The Republic of China Military Academy (ROCMA), also known as the Taiwan Military Academy, is more than just a service academy for the army of the Republic of China in Taiwan. It is a place where history, tradition, and innovation meet, where young men and women are transformed into professional, ethical, and innovative military leaders, and where the spirit of fraternity, devotion, and sincerity is instilled in every cadet. In this article, I will share some aspects of this prestigious institution, from its history and admission process to its academic programs and campus life to its notable alumni and achievements.
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History of the Republic of China Military Academy
The Republic of China Military Academy has a long and rich history that dates back to 1924, when it was founded as the Whampoa Military Academy by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the Republic of China. The academy was located on Changzhou Island offshore from the Whampoa (Huangpu) dock in Guangzhou, China, and it was the cradle of many commanders who fought in many of China’s conflicts in the 20th century, notably the Northern Expedition, the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War.
After the Republic of China government retreated from China to Taiwan in 1950, the academy was re-established as the Republic of China Military Academy in Fengshan District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The academy has since produced many outstanding officers and leaders for the Republic of China Armed Forces, as well as for the society and the nation. The academy’s motto is “Fraternity, Devotion, Sincerity,” and its mission is to cultivate professional, ethical, and innovative military leaders.
How to Gain Admission into the Republic of China Military Academy
Getting into the ROCMA is not easy. It is a highly competitive and selective process that requires not only academic excellence but also physical fitness, moral character, and leadership potential. The admission process consists of the following steps:
- Nomination: Applicants must obtain a nomination from a member of the Legislative Yuan, a high-ranking military officer, or a ROCMA alumni association. Each nominator can only nominate one applicant per year.
- Examination: Applicants must pass a written examination that covers Chinese, English, mathematics, and general knowledge. The examination is held in April every year, and the results are announced in May.
- Physical Test: Applicants must pass a physical test that includes height, weight, vision, hearing, blood pressure, and urine tests, as well as a series of physical fitness exercises, such as running, push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. The physical test is held in June every year, and the results are announced in July.
- Interview: Applicants must pass an interview that evaluates their personality, motivation, communication skills, and suitability for military service. The interview is held in August every year, and the results are announced in September.
- Final Selection: Applicants who pass all the above steps are ranked according to their scores, and the top candidates are admitted to the Republic of China Military Academy. The final selection is announced in October every year, and the new cadets report to the academy in November.
The admission rate of the Republic of China Military Academy is around 10%, which means that only one out of ten applicants can make it to the academy. Therefore, applicants must prepare well and work hard to achieve their dream of becoming a ROCMA cadet.
Tuition Fees at The Republic of China Military Academy
The Republic of China Military Academy is a public institution that the government funds. Therefore, there is no tuition fee for the cadets. However, cadets need to pay for their uniforms, books, and personal expenses, which amount to about NT$ 20,000 (US$ 700) per year. Cadets also receive a monthly stipend of NT$ 8,000 (US$ 280) to cover their living expenses.
Current Rankings of the School
The ROCMA is widely recognized as one of the best military academies in the world. According to the Military Times, the Republic of China Military Academy ranked 13th among the top 20 military academies in the world in 2020. The ROCMA also ranked 4th among the top 10 military academies in Asia in 2019, according to the Asian Military Review. The Republic of China Military Academy has also received many awards and honors for its academic excellence, research achievements, and social contributions, such as the National Quality Award, the National Teaching Excellence Award, and the National Innovation Award.
The Republic of China Military Academy offers a four-year bachelor’s degree program that covers a broad range of subjects, such as military science, engineering, management, humanities, and social sciences. The curriculum is designed to provide cadets with a solid foundation of knowledge, skills, and values that are essential for their future military careers. The Republic of China Military Academy also offers a two-year master’s degree program and a four-year doctoral degree program for qualified officers who wish to pursue further studies in their fields of specialization.
