Quick access to top menu Direct access to main contents Quick access to page bottom

Women’s Reserve Forces Battle Shortage Amid National Crisis

The State of Women Reserve Forces
Support Activities for Combat Duties in Emergencies
Decreased Number of Personnel per Platoon After COVID

News1

Baengnyeongdo, the northernmost island in the West Sea, has the geographical characteristic of being just a stone’s throw away from North Korean land. In 1989, 25 women from this area came together under the motto, “I will protect my hometown,” and established the “Women’s Reserve Forces.” Now, over 30 years later, over 4,000 women reserve forces nationwide.

Women Reserve Forces are open to women who are not military veterans. The age range is broad, from early 30s to 50s, and the occupations are diverse, including homemakers, insurance planners, and restaurant owners.

They usually engage in their regular jobs and family life, but they participate without fail in shooting competitions and local defense training held once a year. In emergencies, they undertake support activities for combat duties, such as disaster recovery and emergency patient treatment.

35th Infantry Division, Army

However, it is said that the number of women in reserve forces has decreased recently.

On the 12th, Chosun Ilbo reported that as of the 1st of last month, the total strength of the national women reserve forces was 4,873, spread across 182 platoons, with an average of 26.7 members per platoon. This was based on data submitted by the Ministry of National Defense to the office of People Power Party representative Sung Il Jong.

According to the Ministry of National Defense’s Reserve Forces Manual, a women’s reserve forces platoon consists of 30 to 80 members, while a squad consists of 8 to 29 members. This is below the minimum number of personnel per platoon.

As the numbers are low, key tasks are not carried out properly.

In fact, from July to October last year, the activities of a local government woman reserve force were only 13 official activities. Only one was casualty rescue support training, which is a key task, while the rest were event-like activities, such as gatherings and visits to encourage local reserve forces.

Navy

The Ministry of National Defense pointed to COVID-19 as the cause. The term of service for the women’s reserve forces is two years, but due to the decrease in gatherings over the past three years due to COVID-19, there have been fewer extensions or recruits.

A member of the women’s reserve forces, Ms. A, said, “There are many platoons where the number of members has decreased recently, and activities have been curtailed since the onset of COVID, leading to a drop in morale.” She expressed a desire to avoid the disappearance of platoons.

The Ministry of National Defense has yet to propose a solution. However, it started managing the status of members by region in 2022.

News1

Meanwhile, military experts argue that the women’s reserve forces should be improved so that they can be utilized in national crises.

Since the current reserve forces are organized as support reserve forces, they argue that discharged female soldiers should be utilized as reserve forces. While the principle is to retire when female soldiers are discharged, they can choose to be discharged as reserve forces if they wish. However, it is reported that 86.1% of discharged female soldiers have applied for retirement.

+1
0
+1
0
+1
0
+1
0
+1
0
pikle's Profile image

Comments0

300

Comments0

Share it on