“There is no reason why women cannot serve.” Military drastically reduced troops due to low birth, discussions on female conscription and service extension

yunhap news

In order to solve the problem of lack of military service resources due to the ‘population cliff’, plans were discussed in earnest, such as increasing the current 18 months of active duty service (army standard) to 21 to 24 months and introducing a female conscription system.

On the 11th, at the ‘Forum for the Development of the Military Service System in the Age of Population Cliff’ held at the National Assembly Members’ Hall by Congressman Shin Won-sik, the Military Manpower Administration, and the Sungwoo Association, female conscription and military service period expansion, abolition of the alternative service system, and quasi-professionals in the reserve army A plan was proposed to overcome the problem of lack of military service resources, such as conversion to the reserve army.

The Seongwoo Association predicted that the population of 20-year-olds, the age of military conscription, would decrease significantly from 250,000 this year to 220,000 in 2025 and 180,000 in 2037 due to the low birth rate, where the total fertility rate dropped to 0.78 as of last year.

The Sungwoo Association pointed out that drastic improvements to the military service system, such as extending the service period for active duty soldiers or conscripting women, are needed in a situation where it is difficult to maintain the current military service system.

Lee Han-ho, chairman of the Sungwoo Association, said, “Even if we secure advanced weapon systems and apply Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, war is ultimately fought by people.” ” claimed.

He continued, “It is inevitable to see our serious insensitivity to national security to reduce the number of troops in line with the conscriptable population while setting the service period to 18 months as it is now.” It has to be taken into consideration,” he said.

“In the past, it was not possible to conscript women with a fertility rate exceeding 6, but now the fertility rate is only 0.78, so there is no reason why women cannot serve in the military,” he said. It is a task that needs to be reviewed,” he added.

Dr. Cho Kwan-ho of the Korea Institute for Defense Analysts said, “If the service period is maintained at 18 months, there will inevitably be a big problem in the supply and demand of troops. insisted.

Dr. Yang Wook of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies said, “The most realistic way to overcome the limitations of personnel is to make the reserve force a reality.” said.

At the same time, he suggested, “The development of a future military service system that can compensate for the decrease in the number of units due to the reduction of troops through various promotion systems by discriminating the reserve forces by mission and function, and contributing to the creation of jobs for young people through various promotion systems is required.” did.

Lee Ki-sik, head of the Military Manpower Administration, emphasized, “Facing a serious crisis of declining youth population, it is causing a very big problem in securing stable military service resources.”

In addition, Vice Minister of National Defense Shin Beom-cheol said, “We are trying to transform the military structure to reduce troops centered on manned and unmanned complex systems.”

Reporter Kim Soo-yeon [email protected]

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