SAF vs SPF vs SCDF: The differences serving NS in these organizations

So, you are enlisting, and you’ve been selected for one of the three organizations you can serve your 2-years NS liability in, the SAF, the SPF or the SCDF. What are the differences between serving NS in these organizations, and which organization’s NSF has it better?

Normal activities
The SAF consist of the army, air force and navy, and is the military arm of Singapore. It has been said that the SAF is geared towards training and acting as a deterrence to other countries, so you’d spend most of your days training outfield or participating in mission exercises for the entirety of your NS in camps.

The SPF and SCDF, however, are said to be equipped to deal with situations that have a higher chance of taking place in everyday Singaporean lives. So, for example, the police will deal with crimes and public disturbances, patrolling of key installations and also, some will be posted to patrol the streets and they are faced with real cases, such as the TransCom officer SC Sgt Jeremiah Toh who helped to foil a kidnapping scam in Raffles MRT Station.

The SCDF is the firefighting and rescue service of Singapore and you’ll be equipped with life-saving skills and the ability to make decisions in emergency situations, such as the NSF officer in SCDF who was in charge of a team during the Marina Bay Suites fire.

SPF NSF doesn’t have to go for outfield training, but instead, they are expected to know the criminal laws of Singapore and learn the awesome art of filling up paperwork like nobody’s business.

SCDF NSF is taught life-saving skills and firefighting skills in order to prepare them for any rescue situations, and you’d be mind-boggled by the amount of fires and other situations that occur in Singapore on a daily basis.

I knew I was, when my friend from SCDF told me about the number of calls they get per day. SAF NSF is taught to operate in a unit, carrying out missions to attack designated points and achieve mission objectives as directed by the commanding officers and are masters at staying outfield without showering for days on end.

Daily life after training
SAF personnel who are sent to combat units are usually required to stay in-camp from Mondays to Fridays, and they are only able to book out for the weekends, provided they’ve not signed any extra or kena Stoppage of Leave.

SPF and SCDF personnel, on the other hand, works in shift and are able to return home after their duty ends. Incidentally, this is also the part where SAF NSFs envied their SCDF and SPF counterparts.

Which is better?
Unfortunately, we aren’t able to give a conclusive answer to you. It actually depends entirely on yourself, and anyway the grass always appears greener on the other side. I was an SAF kid and I would kill for the chance to get into SPF after BMT, but I’ve seen people in SPF who would do just about anything to get out.

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