The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) commemorated SAF Day at a parade officiated by President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the SAFTI Military Institute this evening.
More than 3000 SAF regulars, Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen), and full-time National Servicemen attended the parade. Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng led SAF personnel in reciting the SAF pledge to reaffirm their loyalty to the country and their commitment to the defence of Singapore. A minute of silence was observed in remembrance of SAF personnel who had lost their lives in the line of duty.
At the parade, President Tan presented the State Colours to this year’s Best Combat Unit, the 1st Commando Battalion, while Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen presented the Best Unit and Best National Service Unit awards to 24 SAF units. Dr Ng also presented the SAF NSman of the Year awards to 16 NSmen during the post-parade reception. Also present at the parade were Second Minister for Defence Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Permanent Secretary (Defence) Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Permanent Secretary (Defence Development) Major-General (NS) Ng Chee Khern, Service Chiefs, senior officials and officers of Ministry of Defence and the SAF, as well as members of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs (GPC-DFA) and the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD).
Earlier today, more than 650 NSmen from 324 companies and their employers gathered for the SAF Day combined rededication ceremonies held at four locations around Singapore to reaffirm their commitment to the defence of Singapore. Dr Ng officiated at the rededication ceremony held at ITE College Central, where he delivered the SAF Day message to remind Singaporeans of the importance of a strong and capable SAF to protect the nation’s sovereignty and our way of life. He said, “We pledge ourselves individually to be committed, well-trained and professional soldiers, to build the SAF into an effective fighting force… When called upon, we will serve with pride and honour, flying our Singapore flag proudly, as we did over this past year, whether in distributing masks during the haze, searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 or relieving the humanitarian crisis following Typhoon Haiyan.” Dr Ng also thanked the SAF personnel for their dedication in protecting the country and the community for their support towards the SAF and National Service. Pledge Leader for the ceremony Lieutenant (LTA) (NS) Chang Jie Rui, who led 315 NSmen in the recitation of the SAF pledge, said that the rededication ceremony was an opportune time for NSmen to reflect on their roles in the defence of Singapore. The Deputy Logistics Officer of 486th Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment, added, “As citizen soldiers, we recognise that we play an important part to national defence. While juggling family and work commitments, we train hard regularly to maintain our combat proficiency and be operationally ready.”
Minister, Prime Minister’s Office Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, and Mr Chan Chun Sing officiated at the other three rededication ceremonies held at SAFRA Toa Payoh, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel and SAFRA Jurong respectively.