Alternative Service Military Duty


#1

I am serving in the Aternative Service right now. I've gone through basic training, medical exam, application process, selection process & the whole nine yards. Happy to answer any questions and concerns.


Alternative Service in Taiwan for U.S. Citizen (born in taiwan)
#2

Good luck, I just finished my stint last month. 14 months of bullshit.

Just curious, where are you stationed? I'm assuming you chose to teach English in the MOE or did you choose some other department?


#3

How easy/difficult is it to get into alternative service?

I was born in Taiwan but am going to school in US, but want to go back to Taiwan for a PhD. My optimal plan is to defer my service until after I obtain my degree and then do alternative service via research work. How realistic is this plan?

Thanks!


#4

@fub17
Good to know that you made it through and decided to go for the alternative service. Personally, I think it is better than jumping through loopholes to stay in Taiwan. Good luck!


#5

Hi Wilsun,

Your plan is very realistic and very very common. There is a "third" type of alternative service(1. regular 2. specialist) that you can apply for which requires you to find a real job (go through interviews just like a regular job search) and once a company promises to hire you, you then apply for alternative service with them as your "sponsor". This, however, requires you to work for the same company for three years. You still have to go through basic training first in "chen gong ling" in Taichung for 3 weeks. Pros and cons to this one...but since you plan to do your alt. service via research work then this will be your only option. PhD age limit is 27, which means you can defer (postpone) your military service in pursuit of your PhD degree up until the age of 27. If you hit this limit and still have not graduated then you will have to finish military first then complete your PhD afterwards.

Getting into alternative service depends on many factors, there are 4 main requirements that I know of:

1) Family issue: such as single parent family who is at least (if I remember correctly) 65 years old or extremely poor family that needs children to support them through work.

2) Specialist: english specialist. The easiest way for you to apply through this option is to have a university (or higher) diploma from a English speaking country (doesn't matter what major you studied). If you don't, then a english teaching certificate from Taiwan.

3) 3 year work program: apply for any job you like through normal interview process. Once you get hired you then apply for alternative service with that company as your sponsor. MUST work for 3 years with the same company to fulfill your military service requirement.

4) Physical issue: mental, heart problem, lung cancer, etc....you get the point.

You can apply for alternative service online and (if you are living abroad) mail any required documents and proof to them in Taiwan before a specified date. The registration period is usually 2 weeks from early April until mid month.

fub17


#6

Hi fub17!

Whats that basic training like (daily routines and things). I'm due to go back this year and get the whole thing over and done with. I'm a bit worried as I speak basic mandarin but have "0" capabilities with reading and writing.

Also, do you think I would be able to apply for Alternative Service? (Left Taiwan at 7, Grew up in UK & ZA, High School in London, Uni in Switzerland (hospitality School in English), Employed in UAE)

Thanks for your help!


#7

Basic training is cake(unless you're unlucky enough to pull the Marines chip)...just prepare to sweat balls and get eaten alive by mosquitos.
As for the language issue...if you can "communicate" with your basic Mandarin...you'll be ok.
I also could not read or write Chinese but in a way...it worked out to my advantage.
I never had to do any of my own paper work and I wrote total BS in the daily journal they made up keep.
I think the hardest part during basic training was having to lip sync the songs we were forced to sing while marching in formation.

Good luck with your military conscription! :thumbsup:


#8

Thanks ch3nius!! did you do alternative service or the actual thing? Im seriously considering alternative service!


#9

LOL ch3nius! I did the whole lip-syncing thing with the songs too - even the Supervisors (分隊長) told me to just lip sync cos my reading and writing skills are horrible as well. Im in alternative service btw - the training seems hard whilst you're doing it but when you look back its a bit of a joke. you're divided into groups of about 200 (the 中隊) which is based on which province you're from in Taiwan and the 'strictness' of the training varies in each group. within the 200 we were then separated into groups of approximately 14.. number of ways they do this, they did ours based on height hahaha

daily routine sets in after about 3days and goes smthing along the lines of:
- wake up 10mins before the 'wake-up call' because everyone around you is awake and folding their blankets to specification
- wake-up call and fold mosquito netting, change into running gear and gather outside for some quick stretches
- 3km run, or walk if you have a valid reason why you cant run
- get back to the dorms, quick wash, gather for breakfast
- after breakfast you have classes which barely anyone tunes into that runs to lunch
- more classes after lunch all the way to dinner
- shower (we had a time limit, other groups didnt), time to call home
- night classes or activities
- sleep and repeat

