In this issue of Kopitalk, we interviewed Major (MAJ) Dacialyn Koh, the first Head SAF Women Outreach Office (WOO), about her daily life and how she balances her role as a mother and a soldier.
What is a typical day like for Head SAF WOO?
There is no typical day as every day is quite different. One day, I could be attending women conferences to see how other organisations advance women's careers in their organisations. On another day, I could be engaging servicewomen or enlistees in the SAF on their concerns. I also look at servicewomen policies for the SAF and work with multiple stakeholders on that. My role is to look at servicewomen recruitment and retention initiatives in the SAF. I hope to recruit more women to the SAF and help them have a meaningful career.
MAJ Dacialyn Koh sharing about the SAF WOO and servicewomen initiatives during Army Servicewomen Network event
How has the experience been so far? Does being a mother help you with this role?
So far, it has been a very engaging experience. I get to meet very passionate servicewomen who want to make the Army a better career for fellow servicewomen.
Servicewomen in the SAF have different backgrounds and aspirations. In particular, for those with family, they may need to juggle their roles at work with their family commitments and find a balance. Personally for me, I find that being a mother of three do help me to understand some of these challenges that servicewomen may face in their jobs.
MAJ Dacialyn Koh with her 3 sons
Why did you join the Army?
I joined the Army because I was looking for a meaningful career, something that could keep me on the feet and give me new experiences throughout my entire career.
Can you share about your motherhood journey as a soldier?
My eldest son was born on SAF Day in 2013. And subsequently, I had two other sons who are currently three- and one-year-old, respectively. When I was pregnant with my first son, I was a career manager in Army Officer Management Centre (AOMC). When my second son came along, I was Head Career Development, Control of Personnel Centre (CPC), managing courses for the Warrant Officer and Specialist (WOSpec) Corps. When I had my third son, I was in Joint Manpower Personnel Department (JMPD), handling regimentation and discipline. Being a mother is a privilege and an amazing experience.
MAJ Dacialyn Koh (2nd from left), then-pregnant with her third child, with her Army buddies.
How would you describe your journey in the Army so far with you playing both the roles of a soldier and a mother?
I feel very supported throughout my entire career as they have accommodated my requests in my career postings, and I feel that the Army is a part of my family because they've been through all these key milestones in my life. I have many friends in the Army who have seen me grow from an 18-year-old young woman to a mother of three beautiful sons. So I would say that it's an extraordinary journey that I have with the Army.
What would you like to say to all the mothers out there serving in the Army?
To all the mothers out there: Don’t be too hard on yourselves and always remember you rock!
Written by: LCP Stanley Ong (Army News)