DataSpark's director of sales Lim Wee Tee has spent most of his Saturdays since May under the blazing sun, away from his family.
The operationally ready national serviceman (NSman) has been braving the sun to prepare himself and 2,000 others for National Day Parade (NDP) 2017.
To mark the 50th year of national service, Lieutenant-Colonel (LTC) (NS) Lim will be leading 31 contingents as parade commander for this year's celebrations.
Said LTC Lim, 45: "It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do this for the biggest parade every year, and I'm happy, honoured and humbled to be in this role."
He is the fifth NSman to lead the Parade-and-Ceremony segment, which includes the Guard of Honour contingents, the Singapore Armed Forces Colours Party, the Combined Band, and contingents formed by uniformed youth groups.
To commemorate NS50, the marching contingents will salute all national servicemen, together with their families and employers, and spectators will be invited to stand and join in the salute.
LTC Lim is the Commanding Officer of the 821st Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment, and will take on the appointment of the Second-in-Command of the 22nd Brigade, Singapore Infantry Brigade, this month.
He was the reserve parade commander for last year's NDP.
For the father of two girls, one in Primary 2 and the other six months old, spending most of the weekends away from his family has been a challenge, but he credits his wife's support for allowing him to serve.
He was initially worried about juggling family, work and NDP commitments when he was approached in April last year to take on the role.
"The first person I called was my wife, and after we established the time commitment, she encouraged me to put up my hand for it, so I did. I wouldn't have taken on this role without her support," said LTC Lim.
To prepare himself for the role, he had to undergo intensive training to relearn the drills, cues and diction for the Malay commands.
"(Before this) I hadn't picked up a sword or marched in a parade in over 20 years, so I was very rusty, to be honest," he said.
The camaraderie of NDP 2017 parade participants is what LTC Lim will remember most about the experience so far.
He said: "It has been very fulfilling. Seeing the participants go through training, rain or shine, and the contributions and sacrifices of every one of them is something that has left an impact."