TAIPEI - Army Colonel Chen Yu-lin (陳育琳) will officially be promoted to general next year, making her the seventh female general in R.O.C. history, after President Ma Ying-jeou approved the promotion of 28 senior military officers yesterday.
In a released statement, the Ministry of National Defence (MND) said Ma yesterday approved a total of 28 military personnel to the ranks of major general, or one-star general, and lieutenant general, or two-star general, effective Jan. 1 2015.
Chen stood out among the newly promoted generals because she is the only woman. She is also the first female general to have served on an offshore frontline island and the seventh female general overall in R.O.C. history.
Chen officially took up her post as head of the political welfare division at the offshore Matsu Defence Command this August. The position has to be filled by a one-star general.
There are currently no female generals in the R.O.C. Armed Forces.
The last female general was MND General Political Warfare Bureau Section Chief Major General Lisa Chi (池玉蘭). A former military spokeswoman, Chi filed for retirement this May.
A graduate of Fu Hsin Kang College, Chen previously served at the military-affiliated Voice of Han Broadcasting Network.
Chen's promotion came six months after Ma had previously expressed his hope to see more female military personnel promoted to higher-ranking positions in Taiwan's armed forces.
Speaking at a previous conferral ceremony of 28 generals in Taipei on June 26, President Ma said that as of this January, about 8.9 per cent of the total military personnel in Taiwan are women.
He attributed the servicewomen's stronger presence in the military to the R.O.C. armed forces' ongoing efforts to promote gender equality.
The president said he hopes more female military personnel will have the opportunity to be promoted to the position of general in the future.
Chen is among the 28 officers who will be joining a conferral ceremony to be presided over by Ma tomorrow.
Of the 28, five will be promoted to lieutenant generals, namely Liu Te-liang (劉德良), Chen Chien-tsai (陳健財), Hsu Chang (許昌), Shang Yung-chiang (尚永強) and Chen Tzu-feng (陳子鳳).
The other 23 are to be promoted to the rank of major general, the MND said.
The 28 belong to the Ministry of National Defence, the Presidential Office and the National Security Bureau, it said.