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MDES FAQs

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  • Delirious_prince's Avatar
    48 posts since Feb '11
    • There's been quite a few queries about MDES in this forum so let's start the ball rolling. Have cut and paste some of my replies from previous threads. Mod pls make sticky.

      Picture of MDES ranks here http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/news_and_events/nr/2009/oct/07oct09_fs.html

      Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean announced the introduction of a new scheme, called the Military Domain Experts Scheme (MDES) in May 2009. The new scheme, together with enhancements to the existing officers' and warrant officers' schemes, would allow the SAF to recruit, develop and retain able and committed people to build a strong, capable and dynamic 3rd Generation SAF.

      Key Features

      Military Experts. The MDES is a uniformed scheme for SAF regulars, designed to allow Military Experts (MEs) to develop deep expertise and specialisation in key military domains like engineering and intelligence. These MEs can enjoy a full career up to age 60. As military personnel, MEs will continue to bear arms and be deployed in operational roles when required.

      Rank Structure. The MDES has an 8-rank structure, from ME1 to ME8, to cater to different job levels and skill requirements. There will be two main entry points at ME1 and ME4. ME1 is primarily for those holding diploma qualifications and below, while university graduates may come in at ME4. Salaries for the MDES will be competitive and benchmarked against similar jobs in the private sector.

      MDES Vocations and Route of Advancement. The MDES vocations cover a wide spectrum of specialisation. Taking the example of the Engineer vocation, MEs in the Air Force can specialise in fields such as Aircraft & Weapons Systems and Airfield Operations; MEs in the Army can specialise in Electronics, Armament and Automotive; and MEs in the Navy can specialise in Naval Engineering and Naval Combat Systems.

      The career progression of an ME is based on his degree of expertise and work performance. For example, a diploma graduate joining the MDES in the Engineer vocation will start off as an Assistant Engineer (ME1), as shown in Figure 3 below. Throughout his career, there will be ample professional development opportunities to prepare him for higher appointments. As a uniformed personnel, he will go through various courses to attain leadership skills and military knowledge which will enable him to operate with his other military counterparts in the SAF as an integrated force. He will also attend Domain Specialisation Courses to deepen his specialist knowledge.

      Scholarships/Study Awards and Continuing Education. There are numerous academic sponsorships and continuing education opportunities from diploma to post-graduate studies for the MEs.

      a. Personnel joining the MDES can look forward to a range of scholarships and study awards to pursue academic courses locally and overseas.

      b. MEs who have performed well and demonstrated potential can upgrade themselves academically through a range of study awards, from polytechnic diploma to post-graduate degrees.

      The scheme is scheduled to take effect from 1 April 2010.

      Source: http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/news_and_events/nr/2009/oct/07oct09_fs.html

      Q1. Is there an age limit to sign on under MDES?

      A1. No.

      Q2. Are MEs entitled to salute?

      A2. Yes, for ME4(A) and above.

      Q3. Do MEs go to OCS?

      A3. Yes, for ME4.

      Strictly speaking, ME are neither officers nor WOSpecs in the sense. However, there is a corresponding rank for each of the ME grades, and ME4 and above receive the same protocol as commissioned officers.

      Q4. So does Army Engineer build bridges, clear minefields, etc?

      A4. The MDES Army Engineer is NOT a Combat Engineer (i.e. those in the 3_ SCE). The only similarity between these two vocations is the word 'Engineer' :P

      MDES Army Engineer refers to those under technicians / maintenance.

      Q5. What is the equivalent non-MDES rank for each of the ME ranks?

      A5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Armed_Forces_ranks#Military_Domain_Experts_Scheme_ranks

      Q6. Do MEs go through a 'watered down' version of OCS?

      A6. MDES training is by no means watered down. Unless you already went through at least BSLC in SISPEC or Foundation Term in SCS, you will go through the full Common Leadership Module and part of the Service Term at OCS. You will then go through the full Professional Term. The requirements to successfully complete the course are the same regardless of whether you are an OCT or ME4 Trainee.

      Q7. Do MEs participate in Commissioning Parade?

      A7. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view, there is no commissioning parade for ME4. Instead you have a Senior Military Experts Appointment Ceremony during which you receive your ceremonial sword from the Minister and your epulattes put on your uniform by your family members.

