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'Enhancing junior officers' working conditions crucial for military strength,' says Minister Lee Jong-sup

Minister Lee Jong-sup attended a defense seminar

Minister emphasized junior officers' importance as the military's backbone

The Minister proposed increasing bonuses and allowances, as well as providing private rooms for each junior officer

"Enhancing junior officers


On March 23, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup, standing fifth from the right in the front row, attended a seminar on improving junior officer service conditions at the Members' Office Building of the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul. Among the participants was Han Kiho, Chairman of National Defense Committee, seen standing third from the right in the front row in the photograph. Reported by Kim Byeong-moon



Minister Lee emphasized his dedication to strengthening the military through bettering the service conditions of junior officers. He announced his plan to enhance their quality of life by addressing critical issues, including salaries and housing.


During his welcome speech at the seminar on improving junior officer service conditions held at the Members' Office Building of the National Assembly on March 23, Minister Lee expressed that the vision and commitment of junior officers towards military service are diminishing due to factors such as reduced service terms, salaries, and allowances.


According to Minister Lee, the military is striving to create a strong combat-ready force to safeguard the lives and property of the citizens amidst numerous obstacles. He further emphasized that the most valuable asset for achieving this goal is manpower, and junior officers are a crucial element in building a robust military force.


The Minister highlighted that junior officers currently make up more than 40% of officers and hold a central position in the combat power of field units. He further emphasized that capable junior officers will play an even more critical role in building a science and technology-based military in a limited defense environment.


During the seminar, Minister Lee highlighted that there has been a consistent decline in applications for junior officer positions, and an increase in cadets dropping out of military service academies. He also mentioned that some Navy petty officers are retiring early to join the Coast Guard. As a result, he emphasized the need for extraordinary measures to overcome these challenges.


Minister Lee elaborated that the military is making an effort to improve the service conditions of junior officers and elevate their quality of life. In particular, he mentioned that they plan to increase the short-term service bonus and allowances, salary class for sergeants, standard pay for performance bonuses for junior officers, and staff duty fees to be on par with those of government employees. Additionally, they will renovate and construct new Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQs) to ensure that each junior officer has their private room.


The Ministry of National Defense oversaw an event that aimed to discover effective approaches for enhancing the service conditions of young junior officers. The event was co-hosted by the offices of Members of National Assembly Shin Won-sik, Jo Hae-jin, Lee Man-hee, and Jo Eun-hee.


During the event, Dr. Kwon Hyun-jin from the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA) presented on "methods of increasing the application rate for junior officers." This was followed by discussions involving Professor Choi Byeong-uk from Sangmyung University, Dr. Lee Hyun-ji from KIDA, and Yu Yong-won, a journalist from Chosun Ilbo. Professor Kim Chan-hwan from Gwangju University gave a presentation on "approaches to enhancing welfare conditions," which was then followed by discussions involving Dr. Kim Gyu-hyun, Dr. Kim Young-gon, and other participants.


The Ministry of National Defense stated that the opinions presented during the event would be considered in the development of policies aimed at building a combat-ready and robust military. They also added that they would continue to seek and implement ways to enhance the service conditions of junior officers so that young people can serve in the military with a sense of pride.

By Hyun-woo, Seo <>

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