The Singapore Army is the land service branch of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). The largest of the four branches of the SAF, the Singapore Army traces its origins to the 1st Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (1 SIR), which was formed in 1957, when Singapore was still under British colonial rule. After Singapore's independence on 9 August 1965, the Singapore Army Bill was passed in Parliament on 23 December 1965, and National Service (NS) was subsequently introduced in 1967.[8] Mostly made up of conscripts, the Singapore Army can mobilise all operationally-ready military reservists in the event of war or national exigencies.

Singapore Army
Tentera Singapura (Malay)
新加坡陆军 (Chinese)
சிங்கப்பூர் தரைப்படை (Tamil)
Crest of the Singapore Army
Founded12 March 1957; 66 years ago (1957-03-12)
Country Singapore
TypeArmy
RoleLand warfare
Size40,000 active personnel[1]
240,000 reserve personnel[1]
Part ofSingapore Armed Forces
Motto(s)'Ready, Decisive, Respected'
MarchSingapore Infantry Regiment March
EquipmentSee list
Engagements
WebsiteOfficial website
Commanders
Minister for DefenceNg Eng Hen[6]
Chief of Defence ForceVADM Aaron Beng[6]
Chief of ArmyMG David Neo[7][6]
Chief of Staff – General StaffBG Tan Cheng Kwee[7]
Sergeant Major of the ArmyCWO Sanjee Singh[7][6]
Insignia
Flag
Logo

Mission edit

The mission of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is to deter armed aggression, and to secure a swift and decisive victory should deterrence fail. The Army is also tasked with conducting peace-time operations to further Singapore's national interests and foreign policy. These range from disaster relief to peacekeeping, hostage rescue and other contingencies.[9]

The Army views technology as a force-multiplier and a means to sustain combat power given Singapore's population constraints. Jointness across four branches of the SAF is integral to the Army's warfighting doctrine. Joint operations undertaken with the Navy and Air Force include amphibious landings and critical disaster relief operations in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

The Army has a technically proficient, relatively well-educated draftee pool and officer corps (non-commissioned and commissioned) reflective of the population at large, and has sought to leverage this to ease its transition into a more sophisticated, networked fighting force.[10]

Combat readiness is a linchpin of Army policy, and military exercises up to divisional level are conducted many times yearly, simulating full-spectrum operations, up to and including full-scale war. Divisional war games are a combined arms, tri-service affair involving the Navy and Air Force. Because training space is limited in Singapore—artillery fire would quickly traverse the island—some military exercises are conducted overseas. Reservists periodically[11] train abroad, their units regularly evaluated for combat readiness.[10] The Army also trains bilaterally with some host nations, and military exchanges are frequent. Training is billed as "tough, realistic and safe," with a premium on safety, given the sensitivity of military deaths in a largely conscript army.[9]

Following the revolution in military affairs, and in tandem with modernising its weapons systems, the Army is forging a transition to a more network-centric fighting doctrine that better integrates the Air Force and Navy.[12]

History edit

The Singapore Army originated with two infantry battalions, the 1st and 2nd Battalions, Singapore Infantry Regiment (1 SIR and 2 SIR), which were respectively formed in 1957 and 1962 when Singapore was still a British colony. After a merger with Malaysia which resulted in separation in 1965, Singapore passed the Singapore Army Bill in Parliament on 23 December 1965 and gained complete control of the two battalions from Malaysia in January 1966.[8][13] At the time, the Singapore Army had only the two infantry battalions and the old Singapore Volunteer Artillery Corps. Months later, the Army had a reserve force, the People's Defence Force, which was formed from an old volunteer unit mobilised for service during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. A third battalion, the 10th Battalion, People's Defence Force (10 PDF), was raised as a volunteer infantry reserve battalion.[citation needed]

In 1967, Parliament passed the National Service (Amendment) Act, introducing National Service (conscription) for all able-bodied young men aged 18 and above. In June 1967, the Singapore Army introduced its first artillery battalion, the 20th Singapore Artillery Battalion (20 SAB). Two new infantry battalions, the 3rd and 4th Battalions, Singapore Infantry Regiment (3 SIR and 4 SIR) were formed in August 1967. In November 1968, the Singapore Army's first armoured battalion, 41st Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment (41 SAR), was formed. This was followed by the creation of the 1st Commando Battalion (1 Cdo Bn) in December 1969.[8]

In 1972, Parliament passed the Singapore Armed Forces Act to reorganise and consolidate the Singapore Armed Forces' disparate commands and administrative functions.[14][15]

edit

The emblem's escutcheon reads "Tentera Singapura" (meaning "Singapore Army" in Malay). The national coat of arms sits in its interior. The motto is "Yang Pertama Dan Utama" ("first and foremost" in Malay). Two stalks of laurel flank the escutcheon. The laurels are green for the Singapore Army and gold for the Singapore Armed Forces.

Operations edit

The Singapore Army has participated in peacekeeping operations overseas. In the aftermath of the Gulf War, Singapore contributed to the United Nations Iraq–Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) formed in 1991. From May 2007 to June 2013, the Singapore Army deployed about 500 personnel to join the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in maintaining stability and assist in reconstruction in war-torn Afghanistan.[16] Since 2014, the Singapore Army has provided logistical support to the international coalition in the War against the Islamic State.[17]

List of chiefs of Army edit

Years in office Name Vocation
1990 Boey Tak Hap [citation needed]
1990–1992 Ng Jui Ping Artillery
1992–1995 Lim Neo Chian Combat Engineers
1995–1998 Han Eng Juan Armour[citation needed]
1998–2000 Lim Chuan Poh Infantry
2000–2003 Ng Yat Chung Artillery
2003–2007 Desmond Kuek Armour
2007–2010 Neo Kian Hong Guards
2010–2011 Chan Chun Sing Infantry
2011–2014 Ravinder Singh Signals
2014–2015 Perry Lim Guards
2015–2018 Melvyn Ong Infantry[18]
2018–2022 Goh Si Hou Artillery[19][20]
2022–present David Neo Commandos[21]

