Monday, July 2, 2018

Women show patriotic spirit by signing up for SAF volunteer corps

Source Website: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/women-show-patriotic-spirit-signing-saf-volunteer-corps
By Lim Min Zhang, The New Paper, 02 July 2018 at 06:00 am


 SV(T) Kelly Latimer's daughter, Sienna, and husband, Justin, affixing the SAFVC formation patch on her uniform during the presentation parade.
PHOTO: SV(T) Kelly Latimer's daughter, Sienna, and husband, Justin, affixing the SAFVC formation patch on her uniform during the presentation parade.
PHOTO: SAF VOLUNTEER CORPS

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https://www.tnp.sg/sites/default/files/styles/rl780/public/articles/2018/07/02/NP_20180702_MIKELLY02LERE_4103298.jpg?itok=vGnzlHqO
https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/women-show-patriotic-spirit-signing-saf-volunteer-corps



After turning up on enlistment day at Maju Camp on June 11, TV host Kelly Latimer was almost sent home because her hair was not of a uniform colour.

Undeterred, the Singapore Armed Forces Volunteer Corps volunteer (SV) dyed her hair black in an unconventional place - a car park.

"It was my fault and I was given an hour to rectify it or else I'd be sent home," the British-Chinese fitness enthusiast, 31, told The New Paper.

"A 15-minute frantic search, a botched dye job in the car park by my dad and a quick rinse in a toilet sink and I was good to go."

She was one of the 73 SV trainees who were presented with a formation patch to signify the completion of their two-week basic training on June 23 at Maju Camp.


The typical 1970’s and 80’s armies.
PHOTO: The typical 1970’s and 80’s armies. Not very awe inspiring. No ballistic vest of any sort were issued in basic. In jungle fighting, the sleeker you are the faster you move.
Picture posted by Jason Lee on 09 June 2017

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https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-85809ccdeb96747c7cf1dd0f8603d7e9-c
https://www.quora.com/Soldiers-what-web-gear-and-body-armour-did-you-use-and-what-is-your-opinion-of-them



Being away from her husband and daughter was "hands down" the hardest thing about enlisting.As she was breastfeeding her 18-month-old daughter, she had to pump milk and store it in a freezer twice every day.

On why she wanted to serve, SV(T) Latimer said she felt a duty to protect her country as a new citizen, having renounced her UK citizenship two years ago.

For SV(T) Basu Bedashruti Mitra, 38, overcoming the SAR-21 weapon handling test - on the second day of training - was a major challenge.

"The fast-paced instructions on weapon stripping, assembly and Immediate Action drills seemed unfathomable," she said.

That night, the permanent resident who has lived in Singapore for 12 years, told her company commander about her worries as a slow learner. He reassured her that he would not leave anyone behind as long as they did their best. The manager at RHT Corporate Advisory woke up at 4am to review her notes and was coached by the company commander, before she cleared her test.

As to why she volunteered, SV(T) Basu said her daughter, 10, had asked her whether only men did national service.



Why she volunteered, SV(T) Basu said her daughter, 10, had asked her whether only men did national service.
PHOTO: Why she volunteered, SV(T) Basu said her daughter, 10, had asked her whether only men did national service.
She told TNP: "This set me thinking - on one hand, women want to be treated equally as men, and on the other, when it comes to national service, we conveniently take a back seat under the pretext of 'we don't have to do it'.
"I thought that I was not setting the right example for my daughter (if I did not serve)."
Picture posted by David Boey, Senang Diri on Sunday, 08 July 2012 at 3:22 PM -  Dressed to fight: Singapore Army infantry demonstrate the difference between the old Number 4 combat uniform (right) and the design which replaces it. Source: Singapore Ministry of Defence
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HEgQlDGTbiY/T_kqWRQjz7I/AAAAAAAABA8/jhaTiguXF-s/s1600/SAF+Number+4+old+and+new+2008.jpg
http://kementah.blogspot.com/2012/07/comments-on-singapore-armys-camouflage.html



She told TNP: "This set me thinking - on one hand, women want to be treated equally as men, and on the other, when it comes to national service, we conveniently take a back seat under the pretext of 'we don't have to do it'.

"I thought that I was not setting the right example for my daughter (if I did not serve)."

SVs typically serve 14 days a year. After completing basic training, they do further training as required for their roles.

More than 700 people have enlisted into the corps since 2015.


Women for NS?
PHOTO: Women for NS?
Since its implementation in 1967, NS has always been exclusively for males only.But the idea of women serving NS had been raised before in the early days when NS in itself was just an idea yet to be implemented.

And it was LKY who wanted women to serve, as he recorded it in his memoirs:

I was keen to have our women do national service as Israeli women did, because that would reinforce the people’s will to defend themselves. But Keng Swee did not want his new ministry to  carry this extra burden. As the other ministers in Defco (Defence Council) were also not anxious to draft our women, I did not press my point.

Over the years, the topic of women serving NS has been raised time and again. Some for women serving NS, while others are against it. Others also suggested a modified form of NS for women.

Nevertheless, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in 2013 that the SAF would not draft women for NS, but opportunities for them to volunteer would be expanded.

NS50 might have been celebrated very differently this year, had LKY pushed on with his idea.
Image from Cyber Pioneer.
Picture posted by Henedick Chng, mothership.sg on 27 November 2017

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https://mothership.sg/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2017-11-27-at-3.20.29-PM.png
https://mothership.sg/2017/11/singapore-women-serve-ns/

 

Application for SAF Volunteer Corps (SAFVC) opens on 13 October 2014.
PHOTO: Application for SAF Volunteer Corps (SAFVC) opens on 13 October 2014. The SAFVC was first proposed by the Committee to Strengthen National Service (CSNS) to “enable women, first generation Permanent Residents and new citizens to contribute to national defence and strengthen support for NS (National Service).”
Image from The Singapore Army facebook
Picture posted by Howard Lee on 13 October 2014

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https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/army.jpg
https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2014/10/13/saf-volunteer-corps-riddled-with-issues/



SVs typically serve 14 days a year. After completing basic training, they do further training as required for their roles.
PHOTO: SVs typically serve 14 days a year. After completing basic training, they do further training as required for their roles. More than 700 people have enlisted into the corps since 2015.

Our girls, and certainly our boys, in green and blue accounts for the realities of their everyday lives, operational effectiveness and national security. Ah girls and Ah boys have become real women and men, deserve our respect and gestures.
Picture posted by Jason Lee on 09 June 2017

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YAY-GAut7Y8/WznO8Cgx3fI/AAAAAAAAqj0/ED_U0sURjHs3VJFtke7eA8Q1_GniJJ0qACLcBGAs/s1600/main-qimg-9b862397d289e4969838d9c006c22158-c.jpg
https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-9b862397d289e4969838d9c006c22158-c
https://www.quora.com/Soldiers-what-web-gear-and-body-armour-did-you-use-and-what-is-your-opinion-of-them


By Lim Min Zhang, The New Paper, 02 July 2018 at 06:00 am
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Reference
[1] Lim Min Zhang, The New Paper, Women show patriotic spirit by signing up for SAF volunteer corps, posted on 02 July 2018 at 06:00 am, https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/women-show-patriotic-spirit-signing-saf-volunteer-corps

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