Commander 3rd Singapore Division, Brigadier-General (BG) Ong Tze-Ch'in officiated at the Expertise Conversion Scheme (ECS) graduation ceremony this evening, where 17 National Servicemen (NSmen) were appointed as senior military experts. The second cohort concluded the Joint Leadership Programme (JLP), marking the completion of their formal military leadership education. Graduands must also undergo Specialisation Training and On-Job-Training in their respective professional areas before completing the entire training process.
The ECS provides opportunities for our NSmen to continue contributing to national defence even after Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) with their relevant civilian expertise. This allows the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to tap on Singapore's talent pool to expand its operational capabilities in niche areas of civilian expertise. Director National Service Affairs, BG (NS) Tung Yui Fai said that he was encouraged by the commitment and dedication of the NSmen who continued to step forward to volunteer their service in defence of the nation. BG (NS) Tung added that the SAF would benefit from their expertise. "With the expertise acquired from their civilian professions, these NSmen will add value to the SAF and help to enhance our operational readiness," he said.
One of the graduands, Military Expert 4 (Apprentice) (ME4A) (NS) Wong Wai Leong Eugene, an engineering lecturer in Newcastle University, highlighted that he wanted to continue contributing to the defence and security of Singapore despite already completing his National Service commitments. "I feel that this scheme is an excellent initiative for me to continue to contribute to the nation. It is a great platform for me to understand and improve on various engineering issues to enhance the operational effectiveness of the SAF," he said. Another graduand, ME4A (NS) Michael Gabriel Pillai who is the superintendent of Sree Narayana Mission, added that he could further contribute to national defence in the specialised field of counselling. He said, "I will be able to put my civilian training into practice in a military setting to manage soldiers so that they can remain effective in their roles in the SAF."
Also present at the ceremony were other senior SAF officers as well as families of the graduands.