Vet appointed as SAF Senior Military Expert

Actions
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/wcm/connect/pioneer/91e696b7-be07-4c9b-ae3e-a8fd4dc1c8b1/19jan23_news1_photo1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-91e696b7-be07-4c9b-ae3e-a8fd4dc1c8b1-onagy1O /web/wcm/connect/pioneer/91e696b7-be07-4c9b-ae3e-a8fd4dc1c8b1/19jan23_news1_photo1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-91e696b7-be07-4c9b-ae3e-a8fd4dc1c8b1-onagy1O /web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/people/2023-Q1/19jan23_news1
/web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/people/2023-Q1/19jan23_news1
19jan23_news1
19 Jan 2023 | PEOPLE

Vet appointed as SAF Senior Military Expert

// Story by Koh Eng Beng

// Photos by Kenneth Lin and courtesy of ME4(A) Lin

Newly-minted Senior Military Expert ME4(A) Lin is serving as a vet in the Military Working Dog Unit.

After completing his Full-time National Service as a Military Policeman in 2006, Military Expert (ME) 4(A) Lin Hong Yao left for Australia to study for a degree in veterinary medicine. He later stayed in the country to work as a vet.

When he returned to Singapore after a decade, he was called up for his first In-Camp Training, and he asked if he could contribute to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) with his skills as a vet.

ME4(A) Lin was a Military Police during his NSF days.
ME4(A) Lin (right) used to care for livestock as a vet in Australia.

Caring for military working dogs

For the next few ICTs, ME4(A) Lin would serve as a vet in the Military Working Dog Unit. His role was to provide treatment and care for the SAF working dogs. He was motivated by a desire to provide the best quality care for the working dogs.

"We call them our canine partners; we treat them like how we would treat a human soldier," said the 36-year-old.

"Just like our soldiers, if they go for a field exercise when they're not feeling well or didn't have enough sleep the previous night, they are more likely to have a heat injury.

"So if we are able to do the preventative checks, we can prevent all these injuries from happening. But dogs can't talk, they can't tell us that they have a health problem, so it's really important that we step up our preventative care for them."

ME4(A) Lin (left) receiving his sword and appointment certificate from Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, Chief of Defence Force.

ME4(A) Lin was among the 109 servicemen and women who were appointed as Senior Military Experts (MEs) on 19 Jan.

The appointment ceremony marked the completion of the Military Domain Experts Course. The course trains MEs to assume roles in the SAF where in-depth expertise in areas such as engineering, intelligence, military medicine and cybersecurity is required.

As an NSman, ME4(A) Lin went through the course under the Enhanced Expertise Deployment Scheme. The scheme allows NS Warrant Officers, Specialists and Enlistees (WOSEs) with relevant expertise to become Senior Military Experts.

ME4(A) Lin (fifth from right), then an NSF, was part of the guard of honour at Istana during the late Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Singapore in 2006.

Improving work processes

During the course, ME4(A) Lin said that he picked up valuable management and leadership skills and hopes to use his new-found knowledge to further improve the work processes in MWDU.

For example, he wants to further strengthen the standard operating procedures for treatments and care. This is so that when a new vet or new handler takes over a working dog, he would know exactly what to do and how to care for that particular working dog.

Worthwhile sacrifice

A key challenge that ME4(A) Lin faced during the course last year was juggling his time between training, work and family.

His wife was then pregnant, and his work as a regional director with a pharmaceutical company required him to travel extensively. Nevertheless, he pushed on with the support of his wife.

"Being able to contribute to our country's defence using my civilian skill set is important to me," he explained.

Suggested Reading
Behind the scenes with the Istana Ceremonial Guards
Cover story
Behind the scenes with the Istana Ceremonial Guards
OPS & TRAINING
12-Jan-23

It's hard work and discipline as the SAF Military Police trains for the first Changing of Guards ceremony of the year.

Sailor, engineer & mum
Sailor, engineer & mum
PEOPLE
13-Jul-22

She joined the Navy with a dream to see the world. Two decades on, she's found not only a new purpose in serving the nation and nurturing naval engineers, but also the love of her life.

What SAF asset is your dad?
What SAF asset is your dad?
COMMUNITY
09-Jun-22

Fathers – they come in all shapes and sizes, and all sorts of peculiar characters. Here's our top pick of six Dad types this Father's Day.

Women supporting women in the force Feature
Women supporting women in the force
PEOPLE
08-Mar-22

This International Women's Day, we take a look at a female mentor-mentee duo who serve in the Military Police and find out how they’ve made a difference to other women in the force.

My sayang, my backbone Feature
My sayang, my backbone
PEOPLE
21-Feb-22

Childhood sweethearts 3WO Hilmy and SSG Farah share how they keep their relationship strong 15 years later and two kids on, while supporting each other and serving in the Army.

Proud to be an MP
Proud to be an MP
PEOPLE
11-Aug-21

From overweight recruit to Golden Bayonet recipient and Military Police (MP) specialist, 3SG Muhammad Syukri Bin Sutresno shares his NS journey and why he intends to sign on.

My Buddy Is the Goodest Buddy
Cover story
My Buddy Is the Goodest Buddy
PEOPLE
16-Jul-21

Best buddies can come in all shapes and sizes – even in the form of a four-legged furry friend who likes to play fetch and can also sniff out dangerous explosive substances to keep everyone safe. Meet SSG Kannan and sniffer dog Rogue in PIONEER's Buddies series!

Yes, I’m a female RSM
Cover story
Yes, I’m a female RSM
PEOPLE
08-Mar-21

2nd Warrant Officer (2WO) Tan Hui Wen, 38, Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) of 8 SIR, shares how she pushes herself to excel throughout her 18 years in the Army.

A different kind of defence
A different kind of defence
PEOPLE
03-Feb-21

All his life, Military Expert (ME) 4 Devaraj Chandramoorthi thought he would be a lawyer, arguing cases and standing up for justice.