Facebook user Segaran Thangavelow wondered why the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) failed to better take care of senior non commissioned officers (NCO). He recounted how a retired Master Warrant Officer was now driving a taxi, and asked why the SAF did not offer such NCO proper career planning.
He asked why the taxi driver, “who was and still is a very dedicated and highly decorated soldier from an elite unit, couldn’t be utilised for his immense treasure of knowledge and experience by his former employer. Why can’t he be deployed in areas that are suitable, keeping in mind of his age and physical ability to tap into his resources? Or posting to other ministries where he can contribute to benefit the younger generation? Why a true blue soldier like him and many others who enlisted themselves in the forces as a teenager and spend their entire life upholding the core values of the forces being left alone without a second career planning?”
He added: “It is indeed a heart-wrenching sight to see old but functional soldiers who trained hard and sacrificed their entire youth, only to take up 2nd career jobs that they were never trained or equipped to do.”
Even if SAF does not provide proper career planning for its senior NCOs, its senior commissioned officers are not left in such a lurch.
Rear Admiral Chew Men Leong became the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Utilities Board (PUB) after retiring from the military. Lieutenant-General Ng Yat Chung joined joined Temasek Holdings after leaving the SAF. And Lieutenant-General Desmond Kuek became the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources after relinquishing his military career.