Major (MAJ) Lin Tingrui Keef
SAF Merit Scholarship
Operations Officer, RSS Formidable
Master in Counseling and Mental Health Services
– University of Pennsylvania
Bachelor in Psychology – University College London
As a maritime nation, the sea is one of Singapore’s economic lifelines. The maritime industry accounts for over seven percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Therefore, safeguarding our waters is crucial to retaining our position as a vibrant maritime hub.
Forming our nation’s first line of maritime defence are the men and women of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). As the maritime force of the country, the RSN protects Singapore’s sea lines of communication, contributing to its peace and security. MAJ Lin Tingrui Keef, 29, Operations Officer of RSS Formidable (a Formidable-class Frigate), is one of the many who serve.
Navigating Challenging Waters
As an Operations Officer, MAJ Lin is in charge of planning the tactical operations on board the ship and overseeing their execution — making sure that the different departments within the ship work together like clockwork. He relishes the challenge and shares, “The role sees me wearing different hats at the same time, overseeing the full suite of operational requirements of the ship, which includes planning exercises and sea trials, conducting training sessions for the crew, and taking on other responsibilities entrusted to me by the Commanding Officer.”
It is also a demanding role that sometimes requires him to sail for long periods, but it is the family on board that keeps him going. “Having to spend almost all our time together when sailing, we develop close relationships; we have only each other to depend on out at sea, to play and argue with, so it’s inevitable that we become a family over time,” MAJ Lin remarks.
Together with his Navy family, MAJ Lin has participated in various bilateral and multi-lateral exercises with Navies from around the world, including the United States, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India. “These exercises have deepened my understanding of different cultures, and the way different navies operate,” he says.
Steering Your Development
The SAF Merit Scholarship recipient provided MAJ Lin with a wealth of other opportunities beyond his operational duties, such as leadership development. He has had many opportunities to interact with senior commanders in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), prompting him to reflect more deeply on his own values and motivations. One sharing which has been particularly inspiring to him was from a retired colonel who had a surprising takeaway – to prioritise family when they could, instead of focusing solely on work. “He reflected that if we did that, our families would be more likely to be supportive when the day comes when we have to answer the call of duty,” MAJ Lin shares. Beyond his ship-board responsibilities, MAJ Lin has also been involved in projects that are important for the future of the RSN. “I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects at the Fleet level, to help improve the way the RSN trains our personnel to meet future challenges. These projects have exposed me to organisational level considerations, broadening my perspective of the role of the RSN in the defence of our maritime nation,” he says.
Sign On For An Adventure
Reflecting on his journey with the RSN, MAJ Lin said that it has been a dynamic one, much like what he had envisioned when he decided to take up the scholarship. He encourages other like-minded individuals to take on the mantle of leadership in the RSN. “With so many different types of work and fields of expertise in the organisation, you have plenty of opportunities develop skills in different domains, which will groom you to become better leaders,” concludes MAJ Lin.