SINGAPORE’S eighth Chief of Defence Force may be the top man in the country’s military, but that did not stop him from lugging 20kg of combat gear on a 32km route march among comrades over half his age.
Lt-Gen Ng Chee Meng volunteered for the army combat skills course last year, taking part alongside 20-year-old trainees. He also completed a two-week naval diving course.
An ace pilot more comfortable within the confines of a fighter jet, he said he wanted to understand the “way of life” in the army and navy.
“I’ve done the route march as a young man. I wanted to go through it again just to understand what the people who serve together with
me go through,” said Lt-Gen Ng in
an interview ahead of Tuesday’s Singapore Armed Forces Day.
“I was a 21-year-old before, I embrace the idealism of the younger generation,” he said.
While SAF combatants train hard to sharpen its fighting edge, he stressed that he trusts his commanders to “do the right thing” and ensure training is conducted safely.
People seem to be the main focus for Lt-Gen Ng, who took over the helm from Lt-Gen Neo Kian Hong in March last year.
The graduate of the prestigious US Air Force Academy joined the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in 1986, and is only the second man from the air force to be promoted to the top job in the SAF’s 49-year history. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network