What it should have been:
This article, "A-level failure scores in military", stated that Mr Foo Chang Xiong had failed his A-level examinations when he had passed although his results did not gain him admission to the universities to which he had applied. We are sorry for the error.
Attaining two A-level passes in his exams 12 years ago was one of the best things that could have happened to Foo Chang Xiong.
On Wednesday, the 30-year-old graduated top of his cohort as a military expert 4 (ME4) and said the setback at school led him on the right path to a military career.
"The commanders I met after I enlisted were my role models," said ME4 Foo, who works in military intelligence.
"They inspired me to join the army. I hope I can take on instructional roles to groom future MEs too."
ME4 Foo, who also received the Sword of Honour for being the best performer, was one of 27 soldiers, sailors and airmen to receive their ME4 ranks -equal to that of a lieutenant or captain - at the Safti Military Institute.
The Military Expert Domain Course trains servicemen to specialise in fields like intelligence, nursing, maintenance and engineering. It also teaches leadership skills.
Military experts are a group of specialised corps who are deployed in operational roles.
They are based on an eight- rank structure, with an ME1 being equivalent to a first, second or third sergeant, while an ME8 is the equivalent of a brigadier-general.
Congratulating the graduates, Minister of State for Defence Maliki Osman, who officiated the ceremony, noted the role of senior military experts in "sustaining the edge" of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
Citing examples of how MEs have contributed to joint missions in Afghanistan and Brunei, he said: "Our military experts contribute best when they twin specialist domain knowledge with the SAF core values and its military ethos."
But for ME4 Gerald Jeremy Quek, 38, his new appointment is bittersweet.
The chief marine engineer, who has spent 13 years working on submarines, will now be overseeing craft maintenance and support at base.
"Of course, I prefer being out there at sea, enjoying the sunrise and the breeze," he said. "I will miss it."
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