I am CPT (NS) Ong Koon Poh Kane, from 18 DA Bn. My last appointment in service was the Battalion HQ Operations Officer, and I have been an active member of the SAF Veterans League since 2018. I am also part of the Commitment to Defence (C2D) Ambassadors Programme, where I regularly engage students and Full-Time National Servicemen (NSFs) on my experience as an NSman. After completing my Operationally Ready National Service journey officially, I chose to embark on the Reservist on Voluntary Extended Reserve Service (ROVERS) scheme to serve beyond my official term, and my ROVERS term recently ended.
I enlisted in June 2003. I still remember celebrating my birthday that year with a heavy heart, knowing that I will be enlisting in a few days’ time. The thought of National Service back then was discomforting to me, and I worried about the physical training that would come with me.
However, I never would have expected my perspective about National Service to change so completely. The regimental discipline, demanding physical training, and harsh confinement away from civilisation; gave me a whole new perspective about life and responsibility. Rather than to succumb myself to self-impairment, I gave myself a chance to reach further. Reach to exceed self-expectations, reach to improve beyond my peers, and reach to be a better man for myself.
I’m ME4 Donovan Joseph, currently Command Chief of 111 SQN and an Air Force Engineer by vocation. I’ve had the privilege of serving in the RSAF for the past 30 years. I have had the privilege to work on three different aircraft platforms, the C-130 Hercules, the F-16s and now the Gulfstream G550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft.
Through the 30 years of my career, I’ve had many significant memories that I would hold close to my heart. I have had the opportunity to learn and grow in a multitude of appointments, from Base Command Post Lead Controller, Trade-In-Charge, Maintenance Flight Lead and now Command Chief. I was also fortunate to be posted to the USA for three tours in Peace Carvin 3 and Peace Carvin 2. Along the way, I was also given the opportunity to upgrade my education through the CLASS Sponsorship Programme, where I returned to academic studies at the age of 38. This was probably the most eye-opening experience for me, studying with classmates that were 20 years younger. Thankfully, I graduated as valedictorian and the top student of my class. That achievement has been one of the highlights of my career, and through this experience, I further appreciated the importance of perseverance and hard work to achieve positive results.
Last Updated on 27 Apr 2018