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Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup urges maximum effort to aid soldiers' transition

Minister Lee delivered an opening speech at the Soldiers Job Fair.

Lee stressed support for exploring exceptional skills and talents

Around 200 companies participated with themed halls by sector

Online consultations and one-stop job application process

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup urges maximum effort


At the first half 2023 Soldiers Job Fair on April 18th, held in KINTEX, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup encouraged soldiers as they consulted with company representatives.


Defense Minister Lee stressed the ministry's commitment to aiding soldiers in their transition to civilian life after serving their country.


During his opening speech at the job fair, Minister Lee expressed gratitude to soldiers who had enlisted at a young age, a crucial time in their lives, and dedicated themselves to the country.


Minister Lee emphasized that soldiers were fulfilling a sacred duty to defend their nation and were sincere young individuals who represented Korea's future. He noted that military service imbued soldiers with a sense of responsibility, leadership, and crisis management skills. However, despite their superior abilities and talents, soldiers often face challenges in finding employment after discharge, especially due to the elimination of the preferred recruitment system for soldiers and companies' preference for experienced applicants.


Minister Lee outlined the Defense Ministry's programs to assist with soldiers' transition to civilian life and emphasized the need for greater attention and support from businesses, institutions, and the military.


He also mentioned that the two-day job fair, which started on the same day, would provide a valuable opportunity for soldiers looking for employment, and expressed his hope that it would also serve as an occasion for companies to discover exceptional and dependable talent.


The job fair will be held at KINTEX Hall 10 until April 19, as well as virtually on the website


The job fair, organized by the Military Outplacement Training Institute and hosted by the Ministry of National Defense, has received support from various organizations including the Ministry of Science and ICT, Ministry of Employment and Labor, Ministry of Patriots and Veterans, Presidential Security Service, Military Manpower Administration, Defense Acquisition Program Administration, Federation of Korean Industries, and Korea Defense Industry Association. The Defense Ministry plans to hold another fair in September for the second half of the year.


The Defense Ministry has been organizing the soldiers’ job fair since 1996 to support retired soldiers in finding employment and prevent career interruptions due to military service. The fair provides soldiers with job information and updates on the latest employment trends, while also offering companies the opportunity to recruit talented individuals. As of last year, the fair has created over 9,000 jobs and is now the Defense Ministry’s primary job support program.


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Defense Ministry organized the job fair in a virtual format last year. However, this year's fair was held in person to accommodate the growing demand for face-to-face job search opportunities and the preferences of companies seeking in-person interviews.


About 200 companies set up booths for in-person job interviews and consultations at the fair. This year, the fair also provided online preliminary consulting and a streamlined one-stop application process to assist job seekers. Moreover, many popular companies among junior officers set up thematic halls by business sector for the first time, and an application hall was established to increase the application rate of officers.


The Defense Ministry announced that the job fair website will be available until the end of the year, and soldiers who register as members can access job information including recruitment procedures and schedules of the participating companies.

By Hyun-woo, Seo <>

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