Organised by Singapore Federation of Chinese Clans Associations, in collaboration with the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) , the New Immigrants & Singapore Society Experiential Series – “National Service: What You Need To Know” sharing session was successfully held on 29 April 2023 at the SFCCA’s Multi-purpose Hall @Level 2. A total of 60 participants attended. It is noteworthy that this was the second time SFCCA organised this sharing session, following the previous year’s successful edition.
Senior Lieutenant Colonel SLTC Psalm Lew, Director of Community Engagement from Nexus, MINDEF, and Ms Cheong Yong En, Ms Candy Sim, Managers from Central Manpower Base (CMPB), MINDEF. At the same time, Lieutenant, LTA(NS) Chen Yao Guang Hua and Ms Lynn Yu, Mother of a Full-time National Serviceman (NSf) were invited to the talk. TA(NS) Chen Yao Guang Hua shared his experiences in National Service while Ms Yu shared her views of National Service from a family member’s perspective.
Ms Lynn Yu is a mother of a full-time National Serviceman and a new immigrant. She mentioned that her son is currently serving National Service and is assigned to the Naval Diving Unit (NDU) . Determined to learn more about the unit, she turned to online resources, particularly movies centred around NDU. Trough these films, Mdm Yu gained valuable insights into the rigourous training and the mental and physical demands placed on a son. She also realised the importance of offering guidance as a parent and fostering an optimistic perspective towards National Service.
Lt Chan Yiu Kwong Wah, LTA NS, who became operationally ready in July 2022, shared his journey from Basic Military Training (BMT) to Officer Cadet School (OCS). As a platoon leader in the BMT, he would accompany the new recruits in their daily physical training as he believe that leading by example is the only way they could develop mutual trust and respect.
Lieutenant, LTA(NS) Chen Yao Guang Hua who completed his National Service in July 2022, shared his military journey from Basic Military Training (BMT) to Officer Cadet School (OCS). During his time as a platoon commander in the recruit training camp, he would accompany newly enlisted soldiers in their daily physical training. He firmly believed that leading by example was essential in gaining mutual trust and respect.
Lieutenant Chen also mentioned that gratitude was a significant lesson he learned during his National Service. During outdoor training, where the weather was often scorching and carrying heavy equipment was necessary, he realised that having access to water and air conditioning at home was a “luxury.” He expressed deep appreciation for his National Service experience, which taught him to be grateful in life.
Regarding the commonly asked question by many parents, “How should recruits handle ‘unreasonable’ superiors during their basic training?” Lieutenant Chen explained that on the day of enlistment, recruits are given contact information and a QR code, allowing them to directly communicate with the relevant authorities. The authorities take these matters seriously and are committed to resolving any issues through mediation.
New Immigrants & Singapore Society Experiential Series – “National Service: What You Need To Know” sharing session addressed many parents’ concerns about National Service. It also further gave young individuals who are about to enter National Service a better understanding before their enlistment.