At your service, Madam President

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03 May 2019 | MILESTONES

At your service, Madam President

// Report by Chia Chong Jin

// Photos by Chai Sian Liang

English 华文

Being an Honorary Aide-de-Camp (ADC) is not an easy task; they sacrifice their personal time outside of their day-to-day working hours to serve at events or functions that the President attends.

Despite the challenges, it is an honour for military officers to serve in the highest office in Singapore.

“Being an Honorary ADC is very different from what we do on a day-to-day basis in the military. It is also a good opportunity to meet uniformed personnel from the other services,” said Military Expert (ME) 4 Grace Chng.

She is a Section Head from the Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN’s) Ship Superintending and Engineering Centre, and this is her second time serving as an Honorary ADC.

She recounted her experiences of her first year as an Honorary ADC. It was initially tough for ME4 Chng to balance the workload from both her unit and being an Honorary ADC, but she eventually managed to juggle the two.

“I gradually became more efficient at work, and that allowed me to better handle both my appointments in my unit and in the President’s office.”

As part of her duties as an Honorary ADC, she assists full-time ADCs in in organising state events and receiving guests who include senior officials and foreign dignitaries.

At the ceremony held in the Istana on 2 May, President Halimah Yacob thanked the Honorary ADCs and their families for their support and dedication they have given to the office. “I am heartened to see that the Corps continues to attract officers of high calibre and from all walks of life,” said Madam Halimah.

ME4 Chng was amongst the 102 personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force who were appointed as Honorary ADCs at the ceremony.

Of the 102, 48 were from the SAF, with 10 being new appointees. Among the first-timers is Major (MAJ) (NS) (Dr) Joel Chan Meng Fai.

Currently a paediatrician in KK Hospital, he is the first National Service Medical Officer (MO) to be appointed as an Honorary ADC.

When asked why did he decided to take on the role, the MO from 1st Medical Squadron of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) said: “Being an Honorary ADC gives me an opportunity to serve the nation and interact with the community.

“Within the diverse Honorary ADC community, we (are able to) develop a greater understanding of one another’s roles in the SAF and Home Team.”

He also thanked his family for their support over the years. “My family has fully supported me in my NS duties… this gives me assurance to fulfill my duties with little worries… I’m both humbled and excited to be part of (the Honorary ADC community),” said MAJ (NS) (Dr) Chan.

For fellow first-time Honorary ADC MAJ Muhammad Izzuddin Bin Amirruddin, taking up the role was an easy decision to make.

The Operations Officer from 9th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment signed on with the SAF with the aim of serving his country. When he was given the opportunity to become an Honorary ADC, he took up the challenge readily.

“It is an extension of my service to the country and also a chance to do something different from what I do on a daily basis,” said MAJ Izzuddin.

“(Having) the chance to interact with colleagues from other services, especially those from the Home Team, and being able to see their best work practices allow me to learn from them.”

When questioned what advice would he give to other uniformed personnel who have the opportunity to become an Honorary ADC, he said: “It is a golden opportunity to do something unique and not everybody gets an chance like this, so why not step up to serve?”

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