Since 1967, National Service (NS) has become an accepted rite of passage for all male citizens and Permanent Residents of Singapore. In SCDF, besides training to protect and save lives and property, NS has also incorporated its focus on sustainability and giving back to the community.
In commemoration of 55 years of National Service (NS55), Rescue995 has put together a collage of the NS55 Ground-up Initiatives (GUI) on sustainability that we have accomplished for the year.
Blood Donation Drive
On 26 May and 12 August 2022, SCDF 1st Division together with the Health Science Authority (HSA), held two blood donation drives where the division’s officers, including Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) and Operational Ready National Servicemen (ORNSmen), donated their blood to save lives.
A Get-Together for NS Personnel
The NS55 Get-Together for NS Personnel was held on 22 July 2022 to show appreciation to the contributions of past and present SCDF National Servicemen. About 350 past and present SCDF National Servicemen gathered in this reunion to commemorate 55 years of National Service. Guest-of-honour, Minister of State (MOS), Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development, Ms Sun Xueling graced the event and in her opening address, she reiterated the importance of National Service and acknowledged how NSFs contributed significantly towards the success of SCDF.
Group photo of token recipients with MOS Sun Xueling
In addition, token of appreciation was presented to 49 ORNSmen who have served more than 10 years as appointment holders. Dinner was served alongside with live band performance by SCDF’s Music and Performing Arts Club as well as the screening of the NS55 and SCDF Workplan video.
[left photo] NSmen having fun at one of the pre-event activities (giant inflatable dart game); [right photo] Guest-of-honour MOS Sun Xueling giving her speech at the event
Preserving Our Nature and Going Green
To commemorate NS55, the Civil Defence Academy (CDA) collaborated with National Parks (NParks) for a coastal clean-up at Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve on 1 September 2022. Thirty CDA staff including NSFs participated in this activity. This collaboration with NParks provided CDA officers some insights into NPark’s green initiatives and enabled NParks to spread awareness about the environmental impact of plastic wastes such as straws and bottles. A fruitful learning experience for all indeed.
A symbolic planting of the tree sapling was carried out at the end of the activity. This gesture is part of NPark’s OneMillionTrees movement whereby it is a nationwide effort to plant 1 million trees across Singapore in the next 10 years. This is one meaningful contribution from SCDF in our effort to preserve our nature and go green.
Group photo of CDA officers with NParks staff
[left photo] Assistant Commissioner (AC) Alan Chow (left) and Director Conservation NParks, Ms Yang Shufen (right) carried out the symbolic planting of a tree sapling; [right photo] CDA officers learning about the environmental impact of plastic wastes from NParks
CDA officers including NSFs doing a coastal clean-up of the mangrove swamp
AC Alan Chow, Director CDA, presented Ms Yang Shufen, Director Conservation NParks, a token of appreciation at the end of the event
The East-West Clean-Up Initiatives
On 17 September 2022, the Special Response Unit (SRU) together with SCDF 2nd and 4th Division personnel cleaned the coastline at Changi Beach and the park at Jurong Lake Gardens in the efforts to keep Singapore’s environment clean. This GUI also involves NSFs and ORNSmen.
Everyone had fun cleaning up the beach and park and they learn to appreciate the outcome of a clean and sustainable environment. This activity also helped foster closer bond among the NSFs and ORNSmens. Our personnel have expressed overwhelming enthusiasm to participate in more of such activities in the near future.
Personnel from SCDF 2nd Division cleaning up the beach at Changi Beach
Personnel from SCDF 4th Division cleaning up the park at Jurong Lake Gardens.
Protecting Our Marine Habitats
On 23 September 2022, 30 personnel comprising NSFs and ORNSmen from SCDF Marine Division worked to clean up a portion of East Coast Park as part of the NS55 GUI themed “Protecting Our Marine Habitats”. The NSFs and ORNSmen had a productive and fulfilling time cleaning up the beach, and in the process, forged closer bonds amongst themselves.
Group photos of NSFs and ORNSmen from SCDF Marine Division at East Coast Park
NSFs and ORNSmen from SCDF Marine Division cleaning up the beach at East Coast Park
Officers having lunch after cleaning up the beach
Meals on Wheels
On 25 October 2022, the Civil Resources Unit (CRU) under SCDF’s Logistics Department, partnered the Thye Hua Kwan Senior Care Centre @ Kaki Bukit (THKSCC) to show care for the less fortunate senior citizens. The theme of the charity event was called “When Lifesaving Meets Caregiving”.
The ORNSmen from CRU HQ, Bravo Company, served as SCDF’s charity ambassadors and passionately contributed their time and efforts during this event.
Other community partners such as The Food Bank SG and FILOS Community Services Ltd donated food and daily necessities which were packed into care packs and distributed by the ORNSmen to 55 households resided by THKSCC senior citizens as well as to senior citizens who were present at the charity event.
Group photo of NSFs and ORNSmen from the CRU with staff of THKSCC at the event
A big shout-out to all our community partners for helping SCDF make some of the above events a successful one. This year’s focus on environmental sustainability will certainly go a long way to help protect our ecosystems and conserve our natural resources, which in turn, support health and wellbeing of everyone.
Finally, Rescue995 extends our appreciation and gratitude to all NSFs and ORNSmen for their service to the nation. Their sacrifice and contribution, no matter how big or small, has an impact to the community and the lives they sworn to protect, save and defend.