Military Expert 6 Luke Goh Zhenyu
SAF Engineering Scholarship
Deputy Assistant Chief of General Staff, Plans (G5 Army)
Master of Engineering (Mechanical) – Cornell University
Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering), Summa Cum Laude – Cornell University
As the bedrock of our nation’s defence, Our Army stands as a deterrence to potential threats of our nation’s security and sovereignty, ready to defend Singapore should deterrence fail. In order to adapt to evolving threats, Our Army calls on the strengths of brilliant individuals who can lead their soldiers effectively and stand steadfast in their commitment to the country.
Here, there are myriad opportunities to develop deep professional expertise in key military domains. A career in Our Army is one that empowers both personal and professional growth as you pursue a career where you can contribute positively to the defense of our nation. To learn more about what the career constitutes, we checked in with Military Expert 6 (ME6) Luke Goh, learning how the SAF Engineering Scholarship laid the foundations for his success.
For ME6 Goh, his interest in figuring out how things work made the decision to choose engineering an easy one, but it was his time in Officer Cadet School (OCS) that motivated him to apply for the SAF Engineering Scholarship. “I enjoyed the leadership opportunities and the camaraderie during my time in OCS, and the scholarship provided a unique opportunity for me to match my interests in being a leader and an engineer. I also looked forward to doing work that would have a significant impact to the SAF,” he shares.
The choice proved a wise one for him. Under the scholarship, ME6 Goh was able to attend a rigorous and recognised engineering programme at Cornell University. He was also able to attend the US Army’s Command and General Staff College, where he interacted with officers from around the world and picked up valuable lessons that helped him to grow professionally.
He was also attached as a project officer in different maintenance units during two of his summer holidays. This experience allowed him to learn first-hand how a maintenance unit is run and helped him better understand the challenges technicians faced on the ground – knowledge that would help him lead more effectively.
Rising To The Occasion
His career in the army has been a dynamic one with diverse roles; from leading engineering teams, ME6 Goh has found his responsibilities evolving to involve more planning as he takes on different assignments. Transitioning from one appointment to another is not always an easy task, as ME6 Goh readily admits.
In his previous appointment as Deputy Director in Technology Strategy and Policy Office, he was faced with a steep learning curve when he found himself having to develop strategies using tools that he was not familiar with, like artificial intelligence. To overcome this, he filled in his gaps in knowledge with research, as well as by drawing on the experience of experts in other government organisations.
Today, ME6 Goh is the Deputy Assistant Chief of General Staff (Plans) in the G5 Army. His responsibilities see him developing strategic long-term plans for the Army, including the design of its future force structure, taking into consideration key constraints such as manpower.
Besides his main appointments, ME6 Goh has also been given various opportunities to grow professionally. To support the development of deep engineering expertise for the SAF, he participated in the design and implementation of the Military Domain Experts scheme. He also supported the Committee to Strengthen National Service (CSNS) in developing policies that strengthened public support for defense.
A particularly memorable experience in his career that he looks back upon fondly is time as Commander of the Forward Support Group during Exercise WALLABY in 2017, where he led a team of more than 100 in charge of providing logistical support to over 3200 personnel and 400 vehicles. This included the projection of personnel and shipment of equipment to the training area, as well as providing transportation, accommodation, maintenance, medical, and ammunitions support. “The team worked together to not only achieve mission success by supporting the exercise well, but also managed to achieve significant budget savings through several unprecedented cost-saving measures,” he recounts with pride.
Asked if he would recommend others to pursue a scholarship with the SAF, he responds without hesitation. “I’d recommend others to take up this scholarship, which offers the opportunity to contribute to Singapore in a meaningful way,” he affirms, adding that the SAF Engineering Scholarship in particular presents a unique opportunity to be both a leader and an engineer.