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최종편집 : 2024.04.22 월 19:31
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확대축소프린트
 Lee Seo-young
How Do People Deal With The ROTC Shortage Issue?
제 512 호    발행일 : 2024.04.22 
  The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is a student military training corps that can be found in many universities in South Korea. The aim of the ROTC is to train elementary-level officers following the example of the ROTC in the U.S. Especially, the ROTC is an essential resource because it produces about 70% in the number of commissioned officers of elementary-level.
  Recently, as the conscription period for non-commissioned Korean soldiers decrease, while the general treatment of soldiers improves, the number of applicants of the ROTC is declining.
  According to the Defense Statistic Annual Report, the competition rate of school district officers was 1:4.5 in 2015, 1:4.1 in 2016, but dropped to 1:2.8 in 2021, and 1:2.4 in 2022. Consequently in 2023, it was measured at 1:1.6. That is, to say that it is continuously decreasing. CBNU shows the same alarming trend.
  Thus, a CBT reporter investigated the commission index of the ROTC for CBNU, and the reporter found that it has been declining. In 2016, 62 students were commissioned and 53 students in 2018, 51 students in 2021, and in 2022, only 32 students were commissioned. Even, in 2023 the 63rd and in 2024 the 64th intake had less than 30 new recruits each.

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  The biggest reason of the decreasing ROTC application is the disappearing its merits.
  First, its service period is longer than ordinary soldiers. The current service period of ordinary soldiers in the army is 18 months, but for the ROTC it is 28 months. That is a difference of 10 months.
  Lee Jae-yul (Dept. of English Language and Literature, 24) said “I wanted to join the ROTC but its service period is too long, and it will not be possible to get a job as soon as possible.”
  Second, the salary that is provided to junior officers is low. The present government is planning to give ordinary soldiers a salary of about 2 million KRW per month, but an ROTC graduate will only earn 1,892,400 KRW per month. That is, there is no big difference between them.
  Third, there are simply no advantage to joining the ROTC anymore. In the past, ROTC officers have had some advantages because of their leadership and loyalty in the community. Also, companies used to offer promotions to former officers, but as finding employment has become increasingly difficult with more and more demanding requirements. ROTC officers end up having more difficulty to get a job than ordinary soldiers.
  Kwak Song-hoon (Dept. of English Language and Literature, 24) said “The ROTC needs to train during vacations and prepare for employment in the military. Therefore, I think students in ROTC cannot attain important qualifications that companies require. Besides, I heard that there is no preferential treatment for ROTC graduates. If the ROTC does not have any advantages in employment, I think there is no any reasons to join.”
  Currently, most ROTC applicants to major universities across the country are below the quota. Only universities that have special majors like a Department of Military have a high competition rate. The rapid decline of ROTC applicants will cause a disruption in the supply and demand of junior officers and result in a big problem for national defense. The government can resolve the problem by making policies that are proper to a changing generation and effective in resolving this problem.

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By Lee Seo-young
seoyeongi619@chungbuk.ac.kr
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