The ROCMA has six academic departments, namely:
- Department of Military Science: This department focuses on the theory and practice of military operations, tactics, strategy, and leadership. It also offers national security, defense policy, military history, and military law courses.
- Department of Engineering: This department covers various engineering disciplines, such as civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, and environmental engineering. It also offers courses on weapons systems, military engineering, and information technology.
- Department of Management: This department covers various management aspects, such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, and logistics. It also offers courses on military management, organizational behavior, and decision-making.
- Department of Humanities: This department covers various humanities fields, such as Chinese, English, literature, philosophy, and ethics. It also offers courses on military culture, military psychology, and military education.
- Department of Social Sciences: This department covers various fields of social sciences, such as sociology, political science, economics, and international relations. It also offers courses on military sociology, military politics, military economics, and military diplomacy.
- Department of Physical Education: This department focuses on the physical fitness and health of the cadets. It offers courses on physical education, sports, and martial arts. It also organizes various sports events and competitions for the cadets.
The Republic of China Military Academy also has several research centers and institutes, such as:
- Center for Defense Policy Studies: This center conducts research and analysis on various issues related to national defense and security, such as military strategy, defense budget, arms procurement, and regional security.
- Center for Military History Studies: This center conducts research and preservation on the history and heritage of the ROCMA and the Republic of China Armed Forces, such as historical documents, archives, artifacts, and oral histories.
- Center for Military Innovation and Technology: This center conducts research and development on the innovation and application of military technology, such as artificial intelligence, cyber security, and unmanned systems.
- Institute of Military Education: This institute provides training and education for the faculty and staff of the Republic of China Military Academy and other military academies, such as teaching methods, curriculum design, and evaluation techniques.
Campus Life at The Republic of China Military Academy
Campus life at the Republic of China Military Academy is both challenging and rewarding. Cadets have to follow a strict schedule and discipline, but they also have opportunities to enjoy various activities and facilities. The campus life of the ROCMA can be summarized as follows:
- Daily Routine: The daily routine of the cadets starts at 6:00 a.m. and ends at 10:00 p.m. The cadets must attend morning roll call, flag-raising ceremony, breakfast, classes, lunch, afternoon roll call, physical training, dinner, evening roll call, self-study, and lights out. The cadets also have to perform various duties and tasks, such as guard duty, cleaning duty, and drill practice.
- Military Training: The cadets’ military training consists of basic, advanced, and specialized training. The basic training covers the fundamentals of military skills, such as drill, marksmanship, combat, and survival. The advanced training covers applying military skills, such as tactics, operations, and leadership. The specialized training covers the specific skills of each branch, such as infantry, armor, artillery, and aviation.
- Extracurricular Activities: The extracurricular activities of the cadets include clubs, societies, and associations, such as academic clubs, cultural clubs, sports clubs, and service clubs. The cadets can also participate in various events and competitions, such as cultural festivals, academic seminars, sports tournaments, and military exercises.
- Facilities: The facilities of the Republic of China Military Academy include academic facilities, such as classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and auditoriums; residential facilities, such as dormitories, cafeterias, and laundry rooms; recreational facilities, such as gymnasiums, swimming pools, and stadiums; and historical facilities, such as museums, monuments, and memorials.
The ROCMA has a strong tradition and reputation in athletics. The ROCMA has several varsity teams that compete in various sports, such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, and track and field. The ROCMA also has several intramural teams that compete among themselves, such as company teams, platoon teams, and squad teams. The ROCMA also hosts and participates in several sports events and competitions, such as the Military Academy Games, the Military Academy Cup, and the Military Academy Invitational.
The Republic of China Military Academy values athletics as an integral part of the cadet’s development. Athletics not only enhance the physical fitness and health of the cadets
- Facilities: The facilities of the ROCMA include academic facilities, such as classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and auditoriums; residential facilities, such as dormitories, cafeterias, and laundry rooms; recreational facilities, such as gymnasiums, swimming pools, and stadiums; and historical facilities, such as museums, monuments, and memorials.
