"National Service (NS) is necessary to meet the critical need of Singapore's security and defence, so that we can continue to maintain the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Singapore. More than one million have enlisted for NS and served to protect Singapore and Singaporeans these past decades.
We recognise the sacrifice made by national servicemen, who have served with dedication and pride, and their families. The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) periodically review our training methods and operational deployment requirements, to keep the period of full-time NS not longer than what is necessary for our defence needs.
In 2004, MINDEF announced the reduction of duration of full-time NS from 2.5 to the current 2 years. This reduction was possible because of two factors. First, the transformation of the SAF to a 3rd Generation SAF meant that the SAF would rely less on the number of soldiers, and more on the higher education levels and capability of our soldiers. Second, a 15-20% increase in annual intake of full-time National Servicemen over the 2006-2016 period allowed the SAF to maintain operational readiness and standing force requirements as the SAF carried out the transformation towards the leaner 3rd Generation SAF.
To continue to have a strong NS system, we will maintain the 2-year NS duration, so that there is sufficient time to train our soldiers to be operationally proficient, and maintain an appropriate standing force for defence and peacetime contingency purposes. While enlistment cohort numbers have started to decline, we are developing the Next Generation SAF that will leverage new technologies and optimise the contribution of every national servicemen. This serves to maintain the SAF's operational capabilities, even as we build up new ones such as cyber defence, to remain effective against future threats."
Source: Ministry Of Defence