REAFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO THE DEFENCE OF SINGAPORE

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REAFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO THE DEFENCE OF SINGAPORE https://www.defencepioneer.sg/pioneer-articles/01jul24_news1
02 Jul 2024 | MILESTONES

REAFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO THE DEFENCE OF SINGAPORE

Some 400 NSmen came together at Combined Rededication Ceremonies across the island, while the SAF held its annual parade at SAFTI MI on 1 Jul to commemorate SAF Day.

STORY BY THRINA THAM & DONAHUE FOO / PHOTOS BY CHUA SOON LYE


The State Colours marching into Warrior's Hall. The 2024 SAF Day Parade proceeded indoors amid stormy weather on 1 Jul.

It may have rained but the parade goes on.

About 2,000 SAF servicemen and women commemorated the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Day with its annual parade amid stormy weather on 1 Jul evening.

The parade was officiated by President Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who was presiding the SAF Day Parade for his first time as head of state.

Invited guests – comprising about 2,000 Regulars and national servicemen – watched the parade proceedings in Warrior's Hall at SAFTI Military Institute, while others tuned in via the livestream.


 
The SAF Day Parade was presided by President Tharman (on stage, in pink) in his first time attending as head of state.

Earlier in the day, 386 Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) – smartly dressed in their No. 4 uniforms – also came together to reaffirm their dedication in defending Singapore.

The NSmen, from some 240 companies, took part in Combined Rededication Ceremonies (CRC) at four locations across the country.

Speaking at the CRC at Suntec City Convention Centre, Dr Ng emphasised the importance of maintaining strong defence amid global uncertainties.

Speaking to NSmen and employers at the CRC, Dr Ng urged all Singaporeans to remain steadfast in their commitment to national defence.

"Our NS is not for show. Our NSmen know that they will be first to mobilise in a conflict… We want to make sure that they have realistic exercises, and when the battle is called, to be ready and confident," he said.

Here are the highlights of SAF Day:

9am: Combined Rededication Ceremonies

Dr Ng (first row, fifth from left) reciting the SAF Pledge with NSmen, Singapore Manufacturing Federation members and senior SAF commanders at Suntec City Convention Centre.

Major (MAJ) (NS) Nicholas Look, Operations Officer of 779th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment, led the recitation of the SAF Pledge at the rededication ceremony held at Suntec City Convention Centre.

"Leading the pledge feels like a homecoming, reminding us of our roots and obligations as NSmen," said the 30-year-old.

MAJ (NS) Look leading the CRC held at Suntec City Convention Centre.

MAJ (NS) Look – who works a Supply Chain Lead in HP – credits the unwavering support of his wife, family, managers and colleagues in helping him balance his work, NS duties and personal life.

For example, he participated in Exercise Tiger Balm in Hawaii, United States in 2023. Despite the time difference, he stayed connected with his work, managing to fulfill his project obligations during the evenings after training. He also shared photos and videos with his family to keep them informed.

1SG (NS) Muhammad Zakir is grateful to his wife and colleagues for their support at home and at work when he has NS duties to fulfil.

MAJ (NS) Look's thoughts were echoed by fellow NSman, 1st Sergeant (1SG) (NS) Muhammad Zakir Bin Mohammad Anuar, Company Sergeant Major of 33rd Combat Service Support Battalion.

The 29-year-old is preparing for Exercise Wallaby during his sixth In-Camp Training cycle this year.

"In Singapore, NS is crucial for educating and training young individuals to protect our home. My wife has been incredibly supportive, always sending me off for my NSman duties with encouragement and understanding," he said.


 
President Tharman (foreground, in pink shirt) arriving at the parade.

6pm: SAF Day Parade

Amid the evening's story weather, the SAF Day Parade proceeded indoors as part of wet weather plans.

The parade was led by Parade Commander Military Expert (ME) 6 Toh Bao-En, a Commanding Officer in the Imagery Support Group, Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS).

Soldiers from the Army Guard-of-Honour contingent (right, foreground) singing the national anthem after the arrival of the President.
Chief of Defence Vice Admiral Aaron Beng (far right) leading the servicemen and women in reciting the SAF pledge. He is accompanied by the four Service chiefs of the SAF.

ME6 Toh is the first female SAF Day Parade Commander, as well as the first from DIS.

She was supported by Parade Regimental Sergeant Major, Master Warrant Officer Lee Chze Liang, Brigade Sergeant Major of 8th Singapore Armoured Brigade.

Dr Ng also presented Best Unit awards to the winners of the Best Unit Competition. A total of 18 active units and 12 National Service units were recognised for their outstanding achievements in their respective formations.

Mr Tharman (left) presenting the State Colour to LTC Kok Yi Long, Commanding Officer (CO) of 1st Commando Battalion – this year's Best Combat Unit.

Finally, President Tharman presented the State Colours to this year's Best Combat Unit – the Singapore Army's 1st Commando Battalion.

This marks the 21st consecutive win for the Commandos.

Read on for more on this year's Best Units!

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