Navy seeking women, mid-career professionals to boost ranks

SINGAPORE - If you are 35 and are hoping to find a second career, the navy wants you.

The Republic of Singapore Navy is looking for engineers, commercial sailors, communications specialists or even lawyers who want to jump ship and try something different, said navy chief Lai Chung Han.

"We must tell people out there that the navy is not just a viable but attractive second career...we want to be very receptive to people who decide to give the second half of their work life to a military organisation like the navy," said Rear-Admiral Lai, who took over as chief of the Republic of Singapore Navy nine months ago.

Speaking to reporters last Friday to mark the RSN's 48th anniversary, he said it is embarking on a recruitment drive that is targeted at those in their mid-career.

Currently, only one in 10 is a mid-career sailor.

They will be recruited as "military experts" in the Singapore Armed Forces' Military Domain Experts Scheme and can retire at 60.

Radm Lai also said he wants to double the number of women in the navy, who currently form about 7 per cent of the navy's workforce.

To do so, he said the navy will be relooking its policies to make the navy more family friendly.

This includes being more flexible in planning the career of a woman and allowing those who just started their families to serve on smaller ships that go on shorter sailing deployments.