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Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) in South Korea is a college-based officer training program which was established in 1961.[1][2] South Korea's Conscription Law applies to males, aged between 18 and 35,[3] although women are allowed to enroll in the ROTC as of 2010.[4]

Applicants to the ROTC program go through a screening process; a written exam, an interview and health examination, and a background check. Once accepted, members undergo and military education throughout the semester; they are also required to undergo actual military training during school holidays. After commissioning, they serve for two and a half years; an individual may choose to extend his or her service past the required period in pursuit of an active military career.[1]

Impact on South Korean society[edit | edit source]

It was estimated by a Library of Congress research in 1990 that approximately 40% of new second lieutenants were commissioned from the ROTC program after two years of training and two years and three months of obligatory service; most would leave the service after the obligatory period. The Korea Army Academy at Yeongcheon produced another 40% of new second lieutenants; 5% were graduates of various military academies and 15% were directly-commissioned specialists in the medical corps, judge advocates and chaplains.[5] It has been postulated that the ROTC program in South Korea has contributed to national integration and cultural homogeneity, where military training had become a common cultural and organizational reference point; military officers became business managers and military conscripts became factory workers. A case in point would be Hyundai, which systematically preferred workers who had undergone ROTC training.[6]

In 2011, South Korea had 9,063 ROTC cadets from 109 universities.[2]

Ties with United States ROTC[edit | edit source]

Cadets of the United States Reserve Officers' Training Corps routinely collaborate with their South Korean counterparts in cultural exchanges such as the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP) program.[2]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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