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People's Daily Online>>China Military

PLA zeroes in on college hiring (3)

By Zhao Shengnan and Li Xiaokun  (China Daily)

09:46, December 22, 2011

Expectations

Li Yueyue, who is just starting his military service, is hopeful about what the mysterious military life can bring to him. "I am not good at tackling pressure now and spent most of my spare time (at college) in the dorm. So I hope the army can make me more strong-minded and optimistic."

There is more that's available. According to a statement from the Chinese National Defense Ministry, college students who enlist for service may resume their studies within two years of leaving the military. The ministry also decided to pay up to 6,000 yuan ($944) a year to college recruits, when they complete their service, to help them with their education.

For example, a recruit who joins the army after two years of college can be paid 12,000 yuan (6,000 for each year of schooling) upon completing military service. A recruit who signs up after college graduation can be paid 24,000.

The ministry also stated that college recruits with outstanding performance in the army may be directly promoted to active-duty officer posts after they complete their two years of training.

Addressing the post-discharge arrangement policy, the Beijing Recruitment Office said college recruits will enjoy "preferential treatment" when applying for jobs at State-owned enterprises, government-sponsored institutions and in civil service. Such jobs are increasingly sought-after because of their stability and generous benefits, including a highly coveted Beijing residence permit. Specific policies covering residence permits in other provinces haven't been developed.

Most earlier college recruits left the army for jobs after the compulsory two years instead of pursuing further military development, Liu said.

One reason was the wide disparity in educational backgrounds and ways of doing things. But now, Liu said, the better-educated army is more tolerant of diversity in education and personality, so more college recruits are likely to stay in the army and make it a career.

PLA has had its own military academies, but it started recruiting graduates and students from ordinary colleges in 2001. By the end of 2009, college graduates accounted for 130,000 of the PLA's soldiers, Xinhua News Agency reported.

A 19-year-old firefighter who asked to be called only by his surname, Pan, enlisted after graduating from high school last year and serves at a fire station in Beijing. (PLA army provides the staff.) He said that some imported firefighting vehicles are so expensive and complicated to operate that only the experienced veterans and well-educated officers have the access to them.

Realizing the limits of his capability, he is considering applying to a military academy to receive further education and develop his firefighting expertise. "I believe it's the best choice for me" after completing the two-year obligation.

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