As Singapore celebrates 50 years of National Service, I would like to thank the SAF for giving me the opportunity to serve our people and our country.
Looking back, National Service is a rite of passage to adulthood for me and many others.
Through the SAF, I was able to do and achieve many things that were not in the normal schemes of life and are in many ways, beyond my imagination.
How can I ever forget launching a Search and Destroy mission, and conducting a dawn attack in the cold wintry mountains of Taiwan?
Carrying an 8.5 kg 84mm Recoilless Rifle and a “casualty” on my back?
Running back to the base camp to complete the 24-hour non-stop operation?
Through the SAF, I developed my character and many positive values such as discipline, focus, grit and resilience.
These are values that are still very much a part of my life until today.
For example, I’ll never put on a long sleeve shirt if it’s not properly ironed.
The SAF reinforced in me the importance of leadership and looking after your men.
How many times have we heard in the army, “We fight as a unit. Leave none of your men behind!”?
In the heat of many “battles,” I learned the values of being able to connect, collaborate and co-create solutions with different men?
Men who subscribe to a different creed and custom and are from a different culture and community.
Just as importantly, in the process of fulfilling National Service, I cultivated a strong bond and friendship with many people from different walks of life.
Although my unit, 165 PDF Battalion is now defunct, the officers have been meeting since 1981.
The camaraderie remains strong after 36 years.
We have build up a great friendship and have wonderful memories.
More than anything else, through the SAF, I learned to love my country in a practical way.
Defend the Lion City and its people and everything that we stand for in our country.
I hope this message will find a place in your heart.
By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.
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