When 41 year old Goh Mei Lan made a mid-career switch, she chose the most uncanny of careers to join. She decided to sign on with the army to become a Miitary Expert (ME) 4 Army Engineer.
When asked what made her decide to join the army, she said that the lack of growth opportunities in her previous sales position led her to flip through the papers, where she chanced upon a Singapore Armed Forces recruitment advertisement for women.
She went to the fair without her son and husband’s knowledge, and decided to sign on there and then.
“I didn’t even tell my husband and son about it; I just sneaked off when my son was having lessons, and headed to Suntec to have a look. I wanted to find out if they had anything for a woman who was in her late 30s,” says Goh.
With a degree in Mechanical Engineering, she was recommended to sign on in the Military Domain Expert Scheme as an Army Engineer. ME schemed personnel can enjoy a career up to age 60.
With her husband’s blessings, she enlisted into BMT on 6th February. But the initially training was gruelling for the 41 year-old, who had to train with girls nearly half her age.
“The physical training and culture was not something I expected, so it was a huge struggle. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Can I really do it?” Goh related.
By the end of her training, Goh achieved Gold in all three rounds of her Individual Physical Proficiency Test. She also earned the respect of her peers and superiors and will be moving onto her next challenge: Officer Cadet School.