Let's appreciate our soldiers

Six soldiers were commended by the Singapore Army for responding to an accident on Mandai Road.
Six soldiers were commended by the Singapore Army for responding to an accident on Mandai Road.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/THE SINGAPORE ARMY

It is always encouraging to read about the involvement of our Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers in rescue and emergency efforts, be it at the forefront or in an incidental role (Six soldiers lauded for responding to road accident, Feb 21; and Adrift at sea for 80 hours clinging on to a life buoy, June 11).

These efforts are not only inspiring but also reaffirm Singaporeans' belief that SAF soldiers are well-trained and ready to be deployed at a moment's notice.

SAF soldiers routinely train with their foreign counterparts and participate in overseas programmes to benchmark themselves.

There are SAF commandos and naval divers who have graduated from the US Navy Seals and Special Forces programmes, and officers who, after earning their commission, go on to graduate from elite institutions such as Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Britain, US Military Academy at West Point and other premier military staff and command colleges.

SAF soldiers also participate in overseas missions with distinction - Major Cai Dexian and US Navy Seal-trained Lieutenant-Colonel Lo Yong Poo, who were respectively awarded the US Bronze Star and the SAF Medal for Distinguished Act, for their overseas deployment in United Nations missions, come to mind.

These are just a fraction of proof of the SAF's credibility and readiness.

During these times of heightened security tensions, let us develop greater awareness of and appreciation for our SAF soldiers who labour to keep our nation safe.

Woon Wee Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2019, with the headline 'Let's appreciate our soldiers'. Print Edition | Subscribe