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News: Mindef Official Press Release/ News @www.Mindef.gov.sg

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      Contribution to National Defence by Maybank – Posted 08 Aug 2012

      National Service has played a key role not only in the defense of Singapore, but also in the building of our Nation. Relatedly, this has been made possible through the continued sacrifices and contributions of employers and our workforce in supporting national service.
       
      John Israel Chan, a Product Manager (Housing Loans) in Maybank, and concurrently an NSMen from 443 Singapore Armoured Regiment described his NS contributions, "I was presented a letter of commendation from SAF for my performance and contribution during my month-long in-camp training (ICT) in 2011. I take my in-camp training seriously because I believe peace time should not be taken for granted.
       
      He added, "I was able to focus on my ICT as I had peace of mind knowing that my work is properly attended to. The bank is supportive as there is proper work-cover arrangement while I was away. Some of my training mates had to pick up calls from work, but my team refrained from making calls to me. For that, I'm really grateful."
       
      His superior, Ms Yvonne Yip, Head (Housing & Retail Loans) added, "It is always a challenge when a team member has to be away from the office over an extended period of time. Maybank's values, which include teamwork, are strongly entrenched in all of us in the team, and that was precisely the winning formula that enabled us to manage during John's absence."
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      Contributing to National Defence by Bendemeer Primary School – Posted 08 Aug 2012

      In Bendemeer Primary School, school leaders, NS employees and other teaching staff have a common understanding of a mutually beneficial relationship in terms of appreciating and understanding the importance, dynamics, integrity and purpose of fulfilling NS (NS) obligations. All these bring on a value-added commitment towards the school knowing that NS employees themselves have a piece of mind when it comes to NS commitments, and they in turn put forth an even higher capacity at work upon returning to school.
       
      Principal of Bendemeer Primary School, Mrs See Lai Kwan, always gives her full support towards the male NS employees on the importance to fulfill their NS duties. Relief teachers are then sourced to take over their classes in their absence.
       
      Mr. Abdul Rani B Idris, Vice-Principal of Bendemeer Primary School echoes in agreement and says:
       
      "As a school leader and full-time NSman myself, I strongly support and is committed in ensuring my male NS teachers be operationally ready to fulfill their NS roles. This is done through our school policies and programmes which aim to support our staff in experiencing good physical, emotional and social well-being in their daily work."
       
      NS employees attest what they learnt during NS empowers them with many strategies at communicating, grouping and tasking, building up team spirit amongst colleagues to get any task done.
       
      Mr. Lee Jun Ming, Alvin, Primary Four Level Manager, Social Studies Coordinator and NS Battalion Manpower Officer says:
       
      "I plan and coordinate Learning Journeys for the school. Safety is a priority for all participants. As a NS Battalion S1, I learn to strategize on pupils and teachers deployment, develop the Risk Assessment Management Plan, do a site recce of the Learning Journey location, oversee the execution on the actual day, liaise with vendors, book buses and request for parent volunteers etc. A contingency plan comes in to play if things don't go your way. You can see that I have also to assume roles of the various SAF Staff appointments in my line of work. Well, these are just a fraction of the takeaways from my NS days as a commander."
       
      In addition, the NS employee feels honored to share his duties and nature of his NS unit to raise awareness and to reinforce Total Defence in general to both teachers and pupils. Through the support of the school leaders and school department heads, the school has many examples to share:
       
      In 2010, a military themed permanent display was set up in the school hall showcasing uniforms, equipment and personal effects of the Japanese and British infantryman of World War Two and comparing these to the modern SAF items. Pupils were able to wear and appreciate these items. Non NS employees were able to use these to enhance their Social Studies and National Education lessons to have that hands-on interactive experience.
       
      In 2011, as part of Total Defence Day, all male teachers wore their NS service uniforms proudly. Their vocations and contributions were acknowledged to all pupils and staff to raise the awareness that our male staff is active NS men besides being teachers.
       
      For Total Defence Day 2012, Mr Lee personally sought special permission from Commander CBRE Defence Group, to showcase Chemical Defence items and uniforms in the school and the unit's operations were explained to the pupils. Staff and pupils were given the opportunity to put on gas masks and Individual Protection Equipment. This is akin to bringing the unit closer to the school for exposure even in the primary school level.
       
