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Military commissioning ceremonies merged

A joint commissioning ceremony for all Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps cadets will be held to avoid a “leadership vacuum” while top military officers attend what have previously been separate academy events.

The Ministry of National Defense will hold the joint ceremony in the Gyeryongdae military headquarters in South Chungcheong Province in early March, officials said Wednesday.

It will be the first time to merge the ceremonies, which have previously been held separately at each military academy.

“At a time when the possibility of North Korean provocations is higher than ever following the artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island, we plan to hold the joint ceremony to reduce the leadership vacuum caused by top officers having to attend separate ceremonies and focus on maintaining our military readiness posture,” the ministry said in a press release.

The ministry added that the joint ceremony will help enhance unity among the new officers and help the armed services work easily together.

Some 5,400 cadets from the Military, Army, Naval, Air Force, Armed Forces Nursing Academies and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps will take part in the joint ceremony, which will be attended by President Lee Myung-bak.

The president has so far been able to attend the commission ceremony of each academy every three years as the academies have held the events separately.

In 2008, President Lee attended ceremonies for the Military Academy and ROTC while he attended ceremonies for the Navy Academy in 2009 and those for the Air Force Academy and the Army Academy in 2010.

Before the commission ceremony, each military academy will hold its own “festive” commencement ceremony, officials said.

By Song Sang-ho (