First SAF volunteer corps to debut in March
THE Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will take in its first volunteer corps next March, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said yesterday.
It is expected to be made up of about 100 to 150 people, including women, first-generation permanent residents and new citizens.
However, Dr Ng insisted the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) is "not aiming for mass numbers", adding: "I am confident that these members will provide sterling service, like many here, in due course."
He was speaking at a dinner event at the Marina Mandarin Hotel to honour about 300 volunteers who serve on the ministry's 41 boards, panels and committees.
The volunteer corps will take part in a four-week basic military course, and serve up to two weeks a year for a minimum of three years.
The volunteer corps was one of 30 recommendations made by the Committee to Strengthen National Service which were accepted earlier this year.
Dr Ng said: "Volunteers help us in areas where Mindef and the SAF lack expertise or where we may not be in the best position to perform the task... and they help us maintain support for NS."
He noted how many of these experts, who come from the public and private sectors, play a "significant role" by contributing medical, safety, financial and legal knowledge.
Thanking the volunteers, Dr Ng said: "You act as catalysts for the system. Without you, our reactions would not be as vibrant or vigorous."