POINTER was first published in 1975 as an instructional journal of the School of Methods of Instruction. In the earlier years, the journal published articles on methods of instruction, development of training aids, hints to instructors and other instructional matters. It later expanded to the publication of articles of general military interest.
In 1982, POINTER took on its present identity as the professional journal of the SAF. POINTER took on a new direction and moved from meeting the instructional needs of SAF officers to providing for the professional development of the SAF officer corps. Steered by a new Editorial Board under the ambit of the Singapore Command and Staff College, POINTER expanded its scope with the aim of educating SAF officers on professional and military issues as well as providing them with a forum to share their experiences, debate and discuss issues.
In its early days, topics on discipline, leadership, management and training featured prominently in POINTER. In the later years, articles on military history, geopolitics and military technology were added to its staple. As the SAF developed into an increasingly sophisticated and complex organisation, POINTER’s coverage extended to revolution in military affairs, learning organisation, peacekeeping and globalisation.
In the wake of September 11th and other dramatic global developments like the SARS crisis, the SAF quickly learnt that to effectively meet the challenges and demands of an uncertain and rapid-changing security landscape in the 21st century, it must be prepared to stay flexible and relevant through continual transformation. The SAF had to develop a nimble and “boundary-less” organisation that seamlessly acquire and share knowledge and resources. POINTER was soon revamped as a key learning node in the SAF for sharing and networking.
In 2003, on the occasion of POINTER’s 21st anniversary, the newly invigorated POINTER (Vol. 29 No. 3) was launched. The new POINTER leverages on the power of vast domestic and international network of ideas spanning the military-academic-scientific-industrial nexus. It provides a forum for which SAF officers can think about, discuss and debate professional and military issues with eminent thinkers in diverse fields and discover ideas that may transform and military and security issues in a fundamental way. Aptly, ‘Transformation’ was the theme of this first revamped issue.