The Singapore Army is synonymous with the ideals of camaraderie and strength in unity, where its impact as a whole is far greater than the sum of its individual parts. The key to this lies beyond the machines and technologies employed by the Army. Rather, the strength of The Singapore Army lies in its people – their calibre, conviction and commitment to the defence of Singapore. This is also the firmly held belief that CPT Geeva, recipient of The SAF Scholarship, lives by and champions relentlessly.
Resolved to pay it forward
Geeva’s resolve to contribute to the nation was awakened when he joined the Army and experienced first-hand its particular brand of leadership and purpose.
“I had the distinct privilege of working with commanders who effected a positive change in the lives of many Singaporeans, including myself. These role models were influential and inspiring,” he explains passionately.
Having benefitted tremendously from such strong mentorship and grooming, he aims to play his part to provide The Singapore Army with the highest quality of leadership, and this purpose motivated him throughout his years of study.
Geeva shares how his scholarship experience was about more than academics. Through his studies in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, US, and subsequent Master of Public Policy programme at Oxford University, UK, Geeva gained intimate knowledge of the socio-political realities faced by different societies, as well as a broader understanding of the complexities of policy-making.
Captain (CPT) Geeva S/O Gopal Krishnan
Officer Commanding, 3rd Company, 48th Battalion Singapore Armoured Regiment (48 SAR)
Recipient of The SAF Scholarship
Such knowledge reinforced his belief in the unique role of the SAF in defending the nation and contributing towards nation-building, which he puts into practice daily as a leader.
“In my positions of command, I have always been cognisant of the immense responsibility that comes with the job. It is critical to engage the hearts and minds of every soldier, to never neglect training safety, and to always seek to build a strong and cohesive unit – one where every soldier feels a strong sense of belonging and purpose in his service. It is not only about training competent and committed soldiers for the Army. These soldiers will go on to become working adults who will collectively shape the future of our nation.”
Entrusted to lead, in more ways than one
Geeva further elaborates that service as a leader calls for dedication at every level. In command positions, he shares that leading men and women to new heights through the course of their service is an undertaking that calls for tremendous amounts of emotional intelligence, resilience, and a genuine interest in peoples’ well-being. In staff positions, the perspective may shift, but the principles remain the same. His policy appointments at G6-Army (Army Training Department) saw Geeva developing policies to support the Army Training System. Such work may sound abstract, yet they are key in shaping transformation in the Army – vital to how soldiers gain the right skillset and mindset necessary for defence.
Rising to every challenge, firmly grounded in purpose
“The Army is perhaps the only organisation that offers the opportunity to take on the role of teacher, mentor, warfighter and policy maker,” says Geeva.
“It’s never just a job. I was intellectually stretched in my policy role, and in command, being able to inspire and lead a remarkable family of comrades-in-arms is a privilege I would not trade for anything.”
These priceless opportunities are what truly count to Geeva.
“A keen sense of purpose will serve as a guiding light in the rigorous yet fulfilling career that awaits each soldier and leader here,” he points out.
“Service to nation and its people as a leader is never about pride or glory. It is about passion, people, and professionalism. In the process, you will secure our nation’s way of life, forge lifelong bonds, and emerge a better person than before.”