      Mr Lee sums up his support about NS. He says:
       
      "I always believe that NS continues outside of In-Camp Training, mobilisation etc. It is about educating and exposing our future generation to the capabilities of the Singapore Armed Forces. As a NS Officer and educator, I combine my previous NS experiences with what I can teach to bring the best to my pupils. I even show them the Temasek Green uniforms from my NCC days, the combat uniforms and field gear I wore during my NS to let them understand their place in Singapore's defence. Each piece of my SAF artifact tells a story but it's through these interactions that the NS experience is internalized and preserved. I get that satisfaction when many of my pupils say they want to be a good soldier in NS when they grow up. In fact, I even met some of them at the Army Open House 2012!"

      Mr Alvin Lee (right) proudly displaying his army uniform with fellow NS colleagues during Total Defence Day 2011. From left, Mr Azimi B Ahmad and Mr Tan Hwee Kheng, the Operations Manager of the school.

      NS men teachers and pupils of the various uniformed CCAs preparing to sing the national anthem during Total Defence Day 2011.

      Mr Alvin Lee (right) with teachers and pupils after a assembly skit on the awareness of Chemical Defence during Total Defence Day 2012. Female colleagues also got a taste of wearing gas masks and Individual Protective Equipment.
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      Employer Support in National Service by Khoo Sze Boon – Posted 16 May 2012

      I joined Davis Langdon & Seah (DLS) Singapore in 1999 as the executive director and was enlisted in 1993 as an artillery officer in 21st Singapore Artillery (21 SA).
       
      Briefly, DLS attained the Total Defence Award for many years. We participated in the CRC (Combined Rededication Ceremony) since 1999 during the SAF day. We stepped up and went forward to participate in the Minister for Defence Awards League in 2010 (MiDAs).
       
      Why is it important for employers to continually support national service? In DLS's case, our firm has been in existence since 1934, before World War II, almost heading towards 80 years old. The firm went through phases of nation building since the 1930s, and 'stability' is very essential, especially in the built environment industry, which we operate under. Therefore, we find that it is essential for us to support national service, and do our part as employers.
       
      For a large organisation, we face operational challenges and disruptions, when we support our staffs and workforce to participate in national service activities, but we manage this objectively. Essentially, we have built an understanding within the company, which comprises of staffs from different nationalities. This 'understanding' drills down to us disseminating our national service call up notifications to the immediate line managers, and the planning starts to adjust the affected personnels' work.
       
      There is actually a system where the directors and assistant directors work very closely with the staff to cover one another under each project. Such that should there be instances where one staff is away, there will always be someone else covering them. Nonetheless, we are somewhat contactable even though we are away for national service commitments. In fact, there's a mutual understanding even from our colleagues who do not serve national service. For example, our female colleagues cover our duties when we are away for national service call ups; but likewise, we too cover their jobs when they are on leave or on holidays.
       
      We also make it an effort to cascade down the important of national defence not only to Singaporeans, but also to non singaporeans, and staff members who do not serve national service. One example was in 2010 and 2011, where we involved the entire office to participate in the combined rededication ceremony. We conducted it in the context of a lunch celebration, with videos and showed past NS photos of some of our staffs in various period of NS, even those who wore the 'Temasek Green' uniform.
       
      To conclude, companies should continue to support national service beyond NS45 because it contribute to the peace and stability of Singapore, as defence lays the cornerstone and foundation of Singapore's stability.
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      Put your best foot forward – 09 May 2012

      Story by Sherlyn Quek
      Photos courtesy of Charles & Keith Pte Ltd

      "Good shoes take you to good places". This line certainly rings true for Lance Corporal (LCP) (NS) Charles Wong, one half of the brothers who founded eponymous local brand Charles & Keith.

      Can a woman ever have enough shoes? Ask any fashionista, and the answer is likely to be an emphatic "No".

      The Wong brothers have certainly capitalised on women's love for shoes. From working at their parents' shoe shop in Ang Mo Kio to launching their very own store in Amara Shopping Centre in 1996, the two entrepreneurs have since built their company into a major footwear and accessories retailer.

      After establishing a firm foothold in Singapore, the brothers have boldly ventured overseas and today, there are over 250 outlets in 31 countries. You can even find them in far-flung regions such as Bahrain, Estonia and Kuwait!

      They expanded their business empire with Pedro - which carries both men and women's footwear - in 2005, and added high-end shoe line The Signature Label to the mix in 2007.

