31 Oct 2011 - Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen presented certificates to 151 graduands at the Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College (GKS CSC) Combined 42nd Command and Staff Course (CSC) and 12th National Service Command and Staff Course (NSCSC) Graduation Ceremony held this evening at the Istana.
The graduands comprised 107 regular officers and 28 National Service (NS) officers from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), one officer from the Singapore Police Force and 15 international officers from 12 countries - Australia, Brunei, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, the United States and Vietnam. This was the inaugural batch of graduands from the GKS CSC, renamed in February 2011 in honour of Singapore's first Minister for Defence, the late Dr Goh Keng Swee.
Speaking to the graduands, Dr Ng highlighted the crucial role and challenges that the officers would face in the interconnected and multi-faceted environment. He also reiterated the GKS CSC's aim of producing senior SAF officers capable of understanding the impact of political, social and economic events on military operations. He said that the officers "will require more skill sets to lead in a wider spectrum of missions and participate effectively in multinational cooperation and exercises. Our officers will need to be more sensitive politically and be media savvy. They must possess cultural adeptness and the ability to build trust and confidence with their counterparts from other armed forces, national security and civil agencies, as well as non-government organisations." During the ceremony, Dr Ng also announced that as part of the SAF's Continuing Education initiative, the SAF has launched a 7-month full-time SAF-NTU Masters programme for officers who graduated from CSC.
Dr Ng presented awards to four top graduands: Major Chew Ann Boon, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) He Ruimin and LTC Gaurav Keerthi, who won the Top Army, Navy and Air Force Graduate Awards respectively in the 42nd CSC, as well as to Captain (NS) Er Boon Hwee Kenneth, who topped the 12th NSCSC. The 41-week CSC and 39-week NSCSC, which prepare officers for senior command and staff appointments in the SAF, are the highest level of formal military education offered in Singapore for regular and NS officers respectively.