20 women win SAF, Mindef scholarships

Ms Ho (centre) is one of the 47 recipients of the SAF and Mindef scholarships this year. With her are Mr Danyon Low Ming Loon (left), 19, a recipient of the SAF Scholarshipand Mr Justin Goh Shu Hao, 20, who was also awarded the new SAF Engineerin
Ms Ho (centre) is one of the 47 recipients of the SAF and Mindef scholarships this year. With her are Mr Danyon Low Ming Loon (left), 19, a recipient of the SAF Scholarshipand Mr Justin Goh Shu Hao, 20, who was also awarded the new SAF Engineering Scholarship., ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Nineteen-year-old Ms Ho Yan Jin has long had a fascination for planes.

"My family attended a lot of air shows and my brother and I would read and watch programmes about planes together," said the air force engineer. "In secondary school, my friends and I even built prototypes of radio-controlled planes and tried to fly them."

Ms Ho was so interested in pursuing her passion for engineering and military technology that she signed up as an air force engineer last December, and in October she will begin studying aeronautical engineering at Imperial College London.

She was one of three recipients of the new SAF Engineering Scholarship.

At the Istana yesterday, Ms Ho joined 19 other female recipients of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Ministry of Defence (Mindef) scholarships to receive their awards from Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

It is the highest number of scholarships given to female students in one year. There were 17 female scholarship recipients last year, up from 11 in 2014.

With more women joining and working in the forces, Dr Ng said that "more women will be expected to be leaders within Mindef and the SAF".

"We already have women officers in wide-ranging vocations, including some in pinnacle positions," he added. Dr Ng highlighted that the SAF Engineering Scholarship, meant for men and women interested in military engineering, would help to attract top scientists and engineers who, together with commanders, are "expected and groomed to lead the Military Expert Corps... (and) enable the SAF to be a superior force".

This year also marked the highest number of Mindef and SAF scholarships awarded - 47, up from 43 last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2016, with the headline '20 women win SAF, Mindef scholarships'. Print Edition | Subscribe