What We Do
The National Cadet Corps (NCC) is a premier uniformed youth organisation supported by the Ministry of Education (MOE) of Singapore. The primary mission of the organisation is to “develop resourceful, responsible, resilient, loyal leaders and team players through fun and challenging military-related activities.” The NCC has also remained as one of the largest Uniformed Group (UG) in Singapore.
As of August 2016, NCC has a total strength of about 16,400 members which consists of Teacher Officers, Honorary Officers, Cadet Officers and cadets. The NCC is represented in various secondary schools comprising a total of 155 units.
The NCC nurtures inspiring leaders and committed citizens through fun, adventurous and military-related activities through a wide range of programmes such as the Shooting Experience where cadets have the opportunity to fire a SAR21 and TAR-21 airsoft rifle; pick up rifle spinning skills during the Precision Drill Course; learn how to kayak and take part in the Flying Experience Programme.
Along with these activities, we also have a myriad of camps and courses that are conducted on the grounds of our headquarters where the facilities are utilised by such activities.
Singapore citizens and permanent residents typically join the NCC as a Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) around the same time they enrol in Secondary School at the age of 13. They then stay for a term of 4 to 5 years. Cadets who wish to stay on in the Corps after completing their secondary education may apply to undergo a three week long Cadet Officer course (C/Offr Course). Cadets who graduate from the course are then appointed Cadet Officers (C/Offr). Upon graduation, Cadet Officers must serve a probation period of 6 months, being actively involved in HQ activities (1 Live Range/IMT, 1 Trainfire and 1 Camp). After which, they will clear their probation and be promoted to the rank of Cadet 2nd Lieutenants (C/2LT). Cadet 2nd Lieutenants looking to further their service in NCC can be promoted to the rank of Cadet Lieutenants (C/LTA) once they accumulate 300 points while fulfilling a certain set of criteria. The rank of Cadet Captain (C/CPT), the pinnacle of the Cadet Officer’s Rank Structure, can be attained upon accumulation of 1000 points and fulfilling a stringent set of criteria.
The cadets of all elements join at the rank of Recruit. After a period of up to 2–3 years, cadets who complete a Specialists Assessment are then promoted to the status of Specialists (3SG). The Specialist ranks in the NCC typically mirror those of the Singapore Armed Forces. Exactly when and how cadets are promoted after the specialist course varies depending on the procedure followed by the cadets’ element. Cadets who perform well may be nominated to attend a further training course known as the Senior Specialist Course and Leaders’ Camp, where they earn the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSG)[for Senior Specialist] to groom them for leadership positions within their respective units. The two best cadets of each school units will take on the post of Unit Sergeant Major and Assistant Unit Sergeant Major, holding the rank of Master Sergeant (MSG).
The staff of HQ NCC comprises of members from the SAF and MOE, as well as adult volunteers.
Commissioned NCC teacher officers are usually teachers from the Ministry of Education, who have been seconded to the Corps. There also exists a sizable pool of civilian volunteers who provide service to units on an ad hoc basis under the Associate Member (AM) scheme. SAF personnel are both Regular armed forces personnel and also Full-Time National Service (NSF) personnel, usually from the Army, who are seconded to the Corps. Regular SAF personnel either stay permanently or rotate out of the Corps after serving a period of 2 to 5 years, while NSF will serve for a period of 1 to 2 years before they ORD (Operational Ready Date).
Commissioned teacher officers typically start at the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, though if they held a higher rank in the Armed Forces, they may enter at that rank. For instance, an NCC Officer who is also an Operationally-Ready NSman (or Reservist) holding the rank of Captain, can join the NCC at the rank of Captain. The highest rank attainable by an NCC officer is Lieutenant Colonel.
All ranks of the NCC have the suffix (NCC), to distinguish them from the ranks of the SAF. For example, a Captain in the Corps would list his rank as CPT(NCC) while working in that capacity.
The NCC Command Band, Swiss Winds
Formed in 1967, Swiss Winds is the Command Band of the Singapore National Cadet Corps. The Swiss Winds NCC Command Band has performed in numerous occasions such as the National Day Parade, and NCC parades like the Teacher-Officer Cadet Commissioning Parades, Officer Cadet Passing Out Parades, Dining-ins, Buglers for the annual Remembrance Day services, Affirmation Ceremonies and Anniversary Dinners. In addition