All the way through this there is A LOT of army songs - i.e. you sing before every meal, when you're waiting for things to happen etc. Also you have basic training teaching you to turn the right way, salute, stand at attention etc. Then there is the exam (40% of overall grade), 3km run, written exam, basic training exam.. i took the English version of the written exam (tell your supervisors you want to do this beforehand), the translation wasn't very well done so if you can, try do the Mandarin version. You also have to pick which area of work you want to get into, but since you're probably applying for alt. service using an overseas diploma im guessing you'll have a 'specialty' (傳業) and so wont have to pick as it should already be pre-determined in your application what you'll be doing (teaching English etc). Perform well during all of this and you get longer holidays, bad and they can take some of your holidays away. Also expect to stand night guard at least once during the training, its only for an hour. After this part you go off to your 'specialty' training - location and duration varies. At the end of that there is another exam; this is 60% of your grade. Combine the grades and person with the best grade picks where they want to be stationed first. happy days ahead.


#10

Jo~
I did the actual service....but i wouldn't really call it "actual service" I got lucky and pulled the Navy...then got even luckier and pulled the Coast Guards....it was cake...but still REALLY boring. Good luck with your military service man!


#11

have found the information that there are usually sufficient volunteers, that’s why obligatory service isn’t required… Is this true?? :unamused:


#12

im not so sure if im qualified for alternative military service duty. are there any requirements for this one? what does military do? is it true by 2014 there will be no military service performed? im a college graduate, work for clerk then electrician from the philippines.


#13

I know this is an old thread but how do you apply for alternative service? Also fub17, do you get paid a salary for it?


#14

hi all,

sorry haven’t checked this forum in ages. been too busy at work.

you do get paid salary. about NT5500 the month in basic training and NT 11000 each month at the school or department you are stationed.

fub17


#15

are you dual national? why would you want to apply for Taiwan military if you are from philippines? to answer your question, yes by 2014 or 2015 military concription will officially end. all military personnels will be voluntary, HOWEVER if you are born before (i don’t remember exactly when…i think…)1993 or 1995 you MUST still complete military training for 4 months. Let me explain: if you are born before the above year you are obligated to go through regular army basic training (not alternative service, the real deal) for 4 months. Once you complete the required 4 months of basic training you are free to go and discharged. There will no longer be a one year requirement, only a short 4 month.


#16

Hi there,

I have a bachelers degree from New Zealand and will be a Chartered Accountant by the time i return to Taiwan in 2015. If i go for alternative service rather than the 4 months army service, are there any options to serve in the finance/ accounting sector (other than through the work programme regime)?

Thanks in advance.


#17

[quote=“wilsun”]How easy/difficult is it to get into alternative service?

I was born in Taiwan but am going to school in US, but want to go back to Taiwan for a PhD.[/quote]

Don’t. If you have any other option for your PhD, forget Taiwan. You’ll regret it forever.


#18

fub17 are you still here? I’d like to ask some questions through here or mail if at all possible…


#19

[quote=“spas12”]
daily routine sets in after about 3days and goes smthing along the lines of:

  • wake up 10mins before the ‘wake-up call’ because everyone around you is awake and folding their blankets to specification
  • wake-up call and fold mosquito netting, change into running gear and gather outside for some quick stretches
  • 3km run, or walk if you have a valid reason why you cant run
  • get back to the dorms, quick wash, gather for breakfast
  • after breakfast you have classes which barely anyone tunes into that runs to lunch
  • more classes after lunch all the way to dinner
  • shower (we had a time limit, other groups didnt), time to call home
  • night classes or activities
  • sleep and repeat

All the way through this there is A LOT of army songs - i.e. you sing before every meal, when you’re waiting for things to happen etc. Also you have basic training teaching you to turn the right way, salute, stand at attention etc. Then there is the exam (40% of overall grade), 3km run, written exam, basic training exam… i took the English version of the written exam (tell your supervisors you want to do this beforehand), the translation wasn’t very well done so if you can, try do the Mandarin version. You also have to pick which area of work you want to get into, but since you’re probably applying for alt. service using an overseas diploma im guessing you’ll have a ‘specialty’ (傳業) and so wont have to pick as it should already be pre-determined in your application what you’ll be doing (teaching English etc). Perform well during all of this and you get longer holidays, bad and they can take some of your holidays away. Also expect to stand night guard at least once during the training, its only for an hour. After this part you go off to your ‘specialty’ training - location and duration varies. At the end of that there is another exam; this is 60% of your grade. Combine the grades and person with the best grade picks where they want to be stationed first. happy days ahead.[/quote]

Does this apply to Alt service aswell? I presume this is the bootcamp thingy. Wonder how long it lasts for? :ponder:


#20

Did you voluntarily register for this or did you wait for the letter that they sent to people saying that you need to do your service?

how long did you wait from the start of the registration until the start of your alternative service?

Thanks! :slight_smile: