Women in SAF have come a long way

IT WAS wonderful to read about Colonel Gan Siow Huang smashing the "brass ceiling" to become the first woman general in the Singapore Armed Forces ("SAF gets its first female general"; ST Online, yesterday).

I was also glad to read that Major Lee Mei Yi will be the first female fighter pilot to take part in the aerial display at the SG50 National Day Parade ("Woman fighter pilot to make history"; June 19).

Over the years, SAF servicewomen have gone from non-uniformed and junior posts to uniformed ranks and senior appointments.

More of our women are seeing opportunities in the SAF for them to develop careers and serve the nation. The SAF Volunteer Corps (SAFVC) will also see more women being engaged with the SAF.

We expect a higher regard for and more value to be placed onthe role of women in defence.

SAF men and women fly our flag at overseas peace support missions, humanitarian assistance missions, and disaster relief and rescue missions.

This year alone, they were deployed in the field in the wake of the earthquakes in Nepal and Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

And who can forget the dignified and solemn role they played in bidding farewell to our first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew?

They have received gratitude and praise for their efficiency, effectiveness and compassion.

Let us congratulate and appreciate our men and women in the SAF and SAFVC, as well as our national servicemen past and present.

Laura Hwang (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2015, with the headline 'Women in SAF have come a long way'. Print Edition | Subscribe