For many military veterans in China, one of the difficult things about retiring from the service is bidding farewell to their uniform. But personnel serving in Jiangsu province are being welcomed to another job that requires a uniform - the police.
Starting this month, officers at the rank of colonel or lower who serve in units of the People's Liberation Army in Jiangsu can directly contact the public security bureau in Nanjing, the provincial capital, for a job, rather than submitting an application and taking tests as their predecessors did, according to China National Defense, a PLA newspaper.
More than 300 officers took part in a meeting organized by the Nanjing police earlier this month, and 100 of them decided to take advantage of the offer, the newspaper said, noting that the officers should thank the provincial military command and city government for the easy transition.
The report quoted military authorities in charge of retirement affairs as saying that police departments prefer military retirees when they select workers because veterans are usually capable and reliable.
Currently, PLA officers have two options when they retire: receive a one-time retirement payment and then find a job on their own, or take up whatever job the government assigns.
"In the past, most retirees would choose to take up jobs offered by the government, usually in government departments, publicly funded organizations or State-owned enterprises. But now, more officers prefer to select their own job," a personnel management expert of the PLA, who asked not to be named, told China Daily.
"Law enforcement is a major receiver of PLA retirees because it believes a veteran's expertise and capability can make a good police officer," he said.
As a major part of the ongoing military reform, which was launched in November and is overseen by President Xi Jinping, the PLA aims to cut the number of troops by 300,000, with noncombatant agencies and personnel the primary target. The cuts started this year and will be completed around 2020, according to the Ministry of National Defense.
Jiangsu's public security department expects 62 percent more PLA retirees this year than it received last year, officials said.
In addition, Shaanxi and Guangdong provinces will also see a sharp increase in the number veterans hired, according to earlier reports.
In June, Xi asked the government and the PLA to make sure that retirees are taken good care of when they seek new jobs.