NSFs get to indicate vocations preferred during National Service
The Committee to Strengthen NS (CSNS) was set up in March 2013 to examine how the National Service (NS) system could be strengthened for the future, to better serve Singapore and Singaporeans. In June 2014, the Government accepted the 30 recommendations proposed by the Committee. The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have made good progress in implementing the recommendations.
One of the CSNS recommendations is to consider the vocation interests of full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) when assigning them to NS vocations, while maintaining operational requirements as the primary determinant. Doing so will encourage NSFs to take greater ownership of their roles and have a more positive NS experience.
Currently, NSFs are deployed to vocations based on several considerations, including the manpower and operational requirements of the SAF, SCDF and SPF, as well as an individual's physical fitness and suitability to perform the requisite tasks of each vocation. While these factors will remain the main considerations, pre-enlistees going for pre-enlistment medical screening from the end of this year will also have their interests taken into consideration.
Encouraging greater ownership of NS experience
All vocations in the SAF, SCDF and SPF aim to offer a fulfilling and meaningful NS experience for our National Servicemen. The vocation interest initiative will further enhance NS experience by encouraging servicemen to take greater ownership of their roles and responsibilities during their NS. By allowing servicemen to contribute and serve more meaningfully in vocations of their interest, this will help improve the operational effectiveness of the SAF, SCDF and SPF.
While MINDEF tries to match NSFs' interest to vocations, operational requirements to keep Singapore safe and secure will remain the primary consideration in the deployment of servicemen.
Pre-enlistees to indicate interest in various NS vocations from this November
NS enlistment is carried out over four quarterly intakes starting in November, February, May and August. From November 2017, enlistees will have their interests taken into consideration when determining the NS vocation that they are suitable to be deployed to.
The first cohort of pre-enlistees will be asked to indicate their vocation interest when they report at the Central Manpower Base (CMPB) for their pre-enlistment procedures from November 2016. They will receive their vocation posting after they have completed their basic training in the SAF, SCDF or SPF.
There will be a total of 33 vocations across the SAF, SCDF and SPF that pre-enlistees can indicate interest for. Each vocation represents an important functional group for each respective Uniformed Service.
The vocations available in the SAF, SCDF and SPF will be organised into seven categories; three in the SAF with a total of 15 vocations, and two in the SCDF with a total of eight vocations, and two in the SPF with a total of ten vocations.
Pre-enlistees can indicate their interest in two or more vocations from each category. Pre-enlistees will also have an option to indicate that they have no specific interest amongst the vocations.
To help pre-enlistees learn about the various vocations and make an informed decision when indicating their interest, information on the 33 NS vocations will be accessible on the CMPB website from 11 September 2016.