Penalised for NS award because of insufficient high-key ICT sessions

SINGAPORE - I refer to Mr Leslie Teo Chin Hin's letter ("Not called for in-camp training, so no NS award"; last Wednesday).

I completed my operationally ready national service (ORNS) training cycle in 2011, upon turning 40 years old.

When I wrote to the Ministry of Defence to inquire about my National Service Recognition Award for completing my training cycle, I was told I was not eligible. I was required to have completed seven high-key in-camp training (ICT) sessions and be active for 10 ORNS years. Their records showed that I had 12 ORNS years but six high-key ICT sessions.

During those 12 years, I was called up for a total of 105 days of training, including 27 low-key ICTs. Two of these lasted five to six days, one to two days short of a high-key ICT.

My appeal to Mindef to reconsider my case was rejected. It was through no fault of mine that I was called up for my first high-key ICT only when I was 29, nor that my unit had a high proportion of low-key training. The award is to recognise the efforts and contributions of NSmen to the nation.

I hope Mindef will reconsider the eligibility of NSmen who are in a position similar to mine.

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