SINGAPORE - This year, the Army's 1st Commando Battalion (1CDO) adds its 13th consecutive Best Combat Unit award to its collection of 30 wins since the inceptionof the competition in 1969.
But even with the impressive track record, Commanding Officer of 1CDO, Lieutenant-Colonel (LTC) Alvin Tjioe said that the unit has to battle anew for the award the following year.
"What a lot of people might not realise is that every year when we go through this Best Unit Competition, the soldiers are doing it for the first time," said LTC Tjioe, referring to the fact that the National Service Fulltime (NSF) soldiers who are involved in the competition, graduate from the unit every two years once they complete National Service.
"The challenge really is to make sure that good practices are retained and passed down to the next commando team and built upon year after year."
Aside from the active units being recognised as the best in their vocation, National Service (NS) units comprising Operationally-Ready servicemen were also awarded the title of Best Unit.
The 3rd Combat Support Hospital (3CSH), which specialises in field medical support and surgery, won the title of Best NS Combat Service Support Unit.
Said the unit's Commanding Officer LTC (NS) Dr David Ng: "These are highly-educated guys, these are professionals out there. They come in for two weeks but for the rest of the year they are out there as professionals, it's a sacrifice for them.
The selection for Best Unit is based on several factors, including the participation rate in operations and exercises, training safety standards, soldier's Individual Physical Proficiency Test(IPPT), and unit proficiency in their respective vocations.
Eighteen active and 11 NS units will be recognised as best units at the SAF Day Parade tomorrow. Among the winners are 3rd Battalion Singapore Guards as the Best Infantry/Guards Unit of the Army, the RSS Vigour as Best Fleet Unit of the Navy, and 140 Squadron as Best Fighter Squadron of the Air Force.