Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan reviewed the Officer Cadet Commissioning Parade at the SAFTI Military Institute this evening. A total of 203 cadets, comprising 135 from the Singapore Army, one from the Republic of Singapore Navy and 67 from the Republic of Singapore Air Force, were commissioned as officers of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
Speaking at the parade, Dr Balakrishnan emphasised the importance of an operationally-ready SAF. He said, "Singapore is a small, multi-racial, and multi-religious country at the heart of Southeast Asia. Our unique geography, our context, make us susceptible to an increasingly volatile, ambiguous, complex, and uncertain external environment...With increased contestation and hostility between the great powers in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, the space for dialogue, for diplomacy, for cooperation has shrunk. Conversely, the risk of miscalculation and misunderstanding has increased. For Singapore's survival and our well-being, the SAF must always be prepared to protect us from any potential aggressor. It is therefore imperative that we have a strong and credible SAF. "
Dr Balakrishnan noted that this year marks an important milestone as Singapore commemorates 55 years of National Service and honours the contributions of generations of National servicemen. He said, "This milestone would not have been possible without the commitment of generations of Singaporeans who have proudly stood up to fulfil our duty. The continued support and dedication from family, friends and loved ones during National Service plays a very important role in ensuring a strong SAF and keeping Singapore safe and secure. Singapore would not be where we are today without the collective support and commitment of every Singaporean to National Service. And we must build on this collective will, to look ahead, and ensure that NS is well-positioned to safeguard our precious way of life."
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 and staff appointments in the SAF. Also present at the parade were senior SAF officers, as well as families and friends of the newly commissioned officers.