      Small wonder, then, that luxury goods retail giant LVMH has become a "sole-mate", acquiring a 20 percent stake in Charles & Keith last year for more than $30 million.

      LCP (NS) Wong also bagged the 2012 Channel NewsAsia Luminary Awards' Future Business Luminary Award, which recognises young entrepreneurs below the age of 45 who embrace forward-thinking business ideals and risk to take their business to a higher level.

      If the shoe fits

      Forget the old cliches about how hard work equals success. That's because putting in effort is a given. Besides time and dedication, being innovative and seizing the right opportunities when they come along play equally important roles in this home-grown success story.

      On advice that he would offer budding entrepreneurs, LCP (NS) Wong said: "Resilience and a positive mindset will help combat the inevitable challenges you will encounter when starting a business, and even more so in the long run. Do not be afraid of failure, have an open mind and be adaptable to changes."

      In fact, the main motivation to setting up his own business came when he and younger brother Keith, who served as an Armour Support Mortar Man in the 48th Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment, recognised the market potential for producing footwear that fit Asian feet, which were smaller than their Western counterparts.

      An initial challenge they faced was being unable to control the quality and designs of the shoes they sold as they did not work directly with suppliers. Cutting out the middlemen proved to be the way to go.

      "During the Asian Economic crisis, we saw the opportunity to work directly with some of the factories, enabling us to have more control over the design and manufacturing process and to bring across the essence of our brand more effectively," said LCP (NS) Wong.

      "Today, with a headcount of over 500 staff, the company oversees the entire process from design to manufacturing, production and supply."

      Walk the talk

      While his younger brother works with the design team, LCP (NS) Wong heads the operations side of the business and currently works from Shanghai to tap into the burgeoning China market.

      "International expansion and growing the business in China continues to be a part of of our brand's growth strategies," said the ambitious 38-year-old.

      "With the aim to open 500 stores in China in the next five years...innovation and creativity are required to keep the brand relevant to the consumers in these markets."

      Even as a young Full-time National Serviceman, he made an effort to keep his eye on the prize.

      While fellow batch-mates returned home and spent time with loved ones over the weekend, LCP (NS) Wong would go to his parents' store to assess how well the business had done and to plan stock buying and selling strategies for the next week.

      Calling National Service (NS) a tough training ground, the Tengah Air Base Field Defence Squadron security trooper, who completed his NS cycle in 2007, said: "While training was demanding and physically strenuous, I believe most guys developed a much stronger character after NS. It taught me life skills like teamwork, discipline and perseverance which are applicable to running a business as well."

      He added: "Running a company is akin to running a battalion. There needs to be a platoon of driven team players in order for the platoon to overcome obstacles (much like the growth of a budding company) together.

      "These are qualities I hold in high regard and continue to instil in my colleagues."

      "There needs to be a platoon of driven team players in order for the platoon to overcome obstacles (much like the growth of a budding company) together."
      - LCP (NS) Wong on how running a business is akin to running a battalion












      Employer Support for NS by HDB - BEYOND THE CALL – Posted 29 Aug 2012

      The Housing Development Board's (HDB) Deputy CEO (Building), Mr Sng Cheng Keh, is a former NS Volunteer and Brigade Commander who only recently relinquished his volunteer status and duties at the age of 58.  He sees his work in the HDB and his National Service duties as complementary, both contributing significantly to nation building.  
       Mr Sng's views of NS have changed over the years, as he gained greater depth and breadth of insight in the course of his NS journey.

      "When I was 18, I saw NS as a legal duty, something that was compulsory for me to undergo.  As I got older, I came to appreciate and understand the importance and benefits of NS to the individual, the organisation and beyond that, to the nation."

      Convinced of the crucial role that NS plays, Mr Sng became an NS Volunteer when he reached 50, after his NS obligation had ended. Another factor that influenced his decision was the strong bond that he had built up with a group of Army officers over the years.

      This bond was clearly demonstrated in the wake of the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004, when Mr Sng was called on to set up a civil-military operations centre in Aceh. He recalls, "I called up my officers to see if they could come with me to help.  These are all busy men with successful and stressful careers.  One was about to fly off to the US.  Another who worked in a bank, had just undergone a knee operation and the conditions in Aceh would have been difficult for him.  Yet they all packed up and came with me.  There is absolutely no price you can put on relationships like that, no price you can put on such sacrifices they made."

      Indeed, relationship-building is key. Mr Sng strives to put this core value into practice in his professional life because, as he says, "you have to show that you are always with your men."
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      Employer Support for NS by Nan Chiau High School – Posted 23 Aug 2012

      As an employer, my support for NS men is critical without which our NSmen would not be able to concentrate on their training to defend our country.  The strength of our NSmen would be a deterrent to external threat which continuously challenged the existence of our organisation.  This is increasing evident in the face of transnational terrorist threats and other unforeseen threats from the external environment. Organisation needs a peaceful and stable environment to thrive.  I educate all employees regardless of gender and age in the organisation to see the significance of NS and support NS men who are on call to perform national duties. I emphasize that it is not only the NSmen performing national obligation alone but the total efforts of everyone in the school that can make a positive impact. Hence Nan Chiau High School constantly highlighted the importance of our Total Defence efforts implemented by our National Education Committee with the Principal (CEO) taking the lead.
           
      We are supportive of our NSmen. The school makes provision for colleagues to cover the duties of NS employees during their period of absence from school. We have released our NS employees to attend scheduled training in spite of disruption to our operation.  The school provides in-house facilities such as physical fitness room as well as made it compulsory for NSmen to actively participate in staff healthy activities such games, mass exercises, jogging, cross-country run, sports Day and other activities that keep our NSmen physically and mentally fit for NS mobilisation, camps and other national activities. The school present awards in kind to staff including NSmen who are physically fit and do not take medical leave.  NSmen are publicly acknowledged for their good efforts during staff meetings.

      The school also organised health screening sessions by medical company for NSmen to regularly check their health status. This subsidised medical service is cheaper and convenient for staff to check their health status.  The school canteen also ensures that all our staff take nutritious and well- balanced diet like our students. We also distributed apples to encourage the consumption of more fruits.  All my staff members are strongly encouraged to participate in MOE activities which promote healthy lifestyle.

      My school vision is a distinctive institution of world-ready thinkers and leaders with the mission to broaden the minds of NCzens, nurture bi-cultural leaders who lead, serve and inspire. We constantly remind stakeholders to lead by examples, serve national interests and inspire other colleagues. For example, we promote core values such as ‘Resilience Our Spirit" and "Loyalty Our Pledge". As the principal, I led by example to lead in serving the community and inspiring others to perform national duties.

      For example, I instilled the sense of ruggedness and resilience in my colleagues and students by organising camps with activities such as camp crafts, water obstacles, trekking and so on.  I mooted the idea of 4 wheel drive in Malaysia as a staff retreat activity to provide challenging and refreshing activities for our colleagues to learn and bond the fun way. My experiences in the military was very enriching and this constantly drive me to create similar experiences for my staff and students such as learning journeys to Taiwan and Malaysia.

      Our NSmen have value-added the uniformed groups programmes. NS men contributed to the NCC unit, which helped clinched Gold awards. NS men also spearheaded effective and quality mass Physical Education such as mass exercise and organised Secondary 3 Camp. Our NSmen also served as disciplined teacher because they acquired desirable qualities of how to manage the students effectively. The school's operation manager experiences in the army helped in ensuring  that the SOPs and day to day operations are managed efficiently.  More importantly, it is the NSmen who contributed to the quality of National Education and to a certain extent helped the school achieved the Outstanding Development Award for National Education.
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      Employer Support for NS by Thatz International Pte Ltd – Posted 21 Aug 2012

      First Row 2nd from Right

      Thatz International Pte Ltd is proud to be chosen as a recipient of the Total Defence Awards for Employers. This recognition shows our commitment in supporting National Service.
      It was initially challenging for a growing small-medium enterprise (SMEs) like us to lose staffs (especially key appointment holders) to National Service. This disruption worsens when they are serving more than 10 days of in-camp training.  However, over the past years, we have overcome these challenges with proper backup processes in place and with the advance call up notice from the authority; this helps us in the planning to cover staffs who will be away for National Service (in-camp training).

      We would like to share the story of one of our key staff, which we think best illustrates this commitment, SSG (NS) Ang Yeow Kwang Christian of 466 SAR. Christian first joined the company in the year 2000 as a Finance and Operations Executive. He was called up almost every year till February 2007, where he stands down together with his unit and NS status under MINDEF Reserve. Throughout the call up years, we have minimized deferments or disruptions to his NS call up by training other staffs to cover his duties (backup processes) so that he was focused in carrying out his national duties.

