SINGAPORE - An army officer has been praised on the Singapore Army Facebook page for standing up for a full-time national serviceman (NSF) who was being scolded in an MRT train.
The Singapore Army also revealed that the army officer who helped to calmly mediate the situation between a NSF and a member of the public was Lieutenant (LTA) Dionel Arun, 25, a platoon commander in the Singapore Guards' 3rd Battalion.
The story of LTA Dionel's kind act first came to light when an anonymous NSF's account of his experience on the train was posted on the SAF Confessions Facebook page.
The NSF said that he was on his way home from guard duty one morning when he encountered a woman who scolded him for spilling some water in the train. "It was a long hot day and I was still in my uniform. I was thirsty so I took out my bottle and drank some water," he explained.
However, the MRT jerked suddenly and the NSF spilled some water in front of her.
"She got angry and started shouting : 'Such a stupid and useless soldier! No brain is it?' Everyone was looking and I was very embarrassed," he said.
It was then that LTA Dionel came over with some tissue paper and started to help clean up the water on the floor.
The woman was becoming increasingly rude when LTA Dionel told her to calm down spoke up for the humiliated NSF. He reportedly told the woman: "A soldier is also a human. They work hard for us day and night. The least we can do is support them."
After she became silent, LTA Dionel told the NSF to apologise before pulling him to one side to hear his side of the story.
"He said he understood my situation and praised me for being calm and not arguing back with the woman," the NSF said. "Being an NSF I've never thought so highly of the officers or commanders in the SAF. I mean why should I? They never seem to stand up for us or be genuine. But somehow when this officer stood up for me, it got me thinking. I felt comforted that I'm not alone," he added.
He ended off the post expressing his gratitude to the man who helped him. LTA Dionel was not named in the post.
In a Facebook post on Friday, the Singapore Army said that LTA Dionel was returning home when he witnessed the NSF being told off. When contacted by the Singapore Army, LTA Dionel reportedly said: "As a commander, I believe we are responsible for our soldiers whether in or out of camp, in or out of uniform and regardless of the unit. I feel that we need to appreciate our soldiers, who dedicate two years of their time serving the country. They deserve to be respected."
The Singapore Army praised him for being a leading example and caring for Singapore's soldiers.