CPT Kuah Jun Hui, Raymeo protects Singapore’s skies as an Air Warfare Officer (Air Defence Weapons) with the RSAF. He is a SAF Merit Scholar, and he holds a Master in Social Sciences from the National University of Singapore.
Most of us would think of the F15s, F16s and Apache helicopters when it comes to the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), for good reasons. Apart from appearing in virtually every National Day Parade, these aircraft play a pivotal role in maintaining air superiority for Singapore.
However, the RSAF has both air and ground assets that are operated by our World Class airmen and women that collectively contribute to RSAF’s status as a First Class Air Force.
For one, the Air Defence and Operations Command’s mission is to safeguard the integrity of Singapore’s territorial airspace and provide Air Defence for homeland security. To achieve this mission, the RSAF has state-of-the-art Ground Based Air Defence Systems that can detect hostile aircraft and destroy them.
Protecting the skies and representing his unit proudly is Captain (CPT) Kuah Jun Hui, Raymeo. He is an Air Warfare Officer (Air Defence Weapons) by vocation. CPT Kuah is currently a Platoon Commander in 3rd Divisional Air Defence Artillery Battalion (3 DA Bn), who ensures operational readiness of his platoon.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Merit Scholarship recipient gave us an insight into RSAF’s Air Defence operations and his fulfilling career with the Air Force.
Firstly, how did you get into Air Defence?
I was first exposed to Air Defence operations when I was an Officer Cadet in Air Force Training Command. After commissioning, I was posted to 3 DA Bn. I took part in multiple peacetime air defence operations for high-key events in Singapore, and also contributed to the RSAF’s 24/7 peacetime air defence as a Team Commander. It was through these deployments that I fully appreciated the importance of air defence and found meaning in my work. As such, I pursued a career with the RSAF to continue contributing meaningfully to the nation and defending our country’s skies.
Why did you apply for the SAF Merit Scholarship?
A scholarship with the RSAF helped with my development as a student and eventually as an airman because it provided me with multiple learning opportunities, a ready job after graduation and financial independence.
Firstly, I was able to leverage multiple learning opportunities as a SAF scholar. Vacation Attachments (VAs) during the school term breaks are part of the scholarship programme. I was attached to various Units and Departments in the RSAF and these VAs exposed me to different operations within the RSAF, which allowed me to have a better understanding of the Air Force. There were also leadership programmes that helped me develop my values and leadership philosophy which are crucial for my job as an officer.
Secondly, scholars can anticipate a meaningful and secure career with the RSAF. For me, I could focus more on academics and prepare for my career at the same time during my university days. It also alleviated potential concerns regarding job search and employment that final year and newly graduated students often face.
In addition, having a scholarship ensures that the tuition fees for tertiary education are covered without the need to take a loan or dip into savings. A scholarship with the SAF provides monthly salary and allowances during my term of study, allowing me to be financially independent while studying in university.
You graduated recently in 2019. What was your biggest takeaway during your university days?
My biggest takeaway was to have the gumption to pursue what you are passionate about. University life is not only about academics, but also having the freedom to explore and discover what you are passionate about and pursuing it.
A group of friends and I pioneered a mentorship programme in our residence. The mentoring programme eventually became the flagship programme of a new residence in NUS. I am thankful to have this group of like-minded friends who encouraged each other’s passion. This was when I realised that pursuing what I am passionate about can lead to a tangible transformation and impact not only for myself but also others.
Interestingly, you pursued a Master’s in Social Science. How do you apply what you have learnt to your current work?
I did my research in Psychology for my Master’s. Psychology is essentially about understanding how and why people think, feel, and behave the way they do. Key principles and frameworks that I learned from my courses allow me to better understand people, especially so for the men that I lead and the colleagues whom I work with.
Speaking of which, tell us more about your role and responsibilities.
I am an Air Warfare Officer (Air Defence Weapons) and a Platoon Commander in 3 DA Bn. My primary role is to ensure that the people whom I lead, both Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) and Regulars, are operationally ready to defend our nation’s skies when called upon. This includes planning and training them for peacetime and wartime operations. In addition, I ensure their safety during training and exercises, manage morale and discipline, and deployment for exercises. I also augment 24/7 Air Defence operations as a Team Commander. As Team Commander, I defend the skies by ensuring that any air threats are taken down when required.
What is your most significant career achievement to date?
What was especially significant and meaningful for me was being deployed for exercises, high key events and real operations with my guys. Knowing that my guys have been trained well, are ready and can be counted upon to defend our country is something that I am proud of. I am proud of each one of them.
CPT Kuah is a family man, and loves spending time with his wife and daughter. He said: “A career with the Air Force not only allowed me to start my family young, it also ensures that I have enough time for them. It feels good knowing that I am defending the skies for them while they sleep soundly at night!”
What is the work culture at the RSAF?
The Air Force places a lot of emphasis on safety and team excellence. We always look out for each other and ensure that everything we do is done safely. It is not only about keeping ourselves safe, but also keeping each other safe. It is great knowing that there is always someone else looking out for you.
What possibilities are there for scholars working at your organisation?
The sky is the limit! There are many options and opportunities available in the RSAF, in terms of career paths and personal development. We are big on innovation, so as long as there is an innovative idea that improves the organisation, there will definitely be channels and resources available to support you. Honestly, the possibilities are endless. It is up to us to write our own Air Force story.
What advice would you give to aspiring scholars looking to join the RSAF?
The RSAF is an exciting place, whether you are flying high in the sky or defending the skies from the ground. What we do daily ensures that our loved ones can enjoy peace. There are endless possibilities – so much to learn, so much to pursue, so many lives that we can make a positive impact on. We are authors of our unique Air Force story, and you won’t regret writing yours!