      Christian last held the rank of 2SG as a combat medic during his active days. He was then promoted twice during his NS days, first to 1SG and to SSG. As a senior combat medic in his unit, he was tasked to assist and plan medical field operation with medicalofficers; conducting first-aid training to fellow camp-mates and assisting in planning medical duties. We strongly believed his NS experience and work experience complemented each other.

      Today, as a Service Delivery Manager, Christian oversees a number of operations sites supervising 30 staffs in IT Helpdesk & End-user Support, as well as, Data Centre operations.

      As an employer, we have constantly placed healthy work-life balance as one of the priority by encouraging all staffs to exercise regularly. The company also conducts a daily stretching exercise routine. This forms the basic foundation for a healthy work place at THATZ. As such, Christian was able to clear all his yearly IPPT throughout his NS commitments.

      We hope this short story will encourage more employers in supporting National Service, as we at THATZ strongly believe in supporting National Service in the building of our Nation.
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      Employer Support for NS by Canon – Posted 07 Aug 2012

      Growing, Excelling with the Nation

      Canon laid its foundation in Singapore in 1979.  Throughout these 33 years, the company has grown together with Singapore.  Starting from a company with a few staff, it has grown to an 800-strong organisation that is the headquarters for the South and Southeast Asia region.

      Canon is guided by its philosophy of kyosei, meaning living and working together for the common good.  Recognising the significance of kyosei, Canon has taken a broader definition to mean "All people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future."  This includes activities that contribute to the well-being of the community.  In this instance, the company supports the crucial role that Total Defence plays in Singapore.

      The success that Canon now enjoys is largely attributed to the peace and stability of Singapore which is made possible by a strong armed forces and National Service (NS) plays a crucial role in this.  Thus, Canon believes in creating a workplace and a culture which encourages its NS eligible staff to fulfill their NS obligations.

      Serving NS with Peace of Mind

      Like all organisations, Canon Singapore naturally faces challenges when staff take time away from work to fulfill their national service obligations.  Generally, the company's Human Resource Division does not encourage deferment as it understands that it might disrupt the NS Men's unit and affect their unit cohesion.

      Working in line with the company's culture, the Divisional Heads are understanding and will work with the NSmen and their colleagues to redistribute workload.  At the same time, the colleagues are happy to accommodate the temporary arrangement and take on additional duties.

      In addition, during mobilisation exercises, the affected NS staff need only to inform his superior of activation and he will be released from work immediately.  As these exercises have very urgent response time, it is not necessary for staff to submit written notification on the spot. This is to help the staff to leave immediately for mobilisation.

      "HR has been very supportive in helping me fulfill my NS commitments. Once, I was urgently called back for a half-day event and I was allowed to go with little questions asked. What's more, I was not required to utilise my annual leave," said Second Sergeant (NS) Bryan Lim, a Company Medic and Canon's Training Executive for business products.

      "There is never a good time for any staff to put down their work and go fulfill their national service obligations. Nevertheless, the company has never stopped me from doing so as this is the duty of every Singaporean man. Besides, Canon is a good company and I have cooperative colleagues to cover my duties during my absence," said Mr Edwin Teo, Canon's Assistant Marketing Director and an ex-Infantry Officer who has since retired from NS

      This sentiment is shared by Canon Marketing Executive, Lieutenant (NS) Derrick Sun, who is a Quartermaster for an Armoured NS unit. "My team mates are very helpful in facilitating my NS commitments, however disruptive they might be. This is something I personally feel very thankful for."

      Keeping in Shape

      In a bid to help staff maintain their level of fitness, Canon Singapore endeavors to promote a healthy lifestyle through various initiatives. For these efforts, the Company has been awarded the HPB Award for the past few years.

      To motivate employees to exercise regularly and stay fit, its Staff Recreation Club organises sports competitions, health talks and the likes to reinforce the importance of staying healthy. Besides this, staff can access a fitness centre near the office for free.

      "It helps that we have access to the private fitness centre. On top of that, annual events like Futsal tournaments are not only a good way to engage staff in sports, it also gives staff a chance to get together and know each other better," said Derrick Sun.

      In addition, Canon Singapore also grants our NS men who have failed their annual IPPT, time-off to enable them to attend scheduled Remedial Trainings which helps them build up their fitness.

