Father-Son Duo Appointed as Senior Military Experts

Actions
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/wcm/connect/pioneer/f6d3ff11-db4c-40b7-8cb0-b9a2da1976a7/15jul21_news1_photo1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-f6d3ff11-db4c-40b7-8cb0-b9a2da1976a7-nH7esWH /web/wcm/connect/pioneer/f6d3ff11-db4c-40b7-8cb0-b9a2da1976a7/15jul21_news1_photo1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-f6d3ff11-db4c-40b7-8cb0-b9a2da1976a7-nH7esWH /web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/people/people/2021-Q3/15jul21_news1
/web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/people/2021-Q3/15jul21_news1
15jul21_news1
15 Jul 2021 | PEOPLE

Father-Son Duo Appointed as Senior Military Experts

//Story by Gabriel Lee

//Photos by Kenneth Lin & Courtesy of ME4 Roy Tan

Father and son ME4 Tan Gim Cheong (right) and ME4 Roy Tan are two of the 105 appointed as senior military experts at the 21st Senior Military Expert Appointment Ceremony on Thursday.

"I was surprised to learn that we would be graduating together in the same cohort… (Nevertheless,) I am glad that we could commemorate this milestone together."

For Military Expert (ME) 4 Roy Tan, becoming a Senior Military Expert on Thursday was extra special because his father ME4 Tan Gim Cheong was also appointed at the same time.

Looking back to before his training began ME4 Roy recounted: "While I was certain I would be undergoing the course to become a Senior Military Expert, my father had not been selected for the course yet." As a lead engineer in the Headquarters Maintenance & Engineering Support, the 25-year-old Regular is presently involved in engineering initiatives to enable expedient repairs in the fields as well as projects related to additive manufacturing.

"Indeed, it was a lucky coincidence," said ME4 Gim Cheong, who had decided later to take up the course as well. The 53-year-old is a Senior Instructor at the Republic of Singapore Navy's Platform Technology Systems School, where he conducts lessons to hone the competencies of the Navy's aspiring sailors in naval platform systems.

Deepening domain knowledge

In spite of the happy coincidence, their journey has not been an easy one. They had to first go through the Military Domain Experts Course (MDEC), which trains MEs to assume roles in the SAF where in-depth expertise in areas such as engineering, intelligence, military medicine and cybersecurity is required.

ME4 Roy (front row, left) together with his MDEC course-mates at OES.

ME4 Roy's four-week-long course at the Ordnance Engineering Training Institute (OETI) Engineering School [OES] saw him having to learn to overcome the learning differences between him and his course-mates, who came in at different levels and stages of their lives.

One example was the reliability tests conducted during a reliability engineering module, where those fresh from school were able to comfortably tackle the statistics portion, whereas the rest excelled in practical aspects of training on the systems.

"We helped them, and they in turn, imparted to us their practical experience," ME4 Roy said

ME4 Gim Cheong, who is a Senior Instructor at the Platform Technology Systems School, converted to be a Military Expert in April 2010 under the Military Domain Experts Scheme.

For ME4 Gim Cheong, who has been with the SAF for the past 34 years, it was all about honing his leadership skills and sharpening his expertise through his course.

Recalling the nine weeks spent at the Naval Military Expert Institute, ME4 Gim Cheong said: "I found the course very engaging and fruitful. The syllabus covered a wide range of areas, including leadership and discipline. We learnt how to mentor and coach our men effectively."

The father-and-son pair also helped each other in their personal capacities at home. ME4 Roy, for example, introduced his father to grammar tools to sharpen his writing skills for the theory assignments.

Developing leadership capabilities

ME4 Roy (left) receiving the Sword of Honour from Brigadier-General Terry Tan, Commander, Combat Service Support Command, on 15 Jul.

ME4 Roy went on to top the class and received the Sword of Honour (SOH) award. The SOH is given to outstanding candidates based on their performance in the MDEC.

"I am honoured to be a recipient of the SOH. I believe that I was only able to clinch the award thanks to the excellent rapport that I had built with my course-mates," he said.

Beaming with pride, ME4 Gim Cheong had high praises for his son: "While I was initially surprised, I knew that Roy had put in a lot of effort."

ME4 Roy (far left), proudly affixing the rank chevron onto his father, ME4 Gim Cheong, together with his mother Tan Sok Hia.

Looking ahead, while the two may hail from different Services, both father and son have the same goal in mind: To lead the men under their charge effectively as military experts of the SAF.

"Going forward, I hope to mentor and assist the instructors in my team, be it planning for the training programmes or assisting them with disciplinary issues," remarked ME4 Gim Cheong.

Echoing his father's sentiments, ME4 Roy, said: "I hope the projects that I embark on will enhance our operational capabilities and will train me to become a better leader in the SAF."

Suggested Reading
Kids Try: Navy Sailor Feature
Kids Try: Navy Sailor
PEOPLE
18-Oct-21

Can 9-year-old Sanjanaah Suresh make a skilled sailor? In this PIONEER Kids special, she visits the Littoral Mission Vessel Simulation Centre, where her father ME3 Suresh is a senior trainer, to find out what he went through during his sailing days.

DSTA director recognised among top S'pore women in tech
DSTA director recognised among top S'pore women in tech
PEOPLE
15-Oct-21

Ms Gayle Chan, DSTA's Deputy Chief Executive (Information), has earned a spot on the Singapore (SG) 100 Women in Tech 2021 list.

Kids Try: Combat Medic
Cover story
Kids Try: Combat Medic
PEOPLE
08-Oct-21

Do sisters Puteri Nur Qalesya, 9, and Puteri Nur Qaifa, 8, have what it takes to be little combat medics? In PIONEER's Children's Day special, they visit the SAF Medical Training Institute, where many soldiers like their father, Major Muhammad Redza, go to learn basic life-saving skills.

Training soldiers, touching lives Feature
Training soldiers, touching lives
PEOPLE
01-Oct-21

MAJ Muhammad Redza Bin Mohd Asri treats his soldiers like his siblings, is not afraid to ask for brutally honest feedback and enjoys making a difference in his trainees' lives.

Fighting together as an integrated force
Cover story
Fighting together as an integrated force
OPS & TRAINING
24-Sep-21

Land and air elements worked hand-in-hand at Exercise Forging Sabre 2021 to give a clear picture of the battlefield and find the most optimal strike asset to take down the various hostile targets.

Smarter, more integrated fighting force Feature
Smarter, more integrated fighting force
OPS & TRAINING
23-Sep-21

It's the SAF's first integrated exercise since the COVID-19 pandemic, and land and air forces came together seamlessly to put their interoperability to the test.

SAF Assists Home Vaccination Efforts
SAF Assists Home Vaccination Efforts
OPS & TRAINING
15-Sep-21

Medics from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) have been putting their medical training to good use by assisting with home vaccination efforts targeted at the elderly and homebound individuals.

Army's new PX to replace 5BX
Cover story
Army's new PX to replace 5BX
OPS & TRAINING
13-Sep-21

The new Prehabilitation Exercises (PX) aim to help soldiers perform better and reduce the risk of injury over time.

Weapons trainer with a tender heart Feature
Weapons trainer with a tender heart
PEOPLE
10-Sep-21

ME3 Jimmy Lim may be a weapon systems expert but his trainees have never come under fire for making mistakes.

FIRST IN HIS FAMILY
FIRST IN HIS FAMILY
PEOPLE
08-Sep-21

To most, becoming an officer of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) would already be a huge honour. But for 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) Muhammad Ilham Rizqullah Bin Rohaizad, being commissioned holds special meaning for him as he is now the first in his extended family to become an officer.