Warfighters. Trainers. Leaders

Second Sergeant (2SG) Govind

Third Sergeant (3SG) Irene Leong

A career with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) offers the chance to enjoy numerous opportunities for personal development, as well as experience an exciting and varied life through a variety of challenging appointments. We speak to 2SG Govind and 3SG Irene, who share with us how they have used their leadership and decision-making skills to add value to the lives of their peers and the men they lead.

By Png Han Yong

Tell us about your interest in defending the nation, and how it came about – was there a particular incident or observation that sparked this interest?

2SG Govind: I first developed an interest in defending the nation while being part of the National Cadet Corps back in secondary school. I also enjoyed how my friends and I were able to bond through the various trainings, and decided to take up the challenge of pursuing a military career upon graduation.

3SG Irene: My interest in defending the nation came about when I attended a dialogue session where senior commanders shared their overseas deployment experiences with me. Through their personal experiences, I realised how a military career would enable me to protect the nation and my loved ones, and at the same time expose me to a myriad of opportunities and unique experiences. With that in mind, I took up the JPSDS (Joint Polytechnic SAF Diploma Scheme) and have never looked back since. (Read More Here!)

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A Career That Inspires

Joining the SAF encompasses more than just putting your name on the dotted line. Two SAF officers share why they made this commitment.

By Juliet Soh

A military career is like none other, and those who are in the army often look to their seniors as role models.

We speak to Captains (CPTs) Jason Chew and Samuel Chong about their inspirations for joining the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and how they hope to become officers who inspire the next generation of soldiers.


Leaders of Men

The SAF has constantly evolved throughout the years to meet the needs of the nation. We speak to two SAF officers who share with us how being in the Army has groomed them to be the men that they are today.

By Farhan Shah

“Satisfying,” Major (MAJ) Pang Lead Shuan, a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Merit Scholar, says with a smile, describing his 12 years of service in the SAF.

From working at the headquarters at the Ministry of Defence to training overseas in the United States, MAJ Pang has experienced sights and sounds that not many people would be able to experience in their entire lifetime.

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SAF: Advancing with the Army

By Cheryl Lim

Since his teenage years, First Sergeant Seet Jiawen had set his mind on pursuing a career with the Singapore Armed Forces. Exposed to the military at secondary school, he discovered the satisfaction of training and overcoming any obstacles faced.

“I chose a military career out of passion, because of the challenges and sense of achievement that this career has to offer,” he relates. “My passion for the Army was first imbued when I was an NCC Land cadet in secondary school. The challenges we faced during training and the sense of achievement after each completed task made me consider Army as a career choice.”

Since joining the Army years ago, Jiawen has enjoyed a smooth career progression – from Section Commander in a Guards Rifle Company, to Platoon Sergeant in Field Defence Squadron, and finally to his current posting as Platoon Sergeant in the Singapore Infantry Brigade.

His second posting, a cross-service appointment where he served with the Air Force, was the perfect opportunity for him to widen his horizons. His excellent work during that tour saw him being awarded the Best Field Defence Squadron Specialist in the Airbase in 2007. In 2008, he also had the chance to pursue a Basic Airborne Course and earn his silver wings.

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New and improved career schemes at SAF

Yesterday, Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean announced significant changes to career schemes for SAF personnel. These include “enhancements” to the Officers’ and Warrant Officers’ schemes, and the launching of a brand new uniformed scheme for Military Domain Experts (MDEs). The changes will come into effect at the start of next year.

The retirement age for SAF Officers will be raised to 50. This lengthens the window for long-serving personnel to prepare and search for employment in other organisations, thereby mitigating risk and facilitating the transition to a second career.

Warrant Officers
SAF will introduce a new 3rd Warrant Officer rank, which can be attained by high-performing Specialists after their 6th year in service. The Warrant Officers corps will also be given additional responsibilities as combat trainers. This promises faster career progression and a more varied and interesting job scope for SAF’s increasing well-educated Specialists and Warrant Officers.

Military Domain Experts
MDEs will be trained as specialists in fields such as engineering, nursing, and intelligence, to complement the expertise of Officers and Warrant Officers. They will have an 8-rank structure, and a retirement age of 60. It is yet known how MDEs will be recruited, but the new scheme will definitely add diversity to career opportunities in SAF.

All three schemes will allow [and may sponsor] personnel to pursue further education.

Apart from improving the retention of talent and experience to create a more effective fighting force, these changes also make a uniformed career with SAF more lucrative in terms of career progression and job security. Jobseekers should seriously consider these new opportunities.