Close to 20,000 spectators gathered at the Marina Bay Floating Platform to cheer their friends and family taking part in the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) first integrated military parade on Saturday morning.
The early-morning rain did not dampen the spirits of the audience. They whipped out cameraphones, iPads and digital cameras to snap photos of their loved ones.
Some 4,200 recruits graduated from their Basic Military Training (BMT), while another 600 operationally-ready servicemen (NSmen) from the 452nd Battalion Singapore Armoured Regiment stood down. They ranged from about 18 to 32 years of age.
At the ceremony, NSman Corporal Lee Hong Cheng, 32, handed over the national flag to his nephew, graduating recruit Marcus Chin, 19.
The gesture was a "symbolic handing over and taking over of NS duties" from one generation of NSmen to the next, the Defence Ministry (Mindef) said in a statement.
The event is a first for the SAF, which normally conducts such parades individually and on a smaller scale.
NSmen "stand down" after they have completed a ten-year operationally ready national service training cycle. They transit into the Mindef Reserve, where they remain NS-liable till their statutory age of 50 years for officers and 40 years for the rest.