Organisation edit

Singapore Army
 
Components
Organisation
History and Traditions
Military history of Singapore
Equipment
Weapons of the Singapore Army
Personnel
Singapore Armed Forces ranks

The Army is headed by the Chief of Army,[22] who is assisted by the Chief of Staff – General Staff[23] and the Sergeant Major of the Army. The General Staff consists of six branches from G1 to G6, as well as a National Service Affairs Department handling National Service issues, and an Army Safety Inspectorate. The six branches handle issues relating to personnel (G1), intelligence (G2), operations (G3), logistics (G4), plans (G5) and training (G6). The G1, G2, G3, G5, and G6 branches are each headed by an Assistant Chief of General Staff. Among the General Staff, there is also a Chief Systems Integration Officer and a Head of the Army Information Centre.[7]

The commanders of Training & Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Combat Service Support (CSS), the four main divisions, the two operational reserve divisions, the 15 formations of the Army, and the SAF Volunteer Corps also report to the Chief of Army.[24][25][26][7]

Divisions edit

The Army has six divisions, of which three are combined arms divisions, one is in charge of counter-terrorism and homeland security, and two are army operational reserves (AOR).[7]

The three combined arms divisions are the 3rd Division (3 DIV), 6th Division (6 DIV) and 9th Division (9 DIV),[27][28] each of which has active and reserve units that are operationally ready and capable of being mobilised in the event of war.[11]

The 2nd People's Defence Force (2 PDF) is in charge of counter-terrorism and homeland security, including the protection of key military and civilian installations around Singapore. It is also responsible for the coordination and secondment of military resources to civilian agencies in the event of a civil emergency.[29]

The two AOR divisions are the 21st Division (21 DIV)[30] and 25th Division (25 DIV).[30][7]

Formations edit

The Army has 15 formations: Ammunition Command, Armour,[31] Army Intelligence, Army Medical Services, Artillery,[32] Combat Engineers, Commandos, Guards, Infantry, Maintenance and Engineering Support, Military Police Command, Personnel Command, Signals, Supply, and Transport.[7]

Task forces edit

The Army has task forces such as the Island Defence Task Force (IDTF), Joint Task Force (JTF), Special Operations Task Force (SOTF)[7] and the Army Deployment Force (ADF).[33]

Equipment edit

Camps and bases edit

Photo gallery edit

See also edit

References edit

Notes
  1. ^ a b International Institute for Strategic Studies (15 February 2023). The Military Balance 2023. London: Routledge. pp. 286–287. ISBN 9781032508955.
  2. ^ "1957 – Our First Battalion". MINDEF. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
  3. ^ "1963 – Konfrontasi". MINDEF. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
  4. ^ "1963 – Pioneering Spirit of 2 SIR". MINDEF. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
  5. ^ "Fact Sheet: Recipients of the SAF Medal for Distinguished Act".
  6. ^ a b c d "Leadership Biographies". Ministry of Defence (Singapore). 10 March 2022. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Army Organisation Structure". Ministry of Defence (Singapore). 5 October 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  8. ^ a b c "Singapore Army History". Ministry of Defence (Singapore). 13 March 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  9. ^ a b "The Singapore Army- About Us". MINDEF. Archived from the original on 11 August 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  10. ^ a b Tim Huxley, Defending the Lion City, Allen & Unwin, 2000, p.65.
  11. ^ a b "NS Matters - Home". Archived from the original on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  12. ^ "The 3rd Generation SAF". MINDEF. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007.
  13. ^ "The Singapore Army Is Established". HistorySG. National Library Board Singapore. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Singapore Armed Forces Act". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Singapore Armed Forces Come Into Effect". HistorySG. National Library Board Singapore. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  16. ^ "Singapore Armed Forces Concludes Deployment in Afghanistan". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  17. ^ "Joint Statement Issued by Partners at the Counter-ISIL Coalition Ministerial Meeting". Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs. Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC. Archived from the original on 14 May 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  18. ^ Ganesan, Deepanraj (29 June 2018). "Defence chief heads SAF promotion list". The Straits Times.
  19. ^ "Singapore appoints new defence, army chiefs". Channel News Asia. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  20. ^ "Change in Chief of Defence Force and Chief of Army" (PDF). MINDEF – National Archives of Singapore. 12 March 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 February 2021. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  21. ^ "Change in Chief of Army". 11 February 2022. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  22. ^ "Organisation Structure". Archived from the original on 29 October 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  23. ^ "Organisation Structure". The Singapore Army. Archived from the original on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  24. ^ "gov.sg – Directory". Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  25. ^ "gov.sg – Directory". Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  26. ^ "File Not Found". www.mindef.gov.sg. Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  27. ^ "gov.sg – Directory". Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  28. ^ See also [1], and Huxley, Defending the Lion City, 2000, pp. 123–126
  29. ^ "2 People's Defence Force". The Singapore Army. Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  30. ^ a b "Army". Archived from the original on 8 September 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  31. ^ "Armour". The Singapore Army. Archived from the original on 30 November 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  32. ^ "Artillery". The Singapore Army. Archived from the original on 2 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  33. ^ Koh, Jeremy (July 2016). "SAF to fight terror with rapid response". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 1 July 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
Bibliography
  • Tim, Huxley. Defending the Lion City: the Armed Forces of Singapore. Publisher: Allen & Unwin Pty LTD, 2000. ISBN 1-86508-118-3.
Further reading

External links edit