      Values from NS, Values for Life

      Canon Singapore believes that National Service produces positive qualities that are valuable to the corporate environment.  At the company, NS men have demonstrated their leadership and teamwork qualities in the work environment.  For example, when working with other colleagues, they exhibit leadership abilities and in general, demonstrated good team spirit and are dedicated towards their job.

      Mr Edwin Teo said, "Many of us are usually limited by what we think we can do. However, the Officer Cadet Course I underwent helped me to see a different angle in life and realise that I am capable of so much more.  It also put me in a mentally good state throughout my whole life, including my career.  The skills I picked up in NS are applicable to both the military field and corporate jungle, such as how to assess a situation, working with team mates and motivating subordinates towards organisational goals."

      Likewise, Accounts Assistant, Corporal (NS) Seah Wen Jin, a Diver in the Navy, said that the tough training course he went through during NS has taught him life skills: "I learned that in life, anything can happen and things won't always be smooth-sailing and we should always be prepared for it."

      Canon Singapore Supports National Service

      Canon believes that NS is not just about hardware but also heartware.  It is important for our NS men to remember that their responsibility to the country do not end after serving NS.  The desire to protect the country should be a lifetime commitment as that is how Singapore has sustained peace and enjoyed economic growth.  Canon Singapore will continue to play a part in Total Defence and support National Service, so as to contribute to the growth of the nation.
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      Employer Support for NS by Bendemeer Secondary School – Posted 07 Aug 2012

      CPL (NS) Ling Khoon Chow, Open Source Centre
      Principal Bendemeer Sec School

      Bendemeer Secondary School is an organization
      which is committed to the defence of Singapore. The school leadership firmly believes in the defence of the nation as a priority and readily supports our staff in their National Service journey. In this regard, staff are given time off to attend to National Service related matters. This allows our staff to contribute their best to the defence of the nation with the knowledge that the school is behind them all the way. The school supports our NSmen by arranging alternative work arrangements for them as well as employing additional relief staff if necessary, to ensure that our students remain in good hands. With such arrangements, our staff are assured that they will not be saddled with too heavy a workload when they return from their National Service commitments. Staff are also encouraged to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle in a fun and engaging way through our dedicated sports days for staff.

      As a school, our teachers are dedicated NSmen who continually share their experiences with our students about our National Service experiences as well as role model what National Service is about. Our staff play a dual role as both educator and NSmen. The school also strongly believes in teaching our students about National Service through activities like Total Defence Day and our National Education Programmes. At Bendemeer Secondary, our National Servicemen are not just seen as soldiers, but also as ambassadors of National Service. Students are often fascinated and extremely curious when they see their teacher as not only a teacher, but also as a National Serviceman. Our teachers inspire our students to also be committed to the defence of Singapore. These lessons are only effective because our teachers are able to share their stories and experiences as National Servicemen.

      Bendemeer Secondary School will continue its unwavering support for National Service as it strongly believes that National Service is a key component of Singapore's stability. Indeed, National Service experiences help to make our education officers a more well-rounded individual with more experiences and more things to share with our students.
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      Employer Support for NS by Fredrik Marine IT Services – Posted 31 Jul 2012

      At 0318 hours Singapore Standard Time, a call for assistance was received from a distressed vessel at Eastern Anchorage. Grabbing his helmet, ready bag and life-vest, Sherwyn quickly suited up into his coverall and boots and immediately proceeded for deployment. He is met by Nicholas Chan at West Coast Pier at 0348 hours who briefs him on the situation, hands him a loadout bag of equipment and parts for use onboard the vessel and pushes out to sea at 0358 hours, uncertain but ready.

      Working in the maritime sector is a non-stop 24/7 team effort. Needing to be able to rapidly and efficiently respond to on-call client requests at a moment's notice, having a strong grip in order to climb up rickety rope pilot ladders 30 meters above a choppy sea in bad weather while carrying a backpack full of equipment and solving mission critical problems with limited resources and tight deadlines, these are situations not so very different from the duties we are entrusted with during our active National Service days and t

      Fredrik Marine is a small company managed, advised and staffed almost entirely of active NSMen. Since the company's founding in 1992, the management has actively supported National Service as a platform for moulding and strengthening characters and post-National Service, as a means of "sifting the wheat from the chaff"; for us in management it has been and still is a good barometer of a person's character to see if the individual-at-hand is equipped with crucial life skills and positive traits, on whether they thrive on challenges or run away from problems, whether they have a pro-active demeanour or consistently finds and gives excuses, if they are innovation and resourceful or live only for instructions, and whether they are outdoorsmen or a typical air-con addict. These exact same disciplines of commitment and duty matched with the core values that we uphold and look for in all our people are what our clients wholeheartedly count on us for and National Service plays a large part in this process.oday in our NSMen times.

