African-Singaporean on his way to becoming an officer

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04 Aug 2022 | PEOPLE

African-Singaporean on his way to becoming an officer

// Story by Koh Eng Beng

// Photos courtesy of 3SG Hartley and Singapore Army

Then-Private Haniel (centre) with his parents at his BMT graduation in June 2022.

If all goes well, this African-Singaporean is set to be the first in his family to become an officer in the Singapore Armed Forces. Meet Officer Cadet (OCT) Haniel Humphrey Muze, a born and bred Singaporean.

His parents moved from Tanzania to Singapore in 1990. The third of four children, OCT Haniel is the second to go through National Service (NS) – his elder brother 3rd Sergeant (3SG) Hartley Muze is the first African-Singaporean frogman with the Naval Diving Unit (NDU).

His brother 3SG Hartley is the first African-Singaporean naval diver.
OCT Haniel (right) aspires to become a good army officer that soldiers look up to.

OCT Haniel enlisted for NS earlier this year after completing his A-levels in Raffles Institution. He excelled during Basic Military Training, and was selected for the gruelling 38-week officer cadet course.

"I hope to become a good officer that soldiers will look up to," said the-19-year-old.

"Training is tough but I am willing to push myself; I have always wanted to lead people and to help them grow and excel – the tough training in OCS allows me to build this capacity for leadership."

For family and country

What motivated him to do his best during NS was his family and country – he wants to be able to protect and care for his loved ones when the time comes.

"Singapore has given my family the opportunity to come from Africa to live and thrive here. We have had so many great opportunities here; it is only right that I give back to society through NS," he said.

OCT Haniel (back row, first from left) with his family.

Teamwork

Recalling his NS journey thus far, OCT Haniel said getting used to the regimentation in BMT was a little challenging. But he and his section mates adopted a "let's do it together" mentality, which helped him adapt to military life.

"I found myself pushing through tough training, just because others did the same. And honestly, knowing that I am going through the challenges with my section mates helped me tremendously."

OCT Haniel (first from left) with fellow officer cadets during outfield training.

He also looked to his naval diver brother 3SG Hartley for inspiration. He remembers how 3SG Harley had not shown signs of fatigue even after completing Team Building Week (also better known as the infamous Hell Week) in NDU.

"In fact, he seemed like he could go for another round!" OCT Haniel recalled. "His mental strength motivated me to be the best version of myself."

"At the end of the day, we both want to serve our NS well together and contribute, to the best of our abilities," he added.

For now, he is concentrating on honing his combat and leadership skills in Officer Cadet School.

"As someone training to be an officer, I try my best to lead my peers. After all, we are training to become officers and future leaders. I want to start making myself a better leader by taking small steps every day."

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