President Halimah Yacob stressed the importance of National Servicemen (NS) in the country while visiting recruits undergoing training at the Basic Military Training Centre (BMTC) on Tuesday, January 23.
She urged the citizens of Singapore to keep supporting the NS as they are the "bedrock of our national defence." This was her first visit to the BMTC, where she spent about 30 minutes touring the gallery.
The Republic's Head of State was welcomed by 24 guards at the Pulau Tekong ferry terminal as there was a shower at the BMTC Landmark Square.
She was accompanied by Senior Minister of State for Defence Mohamad Maliki Osman, Chief of Army Major-General Malvyn Ong, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Perry Lim and other Singapore Army officials.
Then, Yacob was briefed by the Commander of the BMTC, Colonel Patrick Ong, about the kind of training offered to the centre's recruits. Observing the soldiers training in close combat and technical handling of the rifle SAR 21, she expressed pride that new generations keep themselves updated on more efficient fighting techniques.
"We have new generations of recruits coming in, and they learn differently not like past generations, so there must be changes to keep up with new needs and evolving styles of learning," President Halimah said, as reported by Today Online.
The President also visited the parade square after the recruits' training shed. There, she asked them about their experiences in the BMTC and also about their most memorable thing after joining National Service.
Yacob also spoke to the media after her visit ended, where she emphasized on continued support of the defence force as they help in keeping the country and residents safe.
"We depend on a strong defence for Singapore's continued survival, success and security... therefore we must constantly show our servicemen encouragement and support, because they are protecting our interest and they are responsible for our defence," she said.
Adding a personal touch to the interaction, Yacob shared that her two sons have also served NS, explaining how it helped shape their growth and personality development.