Guardsmen to take top jobs in SAF, army

Current army chief, Major-General Perry Lim, takes over as defence chief on Aug 18. Chief Guards Officer, Brigadier-General Melvyn Ong, will take over as army chief.
Current army chief, Major-General Perry Lim, takes over as defence chief on Aug 18. PHOTOS: MINDEF
Current army chief, Major-General Perry Lim, takes over as defence chief on Aug 18. Chief Guards Officer, Brigadier-General Melvyn Ong, will take over as army chief.
Chief Guards Officer, Brigadier-General Melvyn Ong, will take over as army chief.PHOTOS: MINDEF

A top-rung military reshuffle will for the first time see two men from the army's elite Guards Formation taking the top jobs in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and army.

Current army chief, Major-General Perry Lim, 43, will become Singapore's ninth Chief of Defence Force when he takes over from outgoing defence chief Ng Chee Meng on Aug 18.

Succeeding MG Lim on Aug 14 is current Chief Guards Officer, Brigadier-General Melvyn Ong, 40.

Besides being fellow Guardsmen who wear khaki berets, both men have also led the planning and execution of National Day Parades (NDPs).

MG Lim led the 2013 NDP executive committee while BG Ong is helming this year's committee.

MG Lim joined the SAF in December 1990. He was awarded the President's and SAF Overseas scholarships a year later.

He graduated from Cambridge University with first-class honours in mechanical engineering.

He was also awarded the Lee Kuan Yew postgraduate scholarship in 2008 and obtained a Master of Public Administration from business school Insead.

During his military career, he commanded the 1st Battalion, Singapore Guards, the army's 3rd Division and was also chief of staff - general staff.

The Defence Ministry said that MG Lim, who took over as army chief in March last year, maintained "a high state of operational readiness in the army".

He oversaw the operationalisation of the Murai Urban Live Firing Facility and the Airborne-Trooper Training Facility which allowed soldiers to get more realistic training such as hands-on experience with firing live rounds during combat training .

He was also involved in the formulation and implementation of the military's new fitness test, the Individual Physical Proficiency Test, to motivate servicemen to improve their physical fitness.

Incoming army chief Melvyn Ong joined the SAF in 1994 and was awarded the SAF Overseas Scholarship.

He graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science with second-class honours in economics and also obtained a Master of Science from the same university.

In his military career, he commanded the 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade and headed the SAF's Joint Plans and Transformation Department.

BG Ong also led the Singapore contingent that helped with rescue operations and provided humanitarian aid to victims of the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2011.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2015, with the headline 'Guardsmen to take top jobs in SAF, army'. Print Edition | Subscribe