Our Army has grown from strength to strength. As potential threats to the security and sovereignty of our nation evolve, Our Army needs adaptive and quick-thinking leaders who can lead their soldiers effectively. Captain (CPT) Vincent Goh is one of many dedicated officers blazing this trail. An SAF Merit Scholarship recipient, he currently leads a unit always ready for any emergency.
A Zeal for Leadership
As a Company Commander in the Army Deployment Force (ADF), CPT Goh is entrusted to lead his unit in situations when instant action is crucial. That’s because the ADF’s main role is to provide rapid response to terrorism and civil emergencies, as well as support for Peace Support Operations (PSO) and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. Should a situation call for it, they need to be ready within minutes!
Captain Vincent Goh
• Recipient of the SAF Merit Scholarship (Combat)
• Officer Commanding, Army Deployment Force
CPT Goh is quick to point out that leadership in Our Army is about much more than ensuring operational readiness. It is about developing our people to their fullest as well. That’s what he finds especially rewarding.
“I seek to inspire those under me, and let them become better versions of themselves,” says CPT Goh, who has helped his soldiers by taking a keen interest in their personal and professional development, as well as ensuring due recognition for those who are deserving.
This has naturally resulted in a culture of camaraderie amongst everyone in the unit. For example, he shares how he and his unit are close enough to confide in each other about overcoming personal challenges, be it moving past the grief of a loved one’s passing, or finally managing to get a flat for a parent.
“The most fulfilling part as a commander doesn’t come from personal achievements or accolades. The biggest satisfaction comes from seeing those under my charge become better as soldiers, and happier as people,” says this dedicated leader.
“I believe in investing time to provide constructive feedback, providing subordinates opportunities to try and fail, and building up their confidence.”
He would know. After all, CPT Goh has himself benefitted from this leadership mindset.
Growth Through Exposure
CPT Goh’s journey as an SAF Merit Scholar began when his commander in Officer Cadet School saw his potential and encouraged him to consider a career with Our Army. “He told me that I was eligible for a scholarship, and encouraged me to go for it. I heard many stories about serving Our Army and the many exciting opportunities offered by the military profession. Hence, I took up the chance immediately,” he recalls.
The opportunity to test and develop himself abroad also appealed greatly to CPT Goh. He furthered his studies at Stanford University, United States, where he obtained his Master’s degree in Management Science and Engineering. CPT Goh also shares that one of the greatest advantages of this opportunity is to be able to come back with a broadened perspective and a career that provides daily satisfaction.
“Studying abroad definitely taught me how to collaborate with people of different cultures, working styles, and thought processes. The flexible curriculum also provided me with small pockets of time for reflection, to pause amidst the grind of studying and allowing me to know myself better. Being away from family also made me cherish them much more.”
Additionally, the SAF Merit Scholarship allowed him to learn quickly to work with people of different backgrounds. “The scholarship gave me a career that constantly required me to think on my feet,” he says. “I developed a more adaptable and creative mindset that would help me cope with the more uncertain and complex future environment.”
Making a Difference
Ready in peace and decisive in war, Our Army continues to be a trusted national institution for all Singaporeans. A fulfilling career awaits those who find purpose in leading by example and have the passion to serve. CPT Goh has this advice to give. “While an Army career can be challenging, you will get immense satisfaction from seeing your soldiers improve. You know you have made a difference when you get their gratitude and appreciation. If you want to serve something bigger than yourself, Our Army is the right choice.”