President Halimah Yacob reviewed a commissioning parade at the SAFTI Military Institute this evening. A total of 418 cadets, comprising 324 from the Army, 49 from the Navy and 45 from the Air Force, were commissioned as officers of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
Speaking at the parade, President Halimah highlighted the critical role National Service (NS) plays in Singapore's defence. She said, "A key tenet in a strong SAF is our NS system. As a small nation, it is not a choice, but an existential need to rely on our national servicemen to form the backbone of our defence. I am glad that over the years, our NS servicemen have risen up to the challenge and faithfully answered to this call of duty."
President Halimah also reminded graduands of their responsibility as leaders in the SAF to lead with distinction and serve with conviction. She said, "Lead with humility and serve with conviction, recognising that you represent something much larger than yourself. Never forget your purpose as a leader: It is your responsibility to train the men and women under you well, so that the SAF remains a credible fighting force that can defend and protect Singapore's interests…You will have to nurture those under your command to better themselves and inspire them to serve with pride. At the same time, never forget your solemn duty to return them safely to their loved ones, who have placed their utmost trust in your hands."
The parade marked the completion of 38 weeks of rigorous training at the Officer Cadet School. The realistic training conducted during the course sharpened the cadets' combat, planning and leadership skills. The newly commissioned officers will go on to assume command, instructional or staff appointment in the SAF. Also present at the parade were Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, senior Ministry of Defence officials and SAF officers, as well as families and friends of the newly commissioned officers.