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63 Award Recipients, Six Prestigious Scholarships, One Defence Community

by July 24, 2017 Aviation, Entertainment

Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen presented The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Scholarship to seven recipients, Public Service Commission (PSC) Scholarship (Engineering) – Defence and Security to four recipients, SAF Merit Scholarship to 15 recipients, SAF Engineering Scholarship to two recipients, Defence Merit Scholarship to six recipients, and Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) Scholarship to 29 recipients at the inaugural Defence Scholarship Awards Ceremony held at the Istana this evening.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Ng explained that one of the reasons behind for awarding the six prestigious scholarships in a single ceremony was as “the Next Generation SAF, for it, to be a potent and credible force, must harness all of its assets, its manpower as well as technology”. He said, “To build and sustain this type of Next Generation SAF will require field commanders to work with engineers and scientists as one. To reflect this importance, we are for the first time, awarding the PSC (Engineering) scholarship and combining the DSTA/Defence Science Organisation (DSO) ceremony which used to be held separate, together with the MINDEF/SAF ceremony. Whether as soldier, engineer, scientist or administrator, it is the common purpose of a strong national defence that must bind you all.”

Dr Ng also spoke about the high expectations and heavy responsibilities which come with the prestige of being a defence scholar, and urged the scholarship recipients to continue to uphold these standards in the face of unpredictable security challenges. He said, “You will have to deal with problems as they come, not the ones that you can choose. And you will have to measure up, armed with that grit and determination to surmount all challenges, to muster and coalesce Singaporeans against aggressors who will do us harm. You must possess that courage, determination and resilience and step-up when these moments of crisis descend upon us as a nation.”

The SAF Scholarship was introduced in 1971, and it is a prestigious scholarship second only to the President’s Scholarship. The SAF Merit Scholarship and Defence Merit Scholarship were introduced in 1983 and 2002 respectively. The SAF Engineering Scholarship was introduced in 2016 to attract engineering talent to join the SAF under the Military Domain Experts Scheme.

Both the PSC Scholarship (Engineering) – Defence and Security, and DSTA Scholarship nurture top engineering talents for Singapore’s defence and security sector. The PSC Scholarship (Engineering) was launched in the 2017 scholarship exercise to build and strengthen the Public Service’s leadership pipelines in the engineering and technology sectors. The DSTA Scholarship was introduced in 2000 to attract budding engineers and scientists with a keen passion for Science and Technology to provide leading-edge technological solutions for Singapore’s defence and security.

All scholarships aim to recruit top students from each cohort of school-leavers to join the defence sector, and this year’s scholarship recipients, who have demonstrated academic excellence and outstanding leadership qualities will be pursuing their undergraduate studies at reputable local and overseas universities.

Upon completion of their tertiary education, recipients of the uniformed scholarships will return to the organisation to assume a variety of challenging appointments that will groom them for senior command and leadership positions in MINDEF and the SAF. The Defence Merit Scholarship recipients will return from their studies as Defence Executive Officers, and be groomed for senior management positions in MINDEF by taking on varied job challenges to hone their skills in critical defence areas.

The PSC (Engineering) – Defence and Security, and DSTA Scholarship recipients will be groomed through multiple career pathways for engineering and technological leadership positions in the defence technology community.

Present at the awards ceremony were senior officials from MINDEF, the SAF, DSTA, DSO, members of the PSC, in-service scholars, school principals, as well as the invited guests of the 63 scholarship recipients.