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“Made-to-Order” NCOs: The PLA’s Targeted Training NCO Program

  • Published
  • China Aerospace Studies Institute

Over the last decade, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has rapidly expanded a program to increase technical capabilities across its enlisted corps by developing what it calls “made-to-order” noncommissioned officers (NCO). These targeted training NCOs (定向培养士官) receive technical training at civilian institutions before entering the PLA with NCO rank and benefits, bypassing the junior enlisted ranks altogether. While the program is not likely to become the PLA’s main source of NCOs, its continued expansion indicates growing trust in its outcomes and highlights its increasing importance in a suite of PLA recruitment and talent development programs.

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