The first SAF day, then known as Armed Forces Day, was held on 1st July 1969 and witnessed a 1,500-strong contingent of servicemen and women in a grand parade finale and march-past at Jalan Besar Stadium. On a day filled with regimentation and pledges of loyalty, the most solemn moment was the presentation of the SAF Flag for the first time to the 3rd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (SIR). [source: mindef]
For all male Singaporeans who have been through National Service and those who are still doing their National Service, the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) play a significant part in our lives as we have to be on standby for mobilisation, and be called up for reservist training as well, all part of our duty to the nation and the defence of Singapore.
And every year on SAF Day, the best units in the Army, Air Force and Navy are awarded top honors and get to be the Guard-of-Honour contingents at the National Day Parade held on August 9 . The GOH contingents are made up of members from the three arms of the Singapore Armed Forces (the Army, represented by the Best Combat Unit; the Navy; and the Air Force) as well as the Singapore Police Force.
This year's Best Combat Unit once again goes to the 1st Commando Battalion, 7th win in a row for the red berets and 24th time for the elite unit in the competition's 41-year history. The RSAF 140 Squadron was named Best Fighter Squadron and RSS Stalwart Best Ship.
And here's a picture of an SAF Commando in training, taking a leap off the Jump Tower as part of his parachute or airborne training. I remember my airborne training and it brings back fond memories, both the training for the jumps and the actual jumps itself - what a rush and what a privilege to be able to do something not everyone gets to. IMHO tandem jumps just don't cut it because the instructor guides the student through the whole jump from exit through freefall, piloting the canopy, and landing.
Related post: Commandos are BEST Combat Unit again (posted June 30, 2009)