Defence chief heads SAF promotion list

Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong will be promoted to lieutenant-general.
Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong will be promoted to lieutenant-general.

Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong, 43, who took on his current role in March, will be promoted to the top rank of lieutenant-general.

He heads a promotion list in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) this year that will see seven colonels move up to the ranks of brigadier-general and rear-admiral (one star).

The promotion list includes 461 officers, 75 military experts and 40 warrant officers from the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) headquarters, army, navy and air force, and comprises regulars, operationally ready national servicemen and defence executive officers.

A record number of 61 senior NSmen have been promoted too. All promotions take effect on Sunday.

Some of those promoted received certificates from Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and Major-General Ong at a ceremony held at Mindef yesterday evening.

MG Ong joined the SAF in 1994 and was awarded the SAF Overseas Scholarship.

He commanded the 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade and headed the SAF's Joint Plans and Transformation Department, among other roles. He was appointed army chief in August 2015 as a brigadier-general, and promoted to his current rank the following year.

The seven colonels promoted include Colonel Dinesh Vasu Dash, 43, commander of the 2nd People's Defence Force; and Colonel Gaurav Keerthi, 39, commander of Air Defence Operations Command.

Col Dinesh led the Island Defence Task Force in the SAF security efforts for the June 12 summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held on Sentosa.

He said the summit had been an opportunity for the SAF to "validate and test" some of its responses to terrorism.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2018, with the headline 'Defence chief heads SAF promotion list'. Print Edition | Subscribe