The Republic of China Military Academy has a strong tradition and reputation in athletics. The ROCMA has several varsity teams that compete in various sports, such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, and track and field. The Republic of China Military Academy also has several intramural teams that compete among themselves, such as company teams, platoon teams, and squad teams. The ROCMA also hosts and participates in several sports events and competitions, such as the Military Academy Games, the Military Academy Cup, and the Military Academy Invitational.
The ROCMA values athletics as an integral part of the cadet’s development. Athletics not only enhance the physical fitness and health of the cadets, but also foster the spirit of teamwork, sportsmanship, and excellence. Athletics also give the cadets a break from the academic and military pressures and a chance to have fun and relax.
The Republic of China Military Academy has produced many notable alumni who have significantly contributed to the military, society, and the nation. Some of the most famous alumni include:
- Chiang Kai-shek: He was the leader of the Republic of China from 1928 to 1975, and the founder of the Kuomintang (KMT), the ruling party of Taiwan. He led the Republic of China in the fight against the Japanese invasion and the Chinese communists and established the government in Taiwan after the civil war. He is widely regarded as a national hero and a symbol of anti-communism.
- Chen Cheng was the premier of the Republic of China from 1950 to 1954 and the vice president from 1954 to 1965. He was also a prominent military commander who fought in the Northern Expedition, the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the Chinese Civil War. He was known as the “Little Chiang” for his loyalty and similarity to Chiang Kai-shek.
- Chiang Ching-kuo: He was the son of Chiang Kai-shek, and the president of the Republic of China from 1978 to 1988. He was also a military officer who graduated from the Whampoa Military Academy in 1928. He initiated the political and economic reforms that led to the democratization and modernization of Taiwan. He is widely regarded as a visionary and a reformer.
- Sun Li-jen was a famous general who commanded the Republic of China Army in the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War. He was known as the “Rommel of the East” for his tactical brilliance and victories against the Japanese and the communists. He was also a popular and respected figure among the Taiwanese people for his integrity and patriotism.
- Hau Pei-tsun was the premier of the Republic of China from 1990 to 1993 and the chief of the general staff from 1981 to 1989. He was also a distinguished military officer who graduated from the ROCMA in 1949. He played a key role in Taiwan’s defense and security and advocated for a strong and independent military.
The Republic of China Military Academyis a remarkable institution that has shaped the history and destiny of the Republic of China and Taiwan. It is a place where the best and the brightest are trained and educated to become the future leaders of the military and the nation. It is where fraternity, devotion, and sincerity are upheld and practiced. It is a place where I am proud to call myself a cadet and an alumnus.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the common questions that people may have about the ROCMA:
- Q: How many cadets are there in the ROCMA?
- A: The ROCMA has about 2,000 cadets divided into four classes and 16 companies.
- Q: What are the requirements to graduate from the ROCMA?
- A: The cadets must complete the four-year academic program, pass the military training and physical tests, and fulfill the six-year service obligation in the Republic of China Army.
- Q: What are the benefits of graduating from the ROCMA?
- A: The graduates of the ROCMA enjoy many benefits, such as a guaranteed commission as a second lieutenant in the Republic of China Army, a prestigious diploma that is recognized by many universities and employers, and a lifelong network of fellow alumni and mentors.
- Q: What are the challenges of studying in the ROCMA?
- A: The cadets face many challenges, such as a rigorous and demanding curriculum, a strict and disciplined lifestyle, and a high level of competition and pressure. The cadets must also cope with the isolation and separation from their families and friends and the uncertainty and danger of their future military careers.
- Q: What are the opportunities for studying in the ROCMA?
- A: The cadets have many opportunities, such as learning from the best faculty and staff, accessing state-of-the-art facilities and resources, participating in diverse and enriching activities and events, and experiencing the unique and rewarding culture and tradition. The cadets also have the opportunity to serve and protect their country and people and to make a difference in the world.