14 useful items you can buy from the SAF eMart - That you can use in your civilian life

On a personal level, there are many valuable things that Singaporean men gain from National Service and are still immensely practical and useful even after they've collected their pink NRIC (when they reached their Operationally Ready Date) or their National Service gift watch (when they completed their reservist obligations).

These include interpersonal skills honed by living with and working with people from all walks of life and lifelong bonds of friendship and a wider network.

In addition to the abovementioned, there is also something immensely useful from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) that Singaporean men can and should make full use of in the civilian life - their eMart credits.

In commemoration of SAF Day (1 July) and a salute to all National Servicemen past and present, here's a guide to the Singapore Armed Forces e-Mart and a list of useful items you can buy there that you can use, even as a civilian.


The e-Mart is run by SAF HQ Supply, augmented by private-sector vendors. It is responsible for providing effective and convenient access to personal logistics items to SAF personnel.

The e-Mart credits system was introduced to give service personnel the flexibility and autonomy to plan for replacement of their own personal equipment, while ensuring overall waste is kept to a minimum.

In addition to e-Mart outlets in various military bases, there are also two e-Marts that are accessible to the public:


Address: 48 Boon Lay Way, Singapore 609961

Opening Hours: 10.30am - 8.30pm daily

Tel: 6862 5600


Address: 2 Telok Blangah Way, Singapore 098803

Opening Hours: 10.30am - 8.30pm daily

Tel: 6272 1269

You can also shop at the eMart online through the NS Portal. Simply select your items, pay using eMart credits, Visa, Mastercard or DBS PayLah!, and arrange for self-collection (from eMarts/eLockers/Mobile Trucks) or home delivery.

The lead time needed for both self-collection and home delivery is at least four working days, and more if additional service is required, such as sewing or embroidery. Home delivery is for local addresses only and is charged at $8 for purchases of less than $100 and $5 for purchases of $100 or above in a single order.


Here's how much personnel from various branches and vocations will receive, according to the NS Portal. You can carry forward any unused credits to the next credits top-up period before they expire.


Active Combat Vocations - 260 Credits every year

Active Non-Combat Vocations - 170 Credits every year

Active Permanent PES E NSF- 120 Credits every year

Active NSmen - 113 Credits every 2 years or 226 Credits every 4 years

Active SAFVC Volunteers - 50 Credits upon completion of each year of service


Active Combat Vocations - 260 Credits every year

Active Non-Combat Vocations - 200 Credits every year

Active Permanent PES E NSF - 120 Credits every year

Active NSmen - 115 Credits every 2 years or 230 Credits every 4 years

Active SAFVC Volunteers - 50 Credits upon completion of each year of service


Group A - 210 Credits every year

Group B - 230 Credits every year

Group C - 270 Credits every year

Group D - 300 Credits every year

Active NSmen - 115 Credits every 2 years or 230 Credits every 4 years

Active SAFVC Volunteers - 50 Credits upon completion of each year of service


Photo: Facebook/oursingaporearmy

#1 Green Towel: The green towel is an absorbent, durable piece of the kit that anyone can continue to use daily. It is also quick drying, so you can have peace of mind when you hang it up to dry after use. It will be ready for you the next time you take a shower.

#2 Black Socks: With these socks purchasable using eMart credits, you probably don't need to buy black socks with your own money for your entire time as a NSman, unless you use them so much you wear holes in them.

#3 Sports Shoes: Reputable brands manufacturers like New Balance and adidas supply the SAF with sports shoes, which you can continue to buy and use as you train for your Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) or just living a healthier lifestyle.

#4 Shorts/Admin Shorts: Designed for use during "admin time", these tops and shorts are equally practical for wearing around the house and for trips to the neighbourhood market. They have an added benefit of instilling you with the pride of being a Singaporean Son every time you wear it.

#5 Sandals: Some fashion aficionados might argue that sandals have no place on a man's feet, but for those for whom sandals are a part of their wardrobe, you can save yourself a pretty penny by getting a pair from the eMart. They might look ugly, but if you're wearing sandals, you probably don't care.

#6 Duffel Bag/Field Pack/Day Pack: These packs are useful for stowing your military equipment neatly at home until you need to use them again, such as during mobilisations or In-Camp Trainings. They can also come in handy when you need to haul a large amount of stuff from Point A to Point B, such as a picnic, a camp, or on hikes.

#7 No. 3 Shoes: These are nice-looking dress shoes that no-one will find out of place in the Central Business District or your next job interview. Just be sure to purchase the next set of items in #8.

#8 Kiwi And Brush: The kiwi and brush is useful for more than just polishing your No. 4 combat boots during a Stand By Universe inspection. They are identical to what you can buy on the shelves outside and used for all kinds of black leather shoes.

#9 Water Bladder: The water bladder supplied by the eMart can be used if your bag is compatible with hydration systems, which fitness enthusiasts who cycle, hike or run frequently would already have and be using.

#10 Insect Repellent: The SAF insect repellent is known to be extremely strong and potent. Why spend good money on weaker commercial products when the SAF-issued item is so much better Just be sure to remember what your sergeant instructs and not get this stuff in your eye or apply too much of it on your skin.

#11 Ear Plugs: In addition to protecting your ears from 'live' firing, the ear plugs available at the eMart can also be useful for those working around heavy machinery or attending events like loud concerts or the Formula One races.

#12 Swimming Trunks: You probably didn't get to swim that much during your NS time, so put these trunks to good use in the civilian world.

#13 Thermometer: Useful to keep around the house, in your first-aid kit, or in your bag, so you can precisely monitor your body temperature when you're unwell.

#14 Torchlight: Camping and travelling aside, these are also handy for blackouts or looking for things in the dark.

This article was first published in Dollars and Sense.

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