SAF Day: We take a look back on some GE2020 candidates' time in the military

It's the first of July, and for our sunny island, it means it's SAF Day.

In light of the current general election, what better way to pay tribute to the Singapore Armed Forces than to check out some of this year's candidates who were once soldiers.

PAP - Tan Chuan-Jin

To all our men and women who stand guard and watch over us day and night, 24/7, HORMAT! Happy SAF Day 2020! The...

Posted by Tan Chuan-Jin on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Prior to joining politics, Tan had been in the service for over 20 years, ultimately rising to the rank of Brigadier-General.

He was involved in the SAF's largest military operation as the humanitarian assistance task force commander — helping those in Meulaboh, Indonesia, devastated by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami recover by leading the humanitarian efforts.

WP - Pritam Singh

PHOTO: Mediacorp

Singh joined the army in 1994. During his time in the SAF, he rose to the rank of Major, and is actually a combat engineer!

I - Cheang Peng Wah

PHOTO: The Straits Times

Surprise, surprise! This election's sole independent candidate formerly served in the SAF too.

Though he didn't reveal when, he used to work as a chief logistics engineer over at Sembawang Air Base. He left the force in 1996 to work in the Ministry of Defence, under the Defence Science and Technology Agency.

PAP - Alvin Tan

Happy Singapore Armed Forces Day to all our service men and women! Grateful for my time in the SAF and for the friendships forged over the years 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼 #HormatSAF! #SAFDay! 🇸🇬🇸🇬🇸🇬

Posted by Alvin Tan 陈圣辉 on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

He's more well known for his stint in Facebook and LinkedIn, but Tan also spent a fair share of his time in the SAF as a counter-terrorism analyst

PSP - Kala Manickam

In OCS got my 2nd White Rank as a cadet during the 2nd term of training.

Posted by Kala Manickam on Saturday, May 9, 2020

Some of this year's female candidates are former servicewomen too. Manickam was in the SAF's pioneer batch of female commissioned officers before she became a platoon commander of the Women Wing in Officer Cadet School.

PAP - Louis Ng

[ The good old days ] The good young days actually 👶🏻 In a strange way, I do miss jumping out of an aeroplane 😱 It is a...

Posted by Louis Ng Kok Kwang on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Ng used to be a commando. According to his SAF Day dedication post, he sometimes still reminisces about jumping out of a plane during training exercises.

WP - Kenneth Foo

PHOTO: Mediacorp

Foo is still serving in the army as the Head of Fire Support Coordinating Cell in the 24th Singapore Infantry Brigade.

PAP - Gan Siow Huang

Come 1 Jul, Colonel Gan Siow Huang will be the first ever female one-star general in the SAF. She received her...

Posted by Ministry of Defence, Singapore (MINDEF) on Friday, June 26, 2015

This high-flyer became the first-ever female general in 2015, and was also the highest-ranking woman as the Chief of Staff-Air Staff prior to her resignation. She was previously Commander of the Air Power Generation Command, and was one of the first women to receive the SAF Merit Scholarship.

PSP - Ang Yong Guan

PHOTO: Progress Singapore Party 

Apart from being a retired army colonel, he used to be the head of the Psychological Medicine Branch (now known as the Psychological Care Centre) at the Military Medicine Institute during his 23 years with the SAF from 1986 to 2003.

PAP - Ng Chee Meng

My journey in the SAF came to an end on 18 August. I have chased my rainbow with my wife by my side. I give thanks for...

Posted by Ng Chee Meng 黄志明 on Saturday, August 22, 2015

Finally, the highest-ranking soldier on this list. Ng joined the SAF back in 1986 as a fighter pilot. He went on to hold many positions, finishing as Chief of Defence Force (CDF), becoming the second-ever air force general to be appointed CDF.

rainercheung@asiaone.com