NSmen Share: A Salute To My ‘Sir’

NSmen on the ones who made a difference for them in the army.

By Mandy Lim Beitler        25 August 2021

Going through tough times during National Service is inevitable, but if you’re lucky, an officer comes along who makes all the blood, sweat and tears seem worthwhile. These NSmen share their appreciation for the officers who truly make a difference.


“I really wanted to push myself in BMT and make it to Officer Cadet School (OCS). While I had no problems with other physical aspects of training and tests, there was one obstacle – the swing trainer – in the Standard Obstacle Course (SOC) that I was just never able to complete. It was made known to me that I needed to do well in SOC to be considered for OCS.

When it came time for the final test, my Platoon Sergeant, 3SG Chua, who knew of my ambition, made it a point to cheer me on when I was at the swing trainer. I managed to finally complete it for the first time, and he continued to run beside me to push me for a good finishing time.

I was one of only six in my whole company to make it to OCS.” – Kris Tan, CPT (NS), 203 SQN

“My ‘Encik’, ME3 Sasi, has never been someone that makes huge gestures to show that he cares for me and my peers. Instead, he shows it through little everyday actions that usually go unnoticed, like telling us to keep the change when we help him buy his favourite kopi-o kosong. He would even occasionally buy us some snacks using that money.

During seminars, he would sometimes jam with us with 80s music and always thank us after too. And even complimented our haircuts when he thought we looked nice! For me, it’s these small things that he did that are the most memorable.” – Tey Liang Jin, CPL, HQ TPT

Tan Tze Yang (first from left)

“LTC (RET) Foo Kok Boon, Patrick was my Commanding Officer during my OC Tour in CDS. Coming from different services did not stop him from treating me as a part of the Navy Family. In fact, he was the most fatherly and nurturing CO I have ever had the honour to serve under.

The most memorable moment was when LTC Patrick, of his own accord, applied to defer my CTC/AIOC in 2015 due to the birth of my son. In doing so, he gained my utmost trust and respect because he demonstrated that the welfare of my family was important to him.” – Tan Tze Yang, CPT (NS), OC Charlie Coy, 737 GDS


There are only two types of people in Singapore: Those who enjoyed National Service (NS), and those who didn’t – but all will agree it was a memorable time. In this series, we speak with several NSmen who share their most memorable experiences during National Service.

Share your favourite NS memories with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg