A total of 353 cadets, comprising 286 from the Singapore Army, 33 from the Republic of Singapore Navy and 34 from the Republic of Singapore Air Force, were commissioned as officers of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). The cadets will receive their ceremonial swords and letters of appointment at decentralised small-scale commissioning ceremonies organised at the Formation level from 9 to 11 Jun 2021, in recognition of this significant milestone in their journey as new officers of the SAF.
Addressing the graduands in a recorded video message as the Reviewing Officer for the proceedings, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Mr Heng Swee Keat commended the SAF's operational readiness amidst COVID-19. He said, "To ensure operational readiness, the SAF has remained nimble and adapted. Let me mention a few examples. First, the SAF has continued with its large-scale exercises, including with foreign militaries, with safe management measures in place, such as the multilateral Rim of the Pacific Navy in August 2020 … Exercise Red Flag – Nellis air combat exercise in March 2021; and separate naval passage exercises … Second, the SAF continues to innovate, with programmes such as the NS FIT in April 2021, which offers our NSmen greater flexibility to build in regular exercise into their lifestyles."
Mr Heng highlighted that the SAF must continue to prepare for a more uncertain security environment. He said, "Beyond COVID-19, we must be prepared for greater uncertainty in our external environment. The US-China relationship is fraught with uncertainty. The pandemic has also intensified existing tensions and rivalries. We must also be alert to emerging threats, including those in non-traditional security domains such as cybersecurity. The SAF must continue to enhance its capabilities to address these diverse threats."
Mr Heng also reminded the graduands of their duty and responsibilities as newly-minted SAF officers. He said, "You are now leaders in the SAF. As leaders, remember that you are now responsible for the well-being and safety of your people under your charge. Anchor yourselves on the strong values and ethos that you have learnt in OCS, bear in mind the Officers' Creed, and I can assure you that you will have a fulfilling leadership journey. Be humble, lead with your heart, and serve with purpose. I have every confidence that you will be able to Lead, to Excel, and to Overcome."
The cadets have completed 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 appointments in the SAF.