MWO Seck Wai Kong

Frogman School Sergeant Major, Naval Diving Unit (NDU)
Why did you choose to join the Navy?

I joined the Navy because I am motivated to preserve the peace and stability that Singapore has enjoyed over the years.

What do you do as a Dive School Sergeant Major?

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t need to dive every other day. Although diving is a prerequisite and a part of my work, there are many other areas of responsibilities, like providing leadership, inculcating values to the younger divers and planning of training activities.

What did you study and was it relevant to pursuing a career in the Navy?

I joined NDU with an ‘O’ Level certificate 18 years ago and learned the ropes along the way from my peers and seniors at work. There are lots of relevant upgrading courses and planned exercises every year in NDU, which constantly helps to enhance my knowledge.

What kind of on-the-job training did you go through?

I have attended a myriad of courses such as the Naval Combat Diver course, Airborne course, Jungle Confidence course, Dive Leader course, Safety Management programme, US Navy Seals course, US Military Freefall and Parachutist course. Besides upgrading courses, there are also opportunities to interact with foreign counterparts. 

What were some of the memorable missions you have been to?

I will never forget my deployment for the search operation during the SilkAir crash in 1997. We were literally fighting against tide and time during the entire search operation.  People still ask me today if it was scary being underwater in murky waters searching for the remains. I tell them you will not be afraid if you know you are doing your best to fulfill your mission.

I also had the opportunity to be deployed to the Northern Arabian Gulf to aid in the reconstruction effort in Iraq. I was appointed as the overall in-charge (OIC) for the security force and held the appointment of Team Leader. 

What is the most notable course you had attended as a Naval Diver?

I have attended many courses throughout my 20 years of career with NDU but notably, I gained a Diploma from the US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare and School, for a Military Freefall Parachutist Course that I attended. 

What will you say to someone who thinks your job is dangerous?

We will have more than adequate realistic training to prepare us mentally and physically for anything that comes in our way which alludes to our Motto: Nothing Stands In Our Way.

What advice would you give to someone who is keen to join the Navy?

The Navy is a place that trains you to be highly positive and effective in difficult situations. Your tenacity will be put to test, so will your physical and mental strength. You must also be a team player who can contribute to the holistic advancement of the force.

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