taiwan's military could train only 120,000 reservists per year, at the most, although the number of eligible reservists in the country was around 320,000.

In a 2020 report, however, the MND said the military was working to establish five new boot camps and three reservist training centers in the coming years, which would increase its annual training capacity to 268,000 reservists.

The "weekend warrior" project was initiated in 2017 to recruit military retirees who still have high combat capability, skills and expertise, according to the MND.

(By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh)

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