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Army nursing academy to accept male cadets

The Armed Forces Nursing Academy will begin accepting male cadets for the first time next year, allowing more men to engage in the military nursing service, the Ministry of National Defense said Thursday.

The ministry will put on public notice the revision to the enforcement ordinance regarding the operation of the hitherto women-only institution from Friday through May 12, officials said.

Under the revision, the academy will pick about eight male applicants ― around 10 percent of the admission quota ― each year. After graduation, all cadets are mandated to serve in the military for at least six years.

The ministry laid a legal ground for male cadets to join the academy in 2004. However, no male cadets have been accepted as the demand for male officers specializing in the nursing service fell short of expectation, officials explained.

Currently, there are some 830 nursing officers. Among them are 38 male officers ― only 5.06 percent of the total.

The government has picked eight to 15 male nursing officers each year since 1974. They have not been produced by the nursing academy. All of them have graduated from a four-year nursing college and joined the Army to fulfill their compulsory military service.

The ministry plans to promulgate the revision in June after collecting public opinions and getting presidential approval.

Since its foundation in 1951, the academy has graduated around 4,000 female officers.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)
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