Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen presented the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Overseas Scholarship (SAFOS) to six recipients, SAF Merit Scholarship (SMS) to 18 recipients as well as the Defence Merit Scholarship (DMS) to seven recipients at a ceremony held at the Istana on 29 July 2014.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Ng underscored the importance of having a strong and credible SAF to ensure the peace and security of Singapore. He also spoke about the high expectations and heavy responsibilities which come with the prestige of being a defence scholar. Dr Ng said, "As the ultimate guarantor of Singapore's security, you are now part of the SAF in MINDEF, must make SAF remain a strong and credible force to protect us against all security threats and to give Singaporeans the confidence that our homeland and loved ones are safe. In accepting these scholarships today, you have pledged yourselves to serve this noble cause."
Introduced in 1971, 1983 and 2002 respectively, the SAFOS, SMS and DMS aim to recruit top students from each cohort of school-leavers to join the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the SAF. This year's scholarship recipients, who have demonstrated academic excellence and outstanding leadership qualities, will be pursuing their undergraduate studies at reputable local and overseas universities.
Upon completion of their tertiary education, the SAFOS and SMS recipients will return to the armed forces to assume a variety of challenging appointments that will groom them for senior command and leadership positions in MINDEF and the SAF. The DMS recipients will return from their studies as Defence Executive Officers. They will be groomed for senior management positions in MINDEF by taking on varied job challenges to hone their skills in critical defence areas.
Present at the award ceremony were senior officials from MINDEF and the SAF, members of the Public Service Commission, in-service scholars, school principals, as well as the parents of the 31 scholarship recipients.