1WO De Silva Christopher Bryan’s Farewell Speech

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Selamat Petang. Wanshang Hao. Malai Vanakkam. Good Evening.

1. It’s an awesome day to be a Sergeant Major. Thank you for the tribute video. I am truly touched and humbled. Thank you, Dinie, for that Manchester United picture. 2 months ago, I was sharing with my wife that, when I deliver my farewell speech, I want to look how I was 40 years ago when I joined the Army. I was 48 kg then. I tried but it was very challenging. I am 72 kg today. It’s a nightmare trying to get rid off 24 kg of muscles. I just have to accept my fate.

2. Good evening, COL Richard Koh, Commandant NCC, COL Wong Weng Kong, Commander Military Police Command, CWO Teo See Keong, Sergeant Major of the Army, Distinguished Guests and Members of the Corps. Thank you for your presence and taking time off to share this special day with me. Before I share some of my parting thoughts, I would like you to join me in applauding the Organizing Committee Chairman, 3WO Soh Soon Hua and his Committee members for organizing this memorable evening.

3. I am 2 months short of hitting 40 years in the military service and I’ve served 1/3 of my military life dutifully with the National Cadet Corps. It’s a challenge to condense what I have accomplished at NCC so I would like to share just a defining moment with you.

4. My Dream Realized. In 2013, the NCC Council endorsed the formation of the NCC Cadet Officer Executive Committee. With this structure and empowerment, we provided a platform for the Cadet Officers to step up and step out, encouraged them to take ownership of NCC events and integrate the working relationship amongst the 5 districts. In that same year, this committee planned, rehearsed, managed and executed the NCC Day Parade. Watching C/CPT Tan Hooi Choo walking alongside Minister Chan Chun Sing inspecting the Guard of Honor as the Organizing Chairperson was priceless. The event was a huge success and I knew we were on the right track on developing our fine Cadet Officers and Cadets. Today, our Cadet Officers are well equipped to take on any events NCC has to offer. My dream realized.

5. I joined the Army because studying was not my forte. At 15, I was a very, very shy boy. Look how much the Army has transformed me. 24 kg of muscles and I have no problem in talking. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank the SAF for providing me with so much adventure, a roller coaster ride I will cherish for a lifetime.

6. I would like to thank:

COL Lim Teong Lye, for accepting me into the NCC family.

COL Colin Wong for the USA trip that brought the vibrant Freestyle Exhibition Drill program to NCC that has been running for the past decade.

COL Khoo Thiam Huat, for supporting my new initiatives for the Corps.

COL Adrian Koh, for the inaugural National Camp Tekong Challenge and aggressively promoting the corporate image of NCC

COL Johnny Yeo, for your amazing partnership, your trust, friendship and generous care during your tour.

COL Richard Koh, for having a heart of gold and providing me the time and space to transit comfortably for my retirement. I am so lucky and blessed to have a cool, calm and collected Boss like you.

7. To the NCC Command Team and MOE staffs, it is here where I learned to plan way ahead when dealing with the school units, patience, writing proposal papers, submitting financial documents, to love the senior citizens and embrace the youth. Thank you for all the trials and tribulations we weathered together.

8. To my past and present CSMs, thank you for your commitment and immaculate support in nurturing our Cadets and keeping them safe at every training.

9. To MAJOR Anthony Chew and the NCC Command Band, thank you for supporting NCC’s parades and ceremonies over the years. You are so inspirational that the SAF Band does mutual learning secretly.

10. To my NSFs, no training in BMT, SCS or OCS will prepare you for the job at HQ NCC. You are in a different dimension as you are dealing with senior citizens, teachers, students and a system that is alien to you but look at you now? You have managed to adapt, adjust and embrace the working routine here.With such an attitude and positive drive, I sincerely believe you are employable anywhere. Remember the big picture; YOU are shaping the future of Singapore! Thank you for all your sacrifices and commitment to propel the Corp forward.

11. To my brother in arms, thank you for your endless support, and lasting friendship, without you, I won’t be standing here.

12. To the past and present members of the Corps, it is so good to see so many of you today as I complete my tour as Sergeant Major NCC and end my journey as a Warfighter, Trainer and Leader. Thank you for your presence and sharing your lives with me. We have a lot of catching up to do.

13. To my 3 Prince and only Princess, Dominique, Cedric, Barry and Ariel. Thank you for being such wonderful children and looking after mummy when Daddy is away building this awesome nation so that you can enjoy the way of life here that is safe and secured.

14. And now, to the most important person in my life. My number 1 fan, my awesomely loving wife. Thank you for taking care of the kids so that I can party, oh sorry, so that I can give my best and stay focus on performing my job as a Soldier. I can only give my best knowing that the home front is in good hands. I can never be the man I am today without your love, care, understanding and sacrifices you have made for the family. I thank God for rewarding me with you. It’s time for me to slow down, smell the roses and let’s walk together towards the sunset. Thank you and loving you always. Before, I bid farewell, I would like to coin this new phrase: Beside every successful man, there stands his lovely wife.

To serve with pride and dedication. Thank you