The Singapore Armed Forces Volunteer Corps (SAFVC) accepted its first batch of volunteers on Tuesday. The corps has 68 Singaporeans and permanent residents. The SAF plans to deploy these volunteers alongside active servicemen (NSFs) from September onwards.

The SAFVC received 900 applications since it was set up in October last year to allow more Singapore citizens and permanent residents to contribute to Singapore’s defence. The SAFVC then screened these applications to assess the candidates’ suitability.

According to the SAFVC, some applicants were turned away because they were overaged. The age criteria for the SAFVC is 18 to 45 years old.

This cohort will begin training 3 intakes, which will take place on 24th March, 11th April and 15th June.

Of these three cohorts, slightly more than half of the intakes are Singapore citizens (51%), while the other half is made up of Permanent Residents.

1 in 3 is below 30 years-old, and 1 in 10 is above 40 years-old.

Volunteers said that they wanted to serve because they had a desire to repay the society and country, set an example for their children who would serve NS, or an interest in military life.

One of the volunteers who was sworn in to the SAF on Tuesday is Member of Parliament Dr Janil Puthucheary. He became naturalized Singaporean at 35 years-old age.

The first and third intake of volunteers will undergo 2 weeks of basic training in-camp. The second intake would undergo training in a “modular” system, where lessons are provided on weekends instead of weekdays. Trainees in the second cohort usually opt for this due to “work and family commitments”.

During the 1st 2 weeks of basic training, volunteers will be taught to fire the SAR 21 rifle, overcome the standard obstacle course and undergo a 2-day field camp. among various military skills. If required, volunteers would have to undergo 1 week of qualification training and another week of Advanced Training to prepare them for specific roles.

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