"The recognition is not just about me, but also very much about the contributions of our people who work silently behind the scenes in military intelligence and C4I."
This was said by Rear-Admiral (RADM) Joseph Leong, who was promoted to RADM (Two Stars). He has spent 23 years in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and currently holds two appointments. He is Director Military Intelligence and Chief Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I).
At a promotion ceremony held at the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) Auditorium on 27 Jun, RADM Leong received his certificate of promotion from Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. Also promoted were Chief of Defence Force Major-General (MG) Ng Chee Meng and Chief of Air Force Brigadier-General Hoo Cher Mou, who attained the ranks of Lieutenant-General and Major-General respectively.
They joined the 402 Officers, 75 military experts (ME) and 41 warrant officers from the three Services promoted to the next higher rank this year.
Among the promotees is First Warrant Officer (1WO) Abdul Jaffar Bin Mohamed Kunju. With 29 years in the SAF under his belt, he holds the appointment of School Sergeant Major at the Military Police Training School. Come 1 July, he will don the Master Warrant Officer rank.
He said: "What keeps me in the SAF all these years is being able to see my National Service (NS) boys turn from new soldiers to professional military policemen."
"The SAF has also given me many (learning) opportunities, from attending professional courses to overseas missions to leadership appointments."
For Senior Lieutenant Colonel (SLTC) Philip Chionh, the promotion was viewed as another part of his journey in the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). "I have held many appointments in the RSAF: training, as part of the Black Knights and now as a test pilot."
"I'm humbled by the promotion. Personally, what I enjoy is being able to make sure that we deliver good products (to the operational units)," said SLTC Chionh, who is Commander Flight Test Centre. Trained as a pilot, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel.
The SAF will have its only officer holding the ME8 rank when 1 Jul comes around, as ME7 Lau Cher Loon steps up to the pinnacle rank under the Military Domain Experts Scheme (MDES).
"I think for military experts in the SAF, my promotion demonstrates the career opportunities that are open for MDES. It's very positive (not only) for the intelligence community but also for MDES personnel across the SAF," said ME7 Lau, who heads the Joint Intelligence Directorate.
With a higher rank comes more responsibility, added ME5 Phui Peng Sim. He holds the appointment of Master Chief Navy, and will be promoted to ME6. "With the extended career span, the MDES develops us to our fullest potential."
Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) were also recognised for their achievements and contributions to Singapore's defence.
"What the promotion means, at the end of the day, is recognition of each and every soldier under my command," said Senior Lieutenant Colonel (SLTC) (NS) Srinivasan s/o V Namasivyam, Commander of a Singapore Guards Brigade. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel (NS).
A practising lawyer, SLTC (NS) Srinivasan juggles work, NS and family commitments like any other NSman. "It's hectic but it's also do-able. If you look at my calendar at work, it's 'integrated' with my court dates, NS training periods and time for family holidays!" he added with a laugh.
Echoing his comments was Major (NS) Chua Kim Peng, who will be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (NS). The private wealth manager holds the appointment of Commanding Officer, 755th Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment.
"The SAF and NS has groomed me well. The promotion just means that we have to do better and continue to maintain high levels of operational readiness."
All promotions will take effect from 1 July.