Major (MAJ) Chua Sheng Hao
The SAF Scholarship
Staff Officer, RSN Strategy Office
Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering – Columbia University
The desire to pursue a profession that enables him to give back to society and create a positive impact on people’s lives led Major (MAJ) Chua Sheng Hao to take on a career in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). He says, “through my experience in National Cadet Corps (NCC) in secondary school and junior college, as well as my Basic Military Training and Midshipmen Wing experience in Officer Cadet School, I saw how the spirit of service and leadership was embodied in the Navy. As such, I was motivated to pursue the SAF Scholarship.”
Armed with the scholarship, he went on to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London, followed by his Masters in Management Science and Engineering at Columbia University.
Since his return from studies, MAJ Chua has taken on three appointments on board the Formidable-class frigates – Assistant Operations Officer of RSS Steadfast, and Operations Officer of RSS Supreme and RSS Steadfast. As the Operations Officer, he is in charge of planning and executing the tactical operations on board the ship – making sure that the different departments within the ship work together like clockwork.
He shares, “My background in engineering enables me to apply concepts that contribute towards the readiness of ships systems, seamanship, and other areas. More importantly, my time in university provided rigorous training in systems thinking and logical problem solving, which are critical skills I use on a day-to-day basis.”
MAJ Chua’s time with the frigates has also deepened his understanding of different cultures. He had the opportunity to interact with personnel from around the world during overseas exercises and deployments. “My journey in the RSN has indeed lived up to the phrase, ‘Join the Navy, see the world’. I have participated in multiple overseas exercises where I’ve met people from all walks of life,” he shares. Some of the places he has since visited included Danang, Guam, Hawaii, Okinawa, Port Blair, Pulau Tioman, Shanghai, Surabaya, Visakhapatnam, and Yokosuka. He has since moved on to RSN Strategy Office, where he is responsible for the transformation of RSN to be future-ready.
Making a Difference
Beyond shipboard responsibilities, a career in the Navy also presents opportunities for MAJ Chua to make a difference to the lives of people – true to his life’s purpose that sparked his interest to join the Navy. “Previously, I participated in projects that dealt with the review of the manpower management system of our NSFs and NSmen, which addressed many of their concerns that we obtained through feedback sessions. I am also actively involved in several innovation projects, such as bringing Beeline and Grabshuttle to our Naval Bases, and in areas such as human resource and safety.
MAJ Chua says, “Choosing a career comes down to what drives you. The Navy is a way of life and a family. If you want to give back to the nation and be part of a cause larger than yourself, you should consider joining the Navy.”
He concludes, “While the responsibilities as a Naval Officer can be onerous, surpassing the challenges will help you become a better person.”