Like many young Singaporean males, CPT Jonathan Edward D'cruz had gained a multitude of indelible experiences during his National Service (NS) days. His NS journey had even given him the impetus to take up the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Academic Scholarship (Overseas). On what fuelled his interest in an Army career, CPT Jonathan says, “While serving my NS, I became increasingly aware of our nation's vulnerabilities and the duty of its citizens to defend it. Serving as a platoon commander in the 6th Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment (6 SIR) was also a meaningful experience – I found myself in a position where I could influence and impact the lives of my soldiers for the better.”
Inculcating Strength, Resilience and Candour
Today, CPT Jonathan has returned to 6 SIR, where he is an Officer Commanding (OC) taking charge of over 100 soldiers. He is responsible for their day-to-day training, morale and discipline. Being a mentor and role model to these soldiers is certainly no easy feat, but it is a challenge that CPT Jonathan has embraced wholeheartedly. “It is challenging for an OC to connect with each and every soldier due to their diverse profiles. To overcome this, I start by getting to know each of them on a personal level. I seek to find out their motivations, what makes them tick, and how to communicate in a manner that would be engaging to them. I believe that sincerity and a genuine care for the soldiers will help to break down all barriers of communications,” shares CPT Jonathan.
Besides grooming the mental and physical endurance of his soldiers, CPT Jonathan also strives to foster an open culture within his unit. “Everyone in the unit is encouraged to share their opinions and ideas. This allows learning to take place regardless of where you are in the unit's hierarchy,” adds CPT Jonathan.
CPT Jonathan Edward D'cruz
SAF Academic Scholarship (Overseas)
Officer Commanding, 6th Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment (6 SIR)
Having been with the Army for many years, CPT Jonathan has had his fair share of unique experiences. He tells us, “My most memorable experience in the Army would be my involvement in reviewing the Infantry Training System (ITS) – which entails the training curriculum that an Infantry soldier goes through in his two-year full-time National Service (NS) training. Working with partners from across the Army to navigate existing demographic challenges and operational requirements when designing the revised ITS was challenging and most rewarding.”
His participation in the Jungle Confidence Course (JCC) is also a noteworthy highlight. CPT Jonathan explains, “We were put through nine days of navigation and survival training in the jungles of Brunei; surviving on only two days of combat rations. The exercise taught me that with proper training and determination, seemingly daunting tasks can always be overcome.”
For those inspired to follow in CPT Jonathan's footsteps, he outlines the attributes that interested candidates should possess. “Firstly, you must realise the need for defence and be committed to the purpose. Secondly, you should enjoy working in teams because we never operate alone on missions. On top of that, you should also be a system-oriented person and possess determination and resilience!”