      While it can be easy to see or even "play the victim" and blame In-Camp Trainings as a disruption to our daily work, we at Fredrik Marine recognize that In-Camp Trainings is essentially time to "sharpen the saw" both physically and mentally. It is also "time-off" for our staff to catch up with old friends in the spirit of camaraderie, getting some gym time and taking a short mental break from work and unwind. By proper strategic planning and the enactment of appropriate work policies, we do our best in ensuring that any work disruption is reduced to a minimum. As at 2012, we are proud to say that all our NSMen staffs have zero deferments due to work commitment for their In-Camp Trainings to date.

      However we also recognize the fact that business still has to go on regardless of whether or not we and our clients are able to cope with the fact that some of our staffs are away serving the nation. As a technology company, our people are our key assets. Taking a leaf from the Singapore Armed Forces playbook, we adopted an NSMen buddy stand-in policy to ensure peer coverage for work duties during each other In-Camp Training; this simple knowledge of our colleagues being able to fully trust each other in "I got your back covered" gives confidence both to the management and our clients.

      We also incorporated the concept of mission debriefing post-In-Camp Training for any learning points, new touch-points and resources that can be shared and assimilated by the rest of the staffs for the better operations of Fredrik Marine. Additionally, the pervasive use of mobile/satellite communications technology and an in-house developed intranet also helps in enabling our staffs to respond in a timely fashion to any work commitments wherever they are, be they on an oil rig in the Songkla Basin to a military training area in the forests of Singapore.

      As the Managing Director of Fredrik Marine today, I am proud to say that we wholeheartedly support National Service and the tenets of Total Defence. We recognize that National Service instils into us the spirit of personal responsibility tempered with the spirit of selfless service to the nation we call home. We recognise that:

      Without a prosperous economy, we have no stability in an ever-changing world.

      Without a harmonious society, we have no true peace.

      Without a national identity, we merely exist, not live.

      Without a civil defence, we have no assurance for the safety of our loved ones.

      Without a secure and safe country, we have no homeland to call our own.

      Majulah Singapura!

      CPL (NS) Chan Chiang Joo, Nicholas, 822 Singapore Infantry Regiment, 2 People's Defence Force
      CPL (NS) Chew Yusheng, Sherwyn, 12 CSSB, Guards
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      Employer Support for NS by Riverside Secondary – Posted 11 Jul 2012

      Riverside recognises the role of our Armed Forces in providing a secure and stable Singapore for society to flourish.

      We recognise that our National Servicemen form the backbone of the Singapore Armed Forces and that it is critical that they participate in their In-Camp Trainings so as to ensure their operational readiness.

      Employer support is critical for our NSmen as they are better able to perform in their NS duties when they are aware that their colleagues at Riverside are supporting them in their work at school. In addition to providing manpower support for their duties when staff leave for In-Camp Training, Riverside also encourages a culture of fitness through weekly Healthy Lifestyle activities, where all staff accompany students out on a weekly jog around the neighbourhood. School participation in events such as Total Defence Day remind staff and students of the important role that everyone plays in Total Defence, and as we look to develop our students holistically to be concerned citizens and active contributors, our NSmen serve as real-life examples of how we can all contribute to the defence of our country.

      One behalf of Riverside Secondary, I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Defence on their 45 Years of National Service. Riverside will continue to give our support to Total Defence and our NSmen in their defence of our county.
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      Employer Support for NS by Singapore Discovery Centre (SDC) – Posted 01 Jun 2012

      Employer support for national service is critical in that employees can focus fully on their in-camp training when they report for national service; knowing that their work will be covered by their fellow colleagues. In this respect, SDC shows our support by granting paid time off for In Camp Trainings (ICTs) and remedial trainings in preparation for Individual Physical Proficiency Tests (IPPT), as well as provide rewards for those who do well in their IPPT or receive favourable reports during their in-camp.

