SINGAPORE – The first female Malay naval officer was among 407 officer cadets from the army, navy and air force commissioned on Saturday after completing a 38-week course.
President Halimah Yacob attended the Officer Cadet Commissioning Parade at Safti Military Institute as the Reviewing Officer, and Senior Minister of State for Defence Zaqy Mohamad was also present.
Naval Officer Lieutenant (LTA) Iffa Daniesha, 24, was inspired to sign on to the nation’s defence force after seeing her father’s dedication while he served as an officer in the Singapore Civil Defence Force.
When asked about being the first female Malay naval officer, she said she feels proud as joining the navy is something she wants to do.
“I am proud to serve the nation, to do my part like many others have done before me, and I hope my achievement can encourage others to bravely pursue their dreams,” she added.
LTA Iffa was among 305 officer cadets from the Singapore Army, 58 from the Republic of Singapore Navy and 44 from the Republic of Singapore Air Force who graduated from their courses.
The Ministry of Defence said on Saturday the newly commissioned officers will go on to assume command, instructional or staff appointments.
Madam Halimah emphasised the critical role that national service plays in Singapore’s defence and said it is a critical enabler for defence and deterrence. She noted that the country is faced with a global geopolitical landscape filled with tension.
She said relations between the United States and China have deteriorated across areas of trade, ideology and politics, and that the Ukrainian war has ignited hostilities and soured relations.
“These developments underscore the importance of respecting the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity – principles that are fundamental to Singapore’s ability to exist as a small country. A strong SAF is thus critical to ensure that we can protect Singapore’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” she added.
“Many of you are serving your NS, and are joining this representation of our country’s collective will and commitment to stand independently as a nation. As you bear the mantle of responsibility as young officers, use this milestone as a timely opportunity to reflect on our history, the challenges ahead, and how we will continue to forge on.”