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Civilian Workforce in the Military Will Be Doubled from 5%

Active-duty soldiers in non-combat positions are being redeployed to combat positions.

The proportion of military officers will be 35.5% by 2022.

A special law to observe and ensure political neutrality is being promoted.


By 2022, reshuffling the defense manpower structure as part of the Defense Reform 2.0 plan, the size of the standing forces will shrink from the current 618,000 to 500,000 members while the civilian personnel will increase from the current 34,000 to 55,000 members.


On August 1, the Ministry of National Defense held a public meeting to explain the main tasks of Defense Reform 2.0, which include a plan to reshuffle the defense manpower structure by a drastic increase in the number of civilian personnel in the military forces from 5% to 10% in order to prevent a loss in combat power caused by the reduction in the standing forces. The tasks also entail promoting institutional improvement, as well as the improvement of consciousness, to ensure political neutrality, increasing the number of female soldiers and ensuring their working conditions, offering reasonable compensation to those who have fulfilled their military duties, and expanding support for the employment of discharged soldiers.


The defense workforce consists of personnel engaged in national defense, which is comprised of soldierscommissioned and noncommissioned officers, as well as active-duty soldiersand the civilian workforcecivilian workers and military employees.


With respect to reshuffling the defense workforce structure, the Ministry's Officer of Planning and Cooperation, Yun Young-mo, stated that "the Ministry plans to reinforce our military combat power by increasing the civilian workforce, such as the number of civilian military employees, in non-combat positions, including munitions, administration, and education, to replace active-duty soldiers, who will be redeployed to combat units, such as standing force divisions or special forces.”

The Ministry's plan to reshuffle the defense workforce structure will be completed with the strengthening of combat power by the decrease in military forces and increase in military officers. Accordingly, the current proportion of military officers will be increased from 30.4% to 35.5% in 2022. The number of soldiers will be reduced from 64.4% to 54.6% while the civilian workforce will be doubled from the current 5%.


“In my judgment, the reshuffling of the defense workforce structure will ensure that our combat power can be displayed through our military's active reactions to unavoidable changes in situations, such as population structure, and will also contribute to job creation,” Yun said.


On that day, the Ministry also explained a measure for ensuring the military's political neutrality by the establishment of a tentative ‘special law to observe and ensure the political neutrality of soldiers'. This special law provides regulations for the punishment of military superiors and government officials, who directed political interferences, to eradicate political interferences by the military.


For expanding the proportion of female soldiers in the military to more than 8.8% by 2022, the Ministry has introduced a personnel support system, a system to support work and life balance, expansion of female-supportive facilities, etc.


For soldiers, there are eye-catching measures, such as a new installment savings plan that offers a high-interest rate of 6% to encourage soldiers to save more, and for corporals and sergeants, there are two-day emergency leaves to allow them to prepare for employment after being discharged.




By Chul-Hwan, Kim < >

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