      In addition, SDC recognises full-time national service as relevant work experience, offering the appropriate salary increments. Going the extra mile, SDC also grants flexi reporting time for our female staff to send their children to school when their spouses are called up for in-camp training. This way, the entire family can all have a peace of mind when our NSmen report for ICT. For the first time last year, SDC organised our SAF rededication day in-house for all our staff with NS employees taking the lead; to express our support towards national service.
      The Singapore Discovery Centre pledges its support to NS45, and beyond.
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      Employer Support for NS by ACS (Barker Road) – Posted 29 May 2012

      Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) believes and supports all In-Camp Training (ICT) call-ups for our male staff. Our "No Deferment" policy (unless with compelling reasons and documentary proofs) has been a long-standing policy in our school's effort to enable our male staff to fulfill their National Service obligation.
      During the time when our male teachers are called away, other teachers, or if necessary, relief teachers, will cover their teaching duties. Fellow CCA teachers will voluntarily cover the duties for their colleagues.

      Mr John Wu, our Secondary 1 Level Head and Subject Head for Learning Technologies shared his personal experience:

      "When I received an SAF 100 for a 4 weeks Intelligence Specialist course in February this year, I  was apprehensive of the impact of my absence from school on my students as I had duties pertaining to being the Sec 1 Level Head and a Mathematics teacher. The school assured me that they would deploy resources to cover my lessons as well as share the load of planning and implementing programmes for the Sec 1s among the middle managers. That gave me the peace of mind to go for the course. The school leaders are very supportive of NS men serving their in-camp and they spoke to me about giving my best while in service. Mr Peter Tan, the principal, spoke to me personally about having the right attitude and emphasized the important role of the NS men in national defence. His encouragement, as well as the arrangements at work, gave me the motivation to focus on my course. At the end of the course, I was awarded the best NS man trainee for the course. "

      The school also educates our students on national security and total defence.  At events such as Total Defence Day, and National Day, our male staff are encouraged to don their military uniforms to help our students see the relevance of National Service to all. Our expatriate staff also share their living experiences in their home countries during International Friendship Day.

      Mr Manmohan Singh, our Vice-Principal for Admin, said:

      "Building trust and confidence among Singaporeans are key ingredients in ensuring the stability of our Total Defence network system. Modern threats and challenges have taken a new dimension and our communities - regardless of race, language or religion, must provide the firm pillars to ensure that Singapore, as a small nation remains safe, secure and resilient at all times. The school is an excellent environment for our children to learn the importance of Total Defence and as educators, we must ensure that we provide them with this opportunity to appreciate and contribute towards the nation's Total Defence effort."

      ACS (Barker Road) will continue to pledge our commitment towards collective nation building through the support for our NSmen staff, for The Best is Yet To Be.
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      Employer Support for NS by Ya Kun – Posted 22 May 2012

      Ya Kun, being a home-grown and heritage brand of Singapore has always been, and in constant supportive of Singapore and total defence. We have over 200 staff, many above their 40s and we have taken it upon ourselves to provide jobs, a healthy and safe work environment and skills improvements so as to support them and the economy in their endeavors.

      We have 5 NSmen who hold managerial roles in the company. These NSmen enjoy ‘No Questions Asked' time-off for In-Camp Training or Reservist and merely have to inform the senior management to receive time-off. Furthermore, the senior management are constantly concerned about their physical fitness and always ensures that they pass their IPPT on a yearly basis. On one occasion, the company also offered to sponsor gym memberships for our NSmen to ensure that they stay fit and healthy.

      As an employer, we understand that Singapore needs the commitment of our NSmen in the responsibilities to the defence of our nation. We recognize the important role that they play and acknowledge their efforts and contributions towards national defence.

      Ya Kun also prides itself in carrying the Singapore flag high in other countries. Being in South Korea, Japan, The Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan and now China, Ya Kun makes no effort to hide the fact that Ya Kun and the kaya toast and coffee drinking culture is uniquely Singaporean and that Ya Kun originates and is distinctly Singaporean.

      Moving forward, Ya Kun will continue to support NS, provide jobs for Singaporeans, ensure the health and fitness of our NSmen and strive to make Singapore a well-received, nostalgic and reputable country by establishing cafes of the highest standards in the region, through our committed NS workforce and employees, and from the safe and stable economy in Singapore, achieved through a credible and professional defence force.

       

       

       

       

       

      Edited by eac 28 Dec `12, 2:27AM
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