MOJ investigation officer recalls 10-week FBI training program
Taipei, June 10 (CNA) A Taiwanese investigation officer who recently completed a U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) training program, on Monday recalled the grueling 10-week physical and psychological training program at the FBI National Academy, which included the notorious "Yellow Brick Road."
Tsai Pei-wen (蔡佩汶), an investigation officer from the Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), told reporters that the 10-week program covered all kinds of professional training for law enforcement officers.
However, the most challenging test was a 10-kilometer run through a hilly, wooded course built by the Marines, held in the last week of the program, she noted.
More famously known as "the Yellow Brick Road," Tsai said participants have to climb walls, run through creeks, jump through makeshift windows, scale rock faces with ropes, crawl under barbed wire in muddy water and maneuver across a cargo net.
When students complete this test they receive an actual yellow brick to memorialize their achievement.
Tsai said many trainees were unable to pass the final physical test and there have even been reported deaths during the challenge.
According to official numbers, the academy has trained more than 50,000 officers from around the world since the 10-week program was launched in 1935.
Officers from Taiwan's Investigation Bureau and National Police Agency have participated in the 10-week training course since 1961, and 36 have graduated from the program, according to the MOJ.
Tsai is the latest graduate from Taiwan, having passed the program last week.
Tsai, 34, said she was one of 27 female trainees on the 256-person program this year. She was also one of 35 international trainees.
Most of the trainees were mid-level law enforcement officials who already have years of experience in crime-fighting, she said, adding that the average age for trainees this year was about 45.
As the only representative from Taiwan, Tsai said she also used the training program as an opportunity to introduce the country to her fellow trainees at the FBI campus in Quantico, Virginia.
During the international night event, Tsai displayed the Republic of China (Taiwan) flag in her booth.
She also displayed famous local dishes during the event, including Taiwanese world-famous pearl bubble tea, and Century eggs (皮蛋).
Also known as "thousand-year-old egg," the Century egg is a Chinese preserved food made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method used.
"All of those who saw the name of the eggs were a mixture of terrified and excited about trying them," she said.
Tsai said the program provided her with a unique experience, allowing her to sharpen her professional skills as an investigator but also establish close bonds with counterparts around the world, which she hopes in the future will help boost Taiwan's international crime-fighting efforts.
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