SAF regulars, NSFs no longer need to surrender civilian ICs when enlisting

·2-min read
Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) National Servicemen, soldiers (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)
Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) National Servicemen, soldiers (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — Full-time national servicemen (NSF) and regulars will no longer need to surrender their civilian identity cards (ICs) when enlisting.

The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in a media release on Monday (9 May) that the requirement for Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) NSFs and regulars to surrender their ICs for safekeeping for the duration of their service will cease from 15 May.

Military ICs will still be issued to all SAF soldiers, being the primary document to identify themselves as SAF service personnel, said MINDEF.

Since the introduction of national service in Singapore in 1967, NSFs and regulars were required to exchange their civilian ICs for SAF military ICs.

"As a new and independent nation without strong military traditions, SAF soldiers carried the military IC instead of a civilian one to remind them of their roles and responsibilities to defend Singapore," the ministry said in its media release.

"Over the past 55 years, more than one million Singaporean males have served their NS dutifully. Singaporeans have accepted NS as a necessary commitment by enlistees to build a strong national defence through the SAF.

"The Ministry of Defence has therefore decided that NSFs and Regulars no longer need to surrender their NRICs when enlisting."

The ICs of serving NSFs and regulars will be returned in phases through their unit manpower officers, to be completed by November this year.

MINDEF said that the Ministry of Home Affairs will also cease the requirement for Home Team NSFs to surrender their ICs for safekeeping. This will start from its May batch of enlistees.

The ICs of the Home Team NSFs will also be returned in phases, and Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Civil Defence Force will continue to issue the NS Identity Card to their NSFs.

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