      Q8. Do ME4 receive a ceremonial sword? Are they eligible to conduct a military wedding?

      A8. Yes. In fact, you can get officers (of equivalent rank) to form your sword party as well.

      Q9. ME will be grouped together as a wing and not together with other OCTs directly chosen from BMT right?

      A9. No. MEs train together with the OCTs. The training regime, treatment, etc are all the same.

      Q10. advisable to sign RSAF with a degree and be AFE or sign as other AFE like flight enginner with diploma then go uni study and they will promote you once you got a degree to ME4?

      A10. There are two paths:

      1. Get a degree first and then sign on as an ME4. (It can also work in the way that you apply when you already have a place in the U... can apply for other cool stuff like MDES Study Award etc..)

      2. Get a diploma and sign on as an ME1. After getting a university placing, it is not guaranteed that SAF will sponsor your studies and it is also not guaranteed that you will be emplaced to ME4 once you have gotten your degree. You have to go through a process in order to qualify for emplacement.

      Compare the two and decide which one is better for you...

      Source: SAF Careers Centre

      Q11. How is the MDEC course like? (For those who signed on as ME4)

      A11. MDEC Course is for those who have a recognised university degree. They will be appointed as ME4 after the course.

      It depends on what kind of military experience one has prior to the course. For a fresh applicant, he/she will go for BMT followed by the MDEC (Phase 1) which consists of the OCS Service Term followed by specialised domain training. The total duration would be the same as the OCS course. During this time, he/she holds the rank of ME4 (Trainee), which is a thick white bar surmounted by the MDES insignia in white.

      Upon completion of MDEC (Phase 1), he/she will be promoted to ME4 (Apprentice), which is equivalent to 2LT and will wear a thick gold bar surmounted by the MDES insignia in gold.

      The next step will occur after the trainee returns from university studies. There will be a 4 week MDEC (Phase 2) after which the trainee will be promoted to ME4.

      Slight differences may occur between the services. Hope these information helps.

      Source: http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/publications/cyberpioneer/news/2011/jul/15jul11_news.html

       

       

  • cout << user's Avatar
    46 posts since May '04
    • Q12 How do people in their late 20s and early 30s cope with military training given their old age and that they are lumped together with people younger than them?

      Q13 Will work experience outside be transferable as an MDES trainee? If I leave the army after signing on MDES, will my skills be transferable?

      Edited by cout << user 11 Jun `12, 12:26PM
  • Delirious_prince's Avatar
    48 posts since Feb '11
    • Originally posted by cout << user:

      Q12 How do people in their late 20s and early 30s cope with military training given their old age and that they are lumped together with people younger than them?

      Q13 Will work experience outside be transferable as an MDES trainee? If I leave the army after signing on MDES, will my skills be transferable?

      A12. Haha! Not to worry, the training is progressive i.e. will start slow and progressively become more challenging. We have had personnel in their mid and even late 30s, so it can be done!

      A13. I think this question touches on how employable are ex-SAF regulars, MDES or non-MDES, after leaving the service. I can't really answer this question at the moment, although I would think that for MDES, we have technical knowledge and the skill set which will be an asset to employers.

      Maybe someone who was formerly from one of the MDES vocations can comment?

      http://www.asiaone.com/Business/Office/Learn/Career%2BBuilding/Story/A1Story20080210-48893.html

  • kengkia's Avatar
    6,443 posts since Aug '04
  • onceuponabeng's Avatar
    1 post since Jun '12
    • TS: I am assuming that you are currently the MDES scheme?

      I went through some of the threads that you wrote about a year ago and would like to use it as a basis for some of my questions.

      1. Are there any MDES enlistees who are fresh graduates from universities? In particular, graduates from North American universities with a liberal arts degree? What I have been hearing thus far is that the overwhelming of people who signed on have engineering degrees.

      2. Are MDES considered to be on the combat or service side?

      3. I went through PES C BMT, and ORDed with PES C status. What are my options if we taking into account that I could possibly upgrade my PES status?

      Thanks in advance.

       

  • kengkia's Avatar
    6,443 posts since Aug '04
    • Originally posted by onceuponabeng:

      TS: I am assuming that you are currently the MDES scheme?

