SINGAPORE - After a week of recruitment, the new Singapore Armed Forces Volunteer Corps (SAFVC) has received more than 200 applications, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Sunday evening.
A quarter of the applicants are women, he revealed in a Facebook post, saying that he is happy with the encouraging response so far.
"The SAF will screen through applicants carefully to find those with suitable aptitudes and skills to be pioneer batches of the SAFVC that can strengthen our national defence," he said.
Women, first-generation permanent residents and new citizens aged between 18 and 45, who are not liable for national service, are able to sign up to serve from March next year.
The SAFVC will match their skills and job expertise to their military role. Volunteers can choose to stay in camp and undergo a four-week course that will familiarise them with the military.
They can also choose to spread out their training sessions over several weekends.
They will have to serve just seven days a year, but can drop out at any time when they feel they can no longer serve - though they must give three months' notice.
Dr Ng said that among the reasons cited by the applicants, most said it is because they want to "give back to Singapore", "lead by example for my son", and offer their "talent and service".
He added that the citizens make up 60 per cent of the applicants, with permanent residents making up the rest.
"Applications are still open for those who want to serve," he said.