The new SAF Volunteer Corps - a unit under the
Singapore Armed Forces - is for those not required to do National
Service but are willing to contribute to the country's national defence.
Those keen to volunteer in the army can
start applying from Monday (Oct 13, 2014). The new SAF Volunteer Corps - a
unit under the Singapore Armed Forces - is aiming to recruit 100 to 150
people in its first year, with the first batch to be drafted in next
March. It is for those not required to do National Service but are
willing to contribute to the country's national defence.
scheme is open to female Singaporeans, first generation permanent
residents, and new citizens - between 18 and 45 years old. Applicants
will undergo a medical screening and interview to assess if they have
the right attitude for military service.
Colonel Mike Tan,
Commander of SAF Volunteer Corps, said: "National Service remains the
cornerstone of Singapore's national defence and everyone has a part to
play to support this. The SAFVC is an important commitment for
individuals who are willing to take a step forward to be trained in
roles that support the SAF and do their part for national defence."
The Volunteer Corps was one of 30 recommendations made by the Committee to Strengthen National Service (CSNS) earlier this year.
can indicate the roles they want to serve in, from medical to
engineering and naval operations. But some roles have certain
requirements. For example, those applying as field psychologists must
have at least three years of professional work experience. And they can
switch roles at a later stage.
Colonel Mike Tan said:
"'Re-roling' is possible. Somebody wishing to be a security trooper at
first may find later that he or she is more suited to be in the business
of information. We have facilitated this (role switching) as part of
the SAFVC scheme."
SINGLE-TRACK SCHEME FOR VOLUNTEERS
will be placed on a single-track scheme to establish an identity for
the Corps. Previously, a two-track - operations or specialist scheme -
Colonel Mike Tan said: "It is very important for
identity purposes that we have one track. Everybody that comes in is
trained during the basic training in a same way so that they establish a
certain identity for the Volunteer Corps. The other thing is that as we
worked along the feasibility of having a two-track system versus a
one-track system, we found that the one-track system is easier to
administer and allows for greater flexibility for people to want to
Volunteers will serve seven days each year, and be
deployed alongside NSmen and regulars doing the same role. Under a
ranking structure, volunteers will start off as an SV Trainee, and can
be promoted based on their performance and length of service. The
highest rank they can attain is SV 4.
UP TO THREE TRAINING CYCLES FOR VOLUNTEERS
They also have to undergo at least three training cycles:
A two-week basic training for an understanding of national defence. Key
features include a field camp and hand-grenade live throw. Volunteers
can choose to either stay in camp for two weeks while undergoing this
basic training or take up modular courses over a series of weekends.
A week-long qualification training, tailored for specific roles. For
instance, volunteer nurses will train in the SAF Medical Training
Institute and undergo on-the-job training.
3. The advanced
course will be for roles requiring additional training, like close
combat and equipment training for security troopers.
the qualification and advanced training, volunteers can opt for a
one-week in-camp training or take modular courses over a series of
VOLUNTEERS TO GET SERVICE BENEFITS
will also get service benefits like meal and transport claims, and
treatment at SAF medical and dental centres during call-ups. Career
professionals will also get make-up pay for their service. Other
benefits include being placed under the SAF Group Term Life Insurance
coverage during call-ups.
But volunteers will not receive
allowance increment even if they are promoted. Volunteers also have to
seek deferment from the SAF Volunteer Affairs Department if they are
unable to serve their call-ups. And should they decide to leave the
Corps, they have to give three months' advance notice. While under the
Corps, they will also be subjected to the disciplinary framework based
on military law.
ASPIRING VOLUNTEERS KEEN TO SIGN UP
had planned to sign up as volunteers, even before applications opened.
Singaporean Kweh Ting Ting had expressed her interest to Mindef through
an email. The 27-year-old, who works as a coordinator for a company
selling biomedical laboratory equipment, said she is able to contribute
in the administrative and logistics department.
"This is something
that I wanted to do and try since young. For females, we don't go
through National Service. So this lets us open up and lets us see
different vocations," she said.
Another hopeful is Calven
Bland, a PR who has lived in Singapore for nine years. The 42-year-old
business development manager, who is married to a Singaporean, said he
sees volunteering in the army as a way of giving back to the community
and a continuation of his military background.
He said: "I
come from a military background. My family back in New Zealand have all
served in the military. I used to serve, and I see this as a
continuation of that tradition within my family. Secondly, if we have
children, my son will have to serve National Service and I think it's
important that as a father, I have some kind of an affinity with the
Singapore Armed Forces to pass on to any children I have."
scheme has raised questions about PRs using it to fast-track their
citizenship process, but some like Mr Bland said that is not the
He said: "I am a PR now and I don't intend to go
for citizenship yet. I am a New Zealander and my wife is a Singaporean.
So, I think we have quite a good balance. I'm not looking at this as a
platform for fast-tracking any citizenship application."
Mike Tan said it is important to send a clear message to potential
volunteers that they should come forward to volunteer because they want
to serve and also in appreciation of the security that they have
benefited. "So, motivation is a very important thing for us," he added.
recruitment drives will be held after applications open on 13 October 2014.
The Volunteer Corps will be based in Maju Camp. Those keen to volunteer
can apply online at the SAFVC website or get a hardcopy form from the
Central Manpower Base (CMPB).