SAF's timely decision to recruit more women

The Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) decision to recruit more women is timely given our declining birth rates and ageing population ("SAF to recruit more women"; July 21).

The SAF is facing a shortage of male enlistees. To make up for the shortfall, it has, in recent years, been incorporating more state-of-the-art weapons.

But there is a limit to how lean a fighting force can become.

The fall in the number of male enlistees will not be reversed any time soon. Therefore, Singapore needs to tap women to help make up for the shortfall in military manpower.

Women should be encouraged to pursue military careers. Apart from combat roles, they can serve in the technical and service vocations, particularly as logistics and medical specialists.

This will relieve more male regular soldiers and servicemen from non-combat vocations so that they can perform combat roles.

The decision to recruit more women is long overdue. However, it is not too late to address the problem of manpower shortage before it exacerbates.

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