He's a SEAL-trained Commando & ex-Red Lion

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26jun20_news1
26 Jun 2020 | PEOPLE

He's a SEAL-trained Commando & ex-Red Lion

// Story Benita Teo

// Photos courtesy of MINDEF

English 华文
MWO Maheswaran (right) receiving his promotion certificate from Chief of Army Major-General Goh Si Hou on 24 Jun.

His is a long career many can only look on with envy: qualifying as a commando, training with the United States Navy SEALs, becoming a Red Lion.

And now, Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Maheswaran Franklin Miranda is leading WOSPECs (Warrant Officers and Specialists) as a Sergeant Major in the 3rd Singapore Division (3 Div).

And to think he actually had no interest in a career in the Singapore Armed Forces when he first enlisted in 1996!

"When I enlisted into the Commando Formation, I had no intentions of signing on. But about a year into my training, I was inspired by my officer commanding and company sergeant major.

"They personified professionalism and commitment in the way they motivated our whole company at the ATEC (Army Training Evaluation Centre) evaluation. I appreciated their values and wanted to be like them," said the 45-year-old.

Being in the position to groom future leaders is a responsibility he takes seriously: "I want to inspire and lead through my actions.(As commanders,) we want to impart our knowledge to the next generation, so that they can improve and become even better than us."

Becoming a Red Lion and jumping at the NDP was one of the highlights of MWO Maheswaran's career. [Photo: NDPeeps]

Garang to the core

One of the highlights of MWO Maheswaran's career was completing the US Navy SEALs course in 2000 - a course he calls "one of the toughest in the world".

"What I picked up was resilience and perseverance - it was tough and cold, and we had to undergo (and pass) a lot of evaluations. From there, I also told myself anything was possible, as long as we wanted it... It's all in our minds."

MWO Maheswaran (in black suit, top right) took part in NDP for the first time as a Red Lion in 2011. [Photo: NDPeeps]

Another memory he looks back on fondly was being selected as a Red Lion and jumping at the NDP in 2011 and 2012.

"It's every commando's dream…(and) I was fortunate to be selected. It's a very special experience to jump as a Red Lion at the NDP, where every Singaporean is cheering for you as you land," he reminisced.

The father of two added that his daughter and son, aged 10 and eight respectively, have become very interested in parachuting after watching their dad in action. His son has even taken an interest in his job, and hopes to join the army when he grows up.

MWO Maheswaran (left) was among 647 uniformed personnel promoted to the next higher rank this year.

Mentoring & inspiring the next generation

Come 1 Jul, MWO Maheswaran will be promoted to the rank of Senior Warrant Officer.

As Sergeant Major of 3 Div, he is in charge of coaching and mentoring the WOSPECs under him, ensuring that they adhere to high standards of discipline and regimentation. He also oversees training to make sure that the soldiers are committed and competent, and maintain their operational readiness.

MWO Maheswaran believes it is important for commanders to impart their knowledge and help the next generation to become even better.

What makes a good soldier? This is his take: "Take ownership and be responsible for your actions - these are qualities I live by. Never give up; build trust between leaders and men; and leverage each other's strengths. That's how we learn and become better."

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