Making a Difference to the Lives of His SoldiersThis Guards officer helps his soldiers to become the best version of themselves.
//PRODUCER & EDITOR Koh Eng Beng
//CAMERAMEN Zakee Teo, Ajay Prashad & Vince Sia
//PHOTOGRAPHER Kenneth Lin
He once had a soldier who was sent to the detention barracks. But the Full-time National Serviceman (NSF) emerged a changed person and eventually became a trained Guardsman.
Being able to make such a positive impact on the lives of young servicemen was a big reason Senior Lieutenant Colonel (SLTC) Bernard Tay chose to become a career soldier.
"I believe that every soldier wants to find his purpose and be recognised. It is our duty as leaders to help shape the conditions for them to fulfill their potential," said the 37-year-old Guards officer.
SLTC Tay was Commanding Officer of 3rd Battalion, Singapore Guards (3 Gds) from 2018 to 2020. He worked closely with his commanders to help his soldiers to become stronger and better, both as a soldier and as a person.
When it comes to helping to improve the lives of his soldiers, SLTC Tay goes the extra mile – for example, he wrote an e-book to share his knowledge on managing personal finances.
"I felt it would be useful for them to learn how to manage their money before they receive their first paycheck," said SLTC Tay, now a Senior Force Transformation Officer.
SLTC Tay also shares knowledge on leadership and self-improvement on social media. These are through his reviews and personal thoughts on books that he has read.
One book that he highly recommends is Grit: Why Passion And Resilience Are The Secrets To Success. Sharing a key concept from the book, he said: "We tend to overrate talent — and overlook the time and effort to develop a skill.
"I've seen many instances of soldiers who don't come in as the most talented, the fittest, and the strongest.
"But when they complete their National Service, they are, in fact, much better as an individual and as a soldier (because they put in more effort than the rest).
"And so I really encourage people to pick up this book. I think it will really give them a good insight (into) what are the important ingredients for attainment of long term goals."
Catch this video on how SLTC Tay helps his soldiers to become the version of themselves.