NS changes: 5 things which will improve the NS experience

Members of the Singapore Armed Forces during the march pass at the SAF Day Parade held at Safti Military Institute on July 1, 2013. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Members of the Singapore Armed Forces during the march pass at the SAF Day Parade held at Safti Military Institute on July 1, 2013. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
SAF troops and M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers disembarking from RSN fast crafts as part of a battalion coastal hook to test its integration and operational readiness with other elements of the SAF. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
SAF troops and M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers disembarking from RSN fast crafts as part of a battalion coastal hook to test its integration and operational readiness with other elements of the SAF. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Servicemen from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) participating in a military exercise on Pulau Sudong on Aug 2, 2011, which was part of a two-week-long drill to test the battle-readiness of Singapore’s air force, navy and army units. -- PHOTO: ST F
Servicemen from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) participating in a military exercise on Pulau Sudong on Aug 2, 2011, which was part of a two-week-long drill to test the battle-readiness of Singapore’s air force, navy and army units. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - To increase support for and commitment to National Service, a high-level panel has come up with 30 suggestions to help motivate people, so they can better defend the country. The recommendations will be tabled in Parliament next week, with MPs debating on them. The proposals are expected to be approved next month, and could be implemented over the next few years.

The Straits Times highlights the top five changes most likely to affect you:

1. No need for NSmen to notify the Defence Ministry when going abroad, unless it is for more than 14 days

 Currently, travel abroad past 24 hours requires notification.

2. More time to train for and pass your Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT)

NSmen will have a year to clear their IPPT, and another year to complete remedial training. Currently, they have nine months to pass their IPPT, and three months for remedial training.

3. NSmen will get additional $2,000 at each of three milestones 

The three milestones are: the completion of their full-time NS, the mid-point and end of their 10-year NS training cycle.

Two-thirds of the $9,000 will be credited into their Ordinary accounts and can be used for housing. The other one-third will go to an education account. An additional $6,000 will be credited into their Medisave accounts over the NS training cycle.

Commanders will receive $500 more at each milestone and $16,500 in total if they meet all three milestones.

IPPT incentives have also been bumped up by $100. A Gold achiever, for example, will get $500, while a silver award winner will get $300.

4. New SAF Volunteer Corps

Women, first-generaton Permanent Residents and new citizens can soon serve alongside regulars and citizen soldiers, as the SAF sets up its first Volunteer Corps. Those who sign up will undergo a four-week basic training course, and will be called back to serve for up to two weeks annually, for at least three years.

5. More efficiency in training

The SAF will hire a cadre of 1,100 career soldiers to train NSFs, and widen its pool of commanders (specialists and officers) by 10 per cent. It will also accredit skills picked up in NS like leadership to support post-NS transition.

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