SAF welcomes new Chief of Defence Force, Chief of Army

Actions
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/wcm/connect/pioneer/41a230fe-4881-480f-a428-4783b4c906db/24mar18_news1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-41a230fe-4881-480f-a428-4783b4c906db-mdyqACf /web/wcm/connect/pioneer/41a230fe-4881-480f-a428-4783b4c906db/24mar18_news1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-41a230fe-4881-480f-a428-4783b4c906db-mdyqACf /web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/milestones/2018-dm/24mar18_news
/web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/milestones/2018-dm/24mar18_news
24mar18_news
24 Mar 2018 | MILESTONES
Melayu 华文

SAF welcomes new Chief of Defence Force, Chief of Army

// STORY Benita Teo & Teo Jing Ting
// PHOTOS Chua Soon Lye & Chai Sian Liang

English 华文

He took over the Command Symbol from Lieutenant-General (LG) Perry Lim, who helmed the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) since 18 Aug 2015.

Following MG Ong's swearing-in ceremony, the parade contingent, comprising a Guard of Honour and 14 marching contingents from the Army, Navy and Air Force, paid compliments to the new Chief with a welcome salute. MG Ong. who served in the SAF since 1994, has been Chief of Army (COA) since August 2015. He was responsible for spearheading the "Army Ready, Soldier Strong" movement.

He also played a key role in maximising soldier performance and enhancing training for national servicemen, through measures. These include encouraging pre-enlistees to take greater ownership of their National Service (NS) roles and improving the SAF's operational readiness by allowing them to indicate their interest in their NS vocations.

As Chief Guards Officer, he oversaw the establishment of the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre. In his previous appointment as Commander 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade, he led the SAF contingent which took part in disaster-relief operations when an earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011. Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen presented MG Ong with his Appointment Letter. He also presented LG Lim with the Command Plaque, in appreciation of his three decade-long service in the SAF.

LG Lim, 45, joined the SAF in 1990. In his role as CDF, he led efforts to strengthen the SAF's counter-terrorism capabilities and inter-agency cooperation for homeland contingency operations, and continued to develop the fighting force in its 3rd Generation transformation. Under his leadership, the SAF contributed to international counter-terrorism efforts in deployments to Kuwait and Iraq. In his swansong speech as CDF, LG Lim paid tribute to his leadership team: "We aim to do what is right for the SAF, not what is spectacular. We continue to sense the changes and dangers for Singapore and to plan for many years ahead.

"At the same time, we go down to the ground to encourage our people. We seek to strengthen our systems and processes to ensure that we operate and train correctly and safely."

He also thanked the servicemen for the sacrifices they had made in fulfilling their duties: "They are amazing in their focus on the mission, professionalism, positive attitude to work and fulfilling their responsibilities, and team spirit.

"And we need our people to be amazing because Singapore is a small country with no strategic depth. When you are a small country, you have little margin for error. When you have no strategic depth, defending the country is many times more challenging than other countries which are better endowed. The SAF must never forget this."

He also called on all present to give MG Ong their fullest support. In his tribute to his predecessor, MG Ong called him an "officer who possesses strong values, stands by his principles, and has a heart for the SAF". The new CDF credited LG Lim for strengthening Singapore's defence relations, especially with his counterparts in ASEAN, and for developing the SAF's capabilities in many aspects such as cybersecurity.

New COA takes the reins

In a separate Change of Command parade on 21 Mar, Brigadier-General (BG) Goh Si Hou, 40, took over the COA Symbol of Command from MG Ong. The new COA joined the SAF in 1997. In his previous appointment as Commander 6th Singapore Division, he oversaw the development of the new Combined Arms Training Centre to strengthen the Army's training system, and led the division through key Army exercises and bilateral training with foreign partners.

During his earlier appointments in MINDEF, he led the implementation of new military career schemes to enhance recruitment and retention for the SAF. He also headed a project office supporting the Committee to Strengthen NS, which led to initiatives such as the formation of the SAF Volunteer Corps. Paying tribute to his predecessor, BG Goh said:"As COA, MG Ong has led Army Ready Soldier Strong through his words and actions. He has worked tirelessly to make the Army stronger, more ready (and) more decisive. We can be very proud that COA has put his heart and soul into making the Army stronger."

In his farewell speech, MG Ong explained that the Army's motto "Army Ready, Soldier Strong" were not just "mere words on a parchment" but words that have been "etched into our minds and manifested in decisive action".

He said: "That is why we staged the largest mobilisation and equipping exercise that the Army has seen in the last 10 years to sharpen our operational readiness...launched the Island Defence Training Institute to better prepare our soldiers for homeland security operations (and) established the Centre of Excellence for Soldier Performance because we believe there's a better way, more scientific and data-driven approach to building stronger soldiers and units and we did all this, together."
 

Suggested Reading
The mission comes first
The mission comes first
COMMUNITY
29-Jul-22

LG Melvyn Ong, Chief of Defence Force, shares how the SAF kept its operations running while contributing to whole-of-government efforts to contain COVID-19.

Day at Sea on Board Protector
Cover story
Day at Sea on Board Protector
OPS & TRAINING
20-Jan-22

Take a peek into life on board newly operationalised MSRV Protector, as she sails for a weekend and conducts her first grenade launcher live firing.

Flashback: 5 RSN firsts Feature
Flashback: 5 RSN firsts
MILESTONES
05-May-21

In commemoration of the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN's) 54th birthday on 5 May, here's a look back at a few "firsts" you may not have known.

Commando training changed his life Feature
Commando training changed his life
PEOPLE
22-Feb-21

Commando-turned-medical officer Captain (CPT) (NS) (Dr) Ramesh Wijaya shares the life lessons he learnt from being part of this elite force.

From unfamiliar faces to firm friends
From unfamiliar faces to firm friends
PEOPLE
29-Jan-21

Returning to serve NS after spending six years abroad, Private (PTE) Muhammad Hadi Bin Abdul Hairy used to wake up in his BMT bunk feeling like he was surrounded by strangers. Now, he counts them as some of his closest friends. Find out how he adapted to military life in the third of PIONEER's "Back to Serve" series.

Maritime security capabilities strengthened Feature
Maritime security capabilities strengthened
OPS & TRAINING
26-Jan-21

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) is adding a new flotilla with a range of vessels to respond more swiftly and appropriately to expanding maritime incidents.

Tough as steel: 40 SAR gears up for first Battalion Mission Exercise
Cover story
Tough as steel: 40 SAR gears up for first Battalion Mission Exercise
OPS & TRAINING
25-Jan-21

What does victory smell like? Hot metal burning in the sun, sweat, rain, wet mud. This is 40th Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment's (40 SAR's) Battalion Mission Exercise.

From auditor to sailor Feature
From auditor to sailor
PEOPLE
13-Jan-21

In the first of PIONEER’s “From Desk to Field” series, Major (MAJ) Lee Jia Pei shares why she ditched her job in the auditing industry to join the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

Struggling swimmer who became a Sea Marshal
Struggling swimmer who became a Sea Marshal
PEOPLE
07-Dec-20

Corporal First Class (CFC) (NS) Gary Tan is not afraid to admit that he stood frozen with fear at the top of the 5m diving tower for more than an hour back in Basic Military Training (BMT).

Defending S'pore skies during COVID-19
Cover story
Defending S'pore skies during COVID-19
OPS & TRAINING
01-Sep-20

Donning masks, cohorting arrangements, isolation in camp – life has changed for the airmen and women of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) amid the COVID-19 pandemic as they continue to watch over the skies and do their part for the community.