Republic of Singapore Navy
MINDEF Cluster | RSN

Defending our Everyday

CPT Chris-Adelle Khaw Jing Rui is one of a growing number of women in the Republic of Singapore Navy who possess the tenacity and resilience to rise up to the challenge of protecting Singapore’s vital sea lines of communication.

CPT Chris-Adelle Khaw Jing Rui keeps things running like clockwork on board the RSS Stalwart in her role as the Operations Officer. She is a SAF Merit Scholar, and she holds a Bachelor’s in Law (Second Upper Honours) from the University College London and a Master’s in Law from the University of Pennsylvania.

A meaningful contribution to nation-building – this is what attracted 27-year-old Captain (CPT) Chris-Adelle Khaw Jing Rui to join the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

Much of Singapore’s success today is a result of open access to the seas. As a maritime nation, Singapore’s economic success is attributed to its status as a safe global trading hub. The RSN has stood guard through the years to protect the nation’s economic lifeline.

Since it was established in 1967, the RSN has been working quietly behind the scenes to keep the seas and maritime routes in and around the country free and accessible, allowing merchant ships to transport essentials that fuel Singapore’s growth.

“I knew Singapore is an island, surrounded by waters. I had learnt about the Pedra Branca dispute in school. The fact that most of our trade flows through the sea was nothing surprising to me. However, it had never occurred to me how crucial the RSN is to Singapore.”

“After I attended a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) career seminar, I became aware of the importance of the RSN’s daily work,” she explained.

CPT Khaw’s interest in the RSN was piqued after the seminar and she spent the evening learning more about Singapore’s naval operations.

“The more I Googled, the more I was convinced that the Navy is a service of great value both in peace and in crisis. If I wanted to find meaning in my job, I thought to myself that I would surely find lots in a Navy career,” she recalled.

CPT Khaw

CPT Khaw with her peers from the UK-based International Principal Warfare Officer course.

Taking a Leap of Faith

CPT Khaw dove right into the RSN through a SAF Merit Scholarship.

“I had my doubts about whether I have the right personality for the job. So I thought I might as well apply for the scholarship and allow the far more experienced scholarship board members to make that decision instead of second-guessing myself,” she elaborated.

It turned out to be one of the best decisions she had made in her life.

CPT Khaw went on to pursue a Bachelor’s in Law from the University College London and a Master’s in Law from the University of Pennsylvania before returning to the RSN.

She is currently the Operations Officer on board the Formidable-class Frigate, RSS Stalwart, where she assists the Commanding Officer in running the operations on board the ship.

“I am one of the Principal Warfare Officers and I lead the ship, and other naval ships when required, to deal with the surface and sub-surface warfare threats,” detailed CPT Khaw.

“My daily work on board the ship is very dynamic. One moment I can be working with my team to train our competencies in warfighting and in the next, I can be planning for my ship’s next deployment. At other times, I may be required to work with other officers to develop new protocols or procedures to address new developing threats.”

CPT Khaw also had the privilege of representing the RSN and interacting with her peers from other foreign navies.

She said: “I attended the UK-based International Principal Warfare Officer course. Joining the course as a fairly junior naval officer, it was a daunting but enriching experience. Besides learning from my instructors, I also learnt a lot from my classmates who had many years of experience.”

“Many opportunities may be placed before you, but set aside the glamour and consider the grit. At the lowest of the lowest moment, make what you do be truly worth it!” CPT Chris-Adelle Khaw

Camaraderie and Respect

So far, CPT Khaw has found a career with the RSN to be very fulfilling. Out of all her experiences, she treasures the friendship and camaraderie with her colleagues the most.

“I have formed a strong bond amongst the fun-loving ship crew,” she enthused.

“I am always surrounded by people who put others’ needs first and rise to the occasion in challenging situations. I have witnessed, time and time again, the crew putting in long hours of hard work to ensure the ship achieves the highest standards and carries out our missions. And despite having so many things to manage, my ship crew still seems to find time to take care of me and nag at me about the smallest things like eating meals on time!”

She strongly encourages prospective scholars to join her.

“You will be part of a Navy family, one that values your character development as much as your professional growth.

“Many opportunities may be placed before you, but set aside the glamour and consider the grit. At the lowest of the lowest moment, make what you do be truly worth it!”