Women are showing keen interest in ROTC

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Women are showing keen interest in ROTC

The Army’s college-based program to train officers is drawing keen attention among young women now that they are allowed to enroll into the Reserve Officer Training Corps as of last year, officials said yesterday.

The Army picked 60 female ROTC cadets from seven universities last year as part of its efforts to secure more talented female officers and give more opportunities to women. From this year, all universities allowed female students into ROTC.

About 1,700 female students applied for 220 ROTC positions this year with the competition ratio standing at 7.7 to 1, the defense ministry said. Last year, the competition ratio for female applicants was 6 to 1, it said.

“We believe the popularity of the ROTC program among women will increase the quality of entry-level officers,” said Park Sang-joon, a senior official at the ministry’s department for personnel affairs.

The competition ratio among male applicants for ROTC also rose to 3.2 to 1 this year, compared with 2.1 to 1 last year, according to the statement.

The Army plans to pick some 2,000 ROTC cadets this year, it said.

Currently, there are some 6,400 female commissioned officers and noncommissioned officers in the South’s 655,000-strong military. Women are not required to complete military service.

All healthy young Korean males must serve at least 21 months in the military, which faces North Korea’s 1.1-million armed forces across a heavily fortified border.

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