Over 4.7 million youths apply to the army: MND

By Zhang Xuan Source:Global Times Published: 2015-8-28 0:38:01

More than 4.7 million youths have applied for the People's Liberation Army this year, including over 800,000 university students, the Ministry of National Defense announced Thursday.

Senior Colonel Yang Yujun, the ministry's spokesman, said that the number of new recruits is higher than in previous years.

"The new recruits are required to arrive at their assigned military camps by the end of September," Yang said.

Zheng Bing, an official from the Beijing military recruitment office, told the Global Times Thursday that the number of university graduates joining the PLA is higher than last year.

"About 70 percent of new recruits this year are fresh graduates, compared with 61.8 percent last year," said Zheng.

The annual salary of a new soldier could reach up to 88,000 yuan ($13,745), higher than the starting salary of many other professions, Zheng said.

The average annual salary of this year's graduates is about 32,000 yuan, according to a report published jointly by Peking University and ganji.com, a job search website, on Monday.

Most youths are the only child in the family, and tend to be introverts. Their parents hope military life would discipline them, Zheng said.

No official records are accessible on the number of college students who serve in the military every year. Several local military recruitment offices reached by the Global Times said that roughly half of the nation's provincial recruitment offices have witnessed an increase in the number of recruits.

Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times that a military career provides a new option to graduates. "Our military need new blood, especially  college graduates," Song said.

When they are discharged after two years of service, some enjoy benefits like funding for further education, while others can choose to continue military service as officers, according to Song.

Reports said 3,075 university students who served as soldiers were promoted and 1,573 of the best soldiers were recommended for postgraduate studies in 2013.

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