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Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup calls for a shift towards a “combat-oriented strong military”

Minister Lee convened a gathering of high-ranking officers

Outlined five major objectives and strategies

Construction of live-fire training facilities that can be used in any weather conditions planned

Enhancing junior officer allowances to improve service conditions


On March 3, at a meeting of high-ranking commander

(P1) On March 3, at a meeting of high-ranking commanders, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup stressed the significance of transforming the military's structure into a powerful combat-oriented one.


The Defense Minister emphasized the importance of all commanders agreeing to move in the same direction to reform the military's constitution into a "combat-oriented strong military."


At a meeting of top commanders on March 3, Lee emphasized the need for the entire military to come together and make concerted efforts.


Minister Lee's comments were made during a meeting of top commanders on March 3, when the threat of North Korea's provocations was at its highest. He emphasized the need to transform the military into a combat-oriented strong military, with a focus on establishing complete combat readiness, strengthening realistic training, and adopting a spiritual posture to achieve "peace through strength."


Minister Lee urged the commanders to dramatically reduce unnecessary administrative practices and insignificant formalities in upper-level units such as the Ministry of National Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the headquarters of each military service. He emphasized that this would allow combat units to concentrate solely on combat missions, and called for all-out efforts to foster conditions that enable the operation of units focused on combat missions.


Lee emphasized that junior officers are crucial in establishing a combat-oriented military, and therefore, improving their service conditions is crucial. He urged all commanders at different levels to make their best efforts in this regard.


The gathering of prominent leaders was participated by significant officials, such as Kim Seung-kyum, the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff; Park Jeong-hwan, the Chief of Staff of the ROK Army; Lee Jong-ho, the Chief of Naval Operations; Jung Sang-hwa, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force; and Kim Gye-hwan, the Commandant of the ROK Marine Corps.


During the meeting, the Defense Ministry presented a set of five primary goals intended to bolster the military's strength and readiness for combat. They also revealed a detailed plan for carrying out these objectives. The five objectives encompass the establishment of combat-focused unit operations led by commanders, the improvement of practical training for various hostile scenarios, the cultivation of a steadfast fighting spirit, the provision of constant support to maintain combat readiness, and the promotion of innovative personnel management methods to nurture combat-oriented abilities.


Regarding the implementation of the five primary objectives, the Defense Ministry has opted for several measures. These measures include simplifying unit operations by adopting models tailored to each unit's unique features, reducing bureaucracy and impractical formalities, and deploying civilian staff to non-combat roles to enable combat units to focus on combat missions. Furthermore, the Defense Ministry plans to increase funding for joint combined exercises and construct comprehensive all-weather defense training sites capable of hosting regular live-fire drills.


Acknowledging that soldier's spiritual fitness is critical to enhancing combat effectiveness, the Defense Ministry has decided to undertake a complete overhaul of the basic materials used for spiritual fitness education by the first half of this year. Additionally, they will strengthen spiritual fitness education for commanders to ensure that it is adequately emphasized.


To ensure that combat readiness can be maintained continuously, the Defense Ministry plans to expand the performance-based logistics (PBL) support project to increase the operational rate of equipment. They will also improve the soldier clothing system by enhancing the softshell lightweight insulated jacket, functional winter clothes, and outer covers. Furthermore, they will renovate the barracks to enable swift restoration of combat power after training.


The Defense Ministry intends to collaborate with relevant government agencies to enhance the service conditions for military personnel. In response to the requests from junior officers, who play a vital role in combat units, short-term service grants and allowances will be doubled. In addition, the Defense Ministry plans to increase the pay step of sergeants, as well as the standard salary class for performance bonuses for first lieutenants, second lieutenants, and sergeants to match those of government employees. They also intend to raise the allowance for duty of the day accordingly.


Additionally, the Defense Ministry intends to prioritize appointing high-quality personnel to commander positions, award extra assessment points to individuals who excel in combat and training, adjust the non-commissioned officer personnel management system to emphasize combat missions, and expand the eligibility requirements for elite combatants.

By Chae-Mu, Im < > 

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