Fifty-six full-time national servicemen from the pioneer batch of cyber specialists graduated yesterday.
The Cyber NSF Scheme received its first intake last December, and the NSFs underwent a 35-week course at the Cyber Defence School at Stagmont Camp in Choa Chu Kang.
The course started out with 59 NSFs.
Third Sergeant Tan Jia Le decided to sign up for the scheme in his third year of diploma studies in infocomm security management at Singapore Polytechnic.
"When I heard about the scheme, I thought it was perfect for me. I could use what I learnt, constantly upgrade my skills, and earn university credits at the same time," said 3SG Tan, 20, who received one of 13 Golden Bayonets, awarded to the top specialist cadet graduates from each vocation.
As he has now graduated to become a full-fledged specialist, 3SG Tan, a regular serviceman, will perform advanced cyber roles for Mindef and the Singapore Armed Forces such as threat monitoring for signs of intrusion, making sure there is no suspicious traffic, as well as responding to cyber incidents.
He will also go for weekly lessons at the Singapore Institute of Technology.
After completing the scheme in three to four years, he and his peers will go on to complete the full-time degree in cyber security.
Yesterday evening, 3SG Tan and his 55 peers were among 1,087 cadets who took part in the 40th Specialist Cadet Graduation Parade at Pasir Laba Camp to mark the completion of the 22-week Specialist Cadet Course. The others were 896 cadets from the Singapore Army, 81 from the Republic of Singapore Navy, and 54 from the Republic of Singapore Air Force.
In a speech, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry Tan Wu Meng said the pioneer batch of cyber specialists will lead the way in building up Singapore's cyber defence capabilities. He also told the graduates that, as leaders, they will have to train their soldiers to achieve high standards of operational readiness, while remembering that safety is a top priority.
Correction note: In an earlier version of the article, we said NSFs will complete the full-time degree in their fourth to sixth year in the scheme. It should be after completing the scheme in three to four years. We are sorry for the error.