With the need to conduct a full spectrum of operations, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is seeking to expand our operational capabilities especially in niche areas of expertise. The Expertise Conversion Scheme (ECS) was thus conceived as a scheme that allows the SAF to tap on Singapore's talent pool. It provides more opportunities for our Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) with deep civilian professional expertise to voluntarily continue contributing to the nation's defence by enhancing operational capabilities in areas identified by the SAF. Examples of such niche areas of expertise include law, medicine, engineering, psychology and info-communications.
The ECS is based on the Military Domain Experts Scheme (MDES), which is premised on civilian professional expertise in key military domains and comprises a rank structure organised according to qualifications and experience. In recognition of the expanded scope of responsibility in their new roles, NSmen converted under the ECS will be emplaced to the rank of Military Expert 4 (ME4) upon full completion of training.
Eligibility. Under this scheme, NS WOSEs (Warrant Officers, Specialists and Enlistees) holding specialised professional qualifications identified by the SAF as operationally relevant will be recommended to join the ECS. Interested applicants can also register their interest with the NS Relations Officers in their Formation or Division Headquarters. This scheme is primarily for NSmen who have completed their Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) commitments. NSmen with existing ORNS commitments may also be considered for conversion to meet SAF's operational requirements. Such applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Rigorous Selection and Comprehensive Training for ECS Personnel. Besides stringent qualification and background checks to ensure that they possess the appropriate expertise for the roles, shortlisted NS WOSEs will need to possess sound leadership qualities and good character attributes. After passing the selection board interview, they will undergo training comprising three components: (1) Specialisation Training; (2) Leadership Training; and (3) On-Job-Training (OJT). This is to level up the skills set of ECS personnel with that of their military and MDES counterparts. Upon completion of the training, ECS personnel will be emplaced to hold the ME4 rank.
Minimum Obligation. As ECS personnel will be holding senior MDES ranks, they will have their NS statutory age raised to 50 years, similar to their NS officer counterparts. They will be required to serve in their new rank and roles for a minimum period of three years. As per the SAF Act, they are liable for call up for up to 40 days per year.
Implementation Timeline. The inaugural batch of ECS personnel will complete their required training and attain their new ranks of ME4(A) in July this year. They will then undergo OJT in the next few NS years before attaining their ME4 ranks. Henceforth, depending on operational requirements and availability of suitable candidates, there will be up to two batches of ECS conversions a year.