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.
As part of my further development as a leader in the SAF, I was given the opportunity to attend the 03/20 Joint Senior Leadership Course (JSLC). Held at SAFWOS Leadership School, the five-week course sharpened our personal and leadership qualities to enable us to be better leaders to our personnel. The course allowed me to understand the concepts of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity in our operating environment, and develop skills in managing such situations and circumstances which will make me a more effective and flexible leader. It also taught me various skill sets on engaging and shaping those within my sphere of influence, and enabling their growth as a leader. The course came with difficulties as well. As part of the course requirements, all leaders must submit an academic thesis paper. I had no prior experience in such academic writing and initially it was difficult to even begin. However, through thorough research and the help of the academic staff, I gained valuable guidance and knowledge to get me started in the correct direction.
I was also honoured to be able to attain the Distinguished Graduate award at the end of my course. To be selected to attend JSLC is an achievement by itself. To be the Distinguished Graduate amongst a cohort of highly capable leaders is an honour that I will cherish as one of the key milestones of my career. I also feel that the award is a team effort. Without the help and guidance of my course mates and the directing staff at SAFWOS Leadership School, I would never have gotten the award.
The course is well structured and the rigour of the curriculum is designed to equip graduates with the skills to step into the realm of organisational leadership. The education and experiential learning I received from the course would allow me to communicate with and influence my fellow airmen and women with better clarity. I am looking forward be able to deliver more constructive feedback, and at the same time, provide coaching for the betterment of those who serve with me.