      I went through some of the threads that you wrote about a year ago and would like to use it as a basis for some of my questions.

      1. Are there any MDES enlistees who are fresh graduates from universities? In particular, graduates from North American universities with a liberal arts degree? What I have been hearing thus far is that the overwhelming of people who signed on have engineering degrees.

      2. Are MDES considered to be on the combat or service side?

      3. I went through PES C BMT, and ORDed with PES C status. What are my options if we taking into account that I could possibly upgrade my PES status?

      Thanks in advance.

       

      i can help TS to answer this one in red first, since this thread is deserted for days.

      Combats remains in old rank system.

      Service side depending on nature of vocation, some under MDES scheme some are not.

      Engineering side by far and large all asslimated into MDES scheme.

      This is my perception of views towards MDES thru what i have known, those who know better are welcomed to correct me. Like LKY said , i stand corrected.

  • Jedimaestro_alsyafiq.91's Avatar
    23 posts since Jul '12
    • i find this scheme very interesting, unlike the traditional way of signing-on. coz specialist and officers can switch over to this MDES. so let's say if i'm very interested to sign on as MDES after becoming spec/officer, there is still good rank, good pay. but sometimes before u sign on MDES we gotta look deeply into the scheme first.

      MDES is slightly different from the specialist and officer route. If u think u got what it takes to sign-on, whether as spec/officer or switch to MDES, then y not? Perform very well, ur peers look up to u in camp and outside camp, the members of the public even look up to u, fwwaaaah definitely worth the rank right? wink.png

      Furthermore, if u have background in Uniform Group (NCC), even better! Most probably u get the MDES rank, then can progress faster, or even better get study grant from Saf. wink.png

       

       

  • Delirious_prince's Avatar
    48 posts since Feb '11
    • Originally posted by onceuponabeng:

      TS: I am assuming that you are currently the MDES scheme?

      I went through some of the threads that you wrote about a year ago and would like to use it as a basis for some of my questions.

      1. Are there any MDES enlistees who are fresh graduates from universities? In particular, graduates from North American universities with a liberal arts degree? What I have been hearing thus far is that the overwhelming of people who signed on have engineering degrees.

      2. Are MDES considered to be on the combat or service side?

      3. I went through PES C BMT, and ORDed with PES C status. What are my options if we taking into account that I could possibly upgrade my PES status?

      Thanks in advance.

       

      Hi sorry for the late reply.

      Yes I am currently under the MDES scheme.

      A1. Yes, we have fresh graduates from universities, mostly engineering degrees. For the university you have described, I think you can consider applying under the Intel vocation.. http://www.mindef.gov.sg/joint/io/  http://www.mindef.gov.sg/content/imindef/careers/job_opportunities/io/specialist.html

      A2. Service side.

      A3.Be prepared that you would have to go through Enhanced BMT, be selected for OCS on your own merit, and subsequently commence your MDES training at OCS.

      With regards to Jedimaestro_alsyafiq.91, background in UG does not mean faster progression in SAF. It just means you have an easier time adapting to the military life and regimentation.

       

  • getsby's Avatar
    48 posts since Jun '08
    • Let say I am age 35 now, Pes A, NSF/nsman rank is CPL.

      got 10 years of military aircraft maintenance exp in ST aerospace as an engineer.

      NTU 2nd lower mechanical engineering degree.

      If i sign on MEDS, AFE(air force engineer for degree), when I pass out OCS/MDEC, what rank will I get. ME5-1 ??

       

      please reply

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    eac's Avatar
    3,996 posts since Dec '03
  • Delirious_prince's Avatar
    48 posts since Feb '11
    • Originally posted by getsby:

      Let say I am age 35 now, Pes A, NSF/nsman rank is CPL.

      got 10 years of military aircraft maintenance exp in ST aerospace as an engineer.

      NTU 2nd lower mechanical engineering degree.

      If i sign on MEDS, AFE(air force engineer for degree), when I pass out OCS/MDEC, what rank will I get. ME5-1 ??

       

      please reply

      Sorry for late reply.

      I have not heard of anyone joining directly as ME5-1. But you are welcome to enquire with Air Force Recruitment Centre. Do let them know your background and your experiences with ST Aero and they will advise from there.

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