Military Expert 4 (ME4) Tan Xun Yong
Senior Marine Engineer, RSS Endurance (Endurance-class Landing Ship Tank)
Recipient of the SAF Engineering Scholarship
Growing up, ME4 Tan has always been grateful for Singapore’s peace and stability. In particular, reading and hearing about conflicts and unrest in other parts of the world constantly remind him that the stability that Singapore enjoys should never be taken for granted. “Therefore, it was a natural choice to join the military, an institution that defends our peace and security,” he shares.
His love for science and interest in military technology propelled him to join as an engineer with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). He is a firm believer in using technology “to allow our citizen-based military force to train effectively, operate efficiently and respond quickly to new threats.” He was awarded the SAF Engineering Scholarship, and chose to join the RSN because he was intrigued by the opportunity to work on warships, which are modern engineering marvels in his opinion.
Since joining the RSN in 2009, he has undertaken diverse roles which have enriched his experiences and honed his skills as an engineer. He elaborates, “I have been rotated through a range of appointments that dealt with engineering, logistics policies and strategic planning. Currently, I am a Senior Marine Engineer on board RSS Endurance, an Endurance-class Landing Ship Tank, ensuring real-time ship system readiness. The variety of postings, in addition to the constant learning opportunities, is a testament to the exciting career one can experience in the RSN.”
The SAF has also groomed and trained him to become a better leader and engineer to push new frontiers. “The military prepares you thoroughly, training you not only in hardware, but also in soft skills such as leadership and ethics. In the process, I have grown to appreciate the wide ecosystem that is needed to support a credible and effective military. I have gained new perspectives and understand the need to work closely with defence technology partners and military engineers to create effective solutions to military challenges,” he details.
Despite the growing importance of military technology, the military depends above all on people. Reflecting on his current role on board RSS Endurance, he shares, “it is a privilege to serve on board an operational platform that is always ready to respond, whether it is for humanitarian assistance or security operations. I feel fortunate to work with a dedicated and closely-knit engineering team to keep the ship in a high state of operational readiness.”
As he concludes his interview, he only has these words to share with aspiring engineers. “Being an engineer in the RSN has allowed me to combine my love for technology and passion to serve the greater good of Singapore. The RSN is one big family that is united by the ethos of defending Singapore and our way of life. If you want to be part of something larger than yourself and have an impactful career, a military profession is for you,” he says.