A total of 97 servicemen and women, comprising nine from the Singapore Army, 29 from the Republic of Singapore Navy, 15 from the Republic of Singapore Air Force and 44 from the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) Community, were appointed as Senior Military Experts (MEs) today. In light of the COVID-19 situation, the graduands received their ceremonial swords and scrolls at decentralised ceremonies.
Addressing the graduands in a pre-recorded video as the Guest of Honour for the ceremonies, Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How commended the Senior MEs for their contributions to the SAF's continued fight against COVID-19. He said, "During these uncertain times, our people are our greatest strength. And this includes Military Experts who have played crucial roles in ensuring mission success in our nation's battle against the pandemic… common to all are the innovative and dynamic spirit to go above and beyond to employ their domain skills in new situations, their dedication to the mission, and the resilience and ability to overcome daunting challenges."
Mr Heng also highlighted the importance of the SAF in safeguarding Singapore's security and sovereignty amidst the evolving security challenges. He said, "Singapore remains a prime target for terrorist attacks… The increase in digital adoption and communication among Singaporeans during the pandemic also leaves us at greater risk from cyber threats and harmful disinformation. Beyond our shores, the geopolitical outlook remains uncertain… It is therefore imperative that the SAF remains focused on its primary mission of safeguarding Singapore's security and sovereignty – a mission in which all of you will continue to play an important role in your future appointments."
Mr Heng also reminded the graduands of their crucial role in the transformation of the SAF. He said, "As we build towards SAF2040, the SAF will continue to harness new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, robotics and data analytics to give our soldiers the edge in future warfighting. As Senior Military Experts, all of you are key to this transformation. Innovation is a key strength of the Military Expert corps."
The appointment ceremonies marked the completion of the Military Domain Experts Course, which trains MEs to assume roles in the SAF where in-depth expertise in areas such as engineering, intelligence, military medicine and cybersecurity is required. The course developed and honed the MEs' leadership competency, military domain knowledge and specialised skills. The newly appointed Senior MEs will move on to assume leadership or staff appointments in their professional areas.
The ceremonies are attended in-person by family members of the MEs. All guests have to be fully vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19 as part of pre-event testing protocols. The ceremonies have also been staggered to minimise cross interaction between servicemen and guests, and common areas are also sanitised between each session.