This father-daughter duo shares what it's like being in the same formation.
The saying "father knows best" is especially true for Lieutenant (LTA) Lynette Yap.
The 25-year-old platoon commander from 40th Battalion, Singapore Armour Regiment is grateful that her father Major (MAJ) Ronnie Yap talked her into joining the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
The tanned and fit 50-year-old staff officer in Headquarters Armour is her go-to person for all things military as well as other decisions in life.
He also influenced his younger son to sign on with the Singapore Combat Engineers (SCE), his former formation. LTA Reynold Yap, 22, is currently pursuing a business degree at Singapore Management University, while the youngest child, Lyselle, 20, will be reading project facilities management in the National University of Singapore.
Lynette, why did you sign on?
L: I wanted to be a pilot, but I didn't meet the requirements 'cos I was too short (she is 158cm). So I asked my dad what else I could consider and he suggested the Armour formation.
R: I know her character well. My wife and I knew what job would fit her best, (and we were glad) she joined the SAF. It's a structured environment with good values and is a good place to carve a career.
How was Basic Military Training (BMT)?
L: I had a lot of fears before entering BMT... Even though my dad and brother had briefed me, there’s only so much (someone else) can tell you.
But they gave me practical tips to surviving field camp, like buttoning my uniform all the way up to prevent insects from biting my neck.
I'm close to my family, so living apart from them for two weeks was hard. But I quickly made friends in the Army, so it wasn't so bad after that.
What's it like having a father in the same formation?
R: (laughs) Not as bad as having a father in the SCE family! My son had it worse because I was in SCE for 25 years and a lot of people there know me. I only joined the Armour family in 2013.
L: It wasn't such a big deal even though people knew that I was his daughter. But there is definitely pressure not to screw up.
So you influenced your son to join SCE?
R: My son is very practical and very good with numbers… SCE is where you do a lot of mathematics and calculation and I absolutely believe that this is the specialist arm for him.
So how would you describe each other?
L: Stoic and ever-present. He's not that kind of dad who is "right-in-your-face" involved, but I know that he's always there whenever I need him.
R: She's a bundle of energy that needs to be channelled in the right direction so that she can be productive and efficient... She gets distracted easily.
Lynette, do you share your Army experiences with your father and brother?
L: It's nice that they can share my excitement when I tell them stories about my work. I think it's really special, ’cos not many daughters can share this with their fathers.
R: (laughs) The reaction I give her is usually, "I told you, there's nothing to worry about, right…" Then her brother will say, "Aiyah, yours is nothing, mine is harder than yours."
It's two different reactions — I'm more affirmative while her brother is more comparative.
How have you helped Lynette along the way?
R: (laughs) Once, during her officer cadet course, she came back with homework for her map planning test. I had to coach her how to use colours and arrows to plot obstacles and calculate timings. It was home tuition, military-style.
Ronnie, I heard that you're retiring.
R: Seven more months to go!
I have done my part and it's up to her to carry on (the family legacy). I have other things to do with my life — I want to pursue my own professional cycling career. Just joking… I'll be helping out with the Singapore Cycling Federation.
L: It's time for me to carve a path of my own, and I'm looking forward to that. Anyway, I know that he'll always be there for me, no matter what.