The SAF Young Leader Award (SYLA) was first introduced in 2014 to recognise individuals with excellent academic achievements and outstanding CCA performance. The award seeks to motivate you in your continued pursuit of excellence and your journey in becoming our future leaders.

An average of 20 recipients are awarded every year. As part of the application process, you are required to submit an essay on a defence-related topic. Shortlisted candidates will subsequently attend an interview and a one-day assessment session.

Applications for the SAF Young Leader Award 2023 have closed. Applications for the SAF Young Leader Award 2024 will open in Nov 2023.

Criteria for SAF Young Leader Award
Students who:

  • Are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents intending to take up citizenship
  • Are Junior College Year 1, Polytechnic Year 1 or 2 and International Baccalaureate Year 5 (as of 2023)
  • Demonstrate academic excellence
  • Display strong leadership qualities through co-curricular activities (CCAs)
  • Are passionate about defence-related issues

Value of Award
As a recipient of the SAF Young Leader Award, you enjoy the following:

  • $2,500 cash award
  • Exclusive opportunities to attend MINDEF/SAF programmes, scholarship talks and engagement activities to understand the career prospects in MINDEF/SAF
  • A scholarship interview* for overseas studies upon application

*Male recipients need to be enlisted into SAF in order to be considered for military scholarships

If you have any questions, please drop an email to

SAF Young Leader Award

SYLA 2022 Recipients

SYLA 2020 Recipients

SYLA 2019 Recipients

SYLA 2018 Recipients

SYLA 2017 Recipients

SYLA 2016 Recipients

SYLA 2015 Recipients