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04 Jul 2020  (637 Views) 
Movement for change

NS can be reduced to 6 months
The Reform Party wants National Service to be reduced to 6 months. I agree with their policy.

Some people said that it is not possible to train a NS men within 6 months. They pointed out that a longer training time is needed for the various vocational skills that are needed to run an army.

These people are looking at this issue from a narrow perspective - namely, the approach that was adopted five decades ago, and continued until today. 

They need to see this issue from a different perspective. Many countries are able to train their citizens in a shorter time, but they adopt a different approach. 

A successful example is Switzerland, which is able to train their citizens in less than 6 months. Their approach has served them well over the decades.

Under our approach, the NS men are expected to be operationally ready, just like full time soldiers.

I find this approach to be wasteful. We are spending billions of dollars to train NS reservists. Being part-time, they cannot acquire the competence that is expected of full time professionals.

I prefer a different approach.

I prefer to have a smaller but highly competent full time professional army. They are the people who can be relied on to fly the fighter planes, man the artillery guns and tanks and run the military operations.

The professional army will be backed by a large force of NS reservists. These reservists have received 6 months of full time training on combat skills. During times of hostility, the reservists can be called back for retraining.

As they already have the basic skills, the retraining can be completed within a short time. As there is a real emergency, they will have the motivation to do their best for the country.

At that time, we will need a large force of soldiers in the front lines and to protect the homeland. This is the role of the NS reservist army. 

The NS reservist army is NOT to be the core of the highly sophisticated military force. That should be the role of the professional soldiers.

We need a new strategy for our National Service. 

Tan Kin Lian

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