PLA parade inspires female recruits

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, November 9, 2009
Adjust font size:

The number of female army applicants has surged by 300 percent, with many women saying they were inspired by the National Day parade.

A young woman has a medical exam at Daxing District Hospital yesterday as part of the Autumn army recruitment.

A young woman has a medical exam at Daxing District Hospital yesterday as part of the Autumn army recruitment.

Ding Zhengquan, the spokesman for the recruitment office of Beijing municipal government, said more than 3,000 women from Beijing had applied to join the army.

About 1,200 girls had passed preliminary screening and begun medical examinations as of yesterday.

Speaking to METRO, Ding said the surge is linked to the performance of the women's squad during the Oct 1 military parade in Tian'anmen Square.

"We have received more than 3,000 applications this year, compared to about 1,000 female applicants last year. However, the number of female soldiers we will recruit decreased this year."

Ding refused to reveal the number of available vacancies for female soldiers in Beijing.

A teacher, who did not want to be identified, at the conscription office at Beijing Normal University said that in Haidian district alone, 755 females are competing for only 30 positions this year.

Ding said that in addition to the impressive military parade, the army had favorable conditions, including 6,000 yuan subsidy to cover tuition fees and job opportunities once soldiers returned from service.

China is under tremendous pressure to find jobs for its 6.1 million college students that graduated this year. Of the 1,200 candidates in the medical exam yesterday, 90 percent were university students.

Liu Shan, a 20-year-old third-year college student from the Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, said: "I already have some part-time work experience, so I understand the difficulty of finding an ideal job. It will be a lot easier to find a job or go to graduate schools after finishing the service in the army."

A father of a 23-year-old girl surnamed Wang said: "My daughter has wanted to join the army since she was in kindergarten. As a parent, I completely support her. I know life in the army can be tough, but I think young people learn a lot from adversity."

But Wang was afraid his daughter would not pass the physical examination.

"She has two piercings in one of her ears which is not allowed. According to the conscription policy, they can only get one piercing for each ear. I hope it won't become a huge problem," Wang said.

The physical examination includes 13 tests, including ultrasonic and psychological tests. Successful candidates will then have face-to-face interviews.

It is the first year that the People's Liberation Army has recruited directly from the public. In the past, women had to be recommended to become recruits. The criteria for female soldiers are extremely high. It is open to women aged 18 to 24 and they must have at least a high school degree.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share


No comments.

Add your comments...

  • Your Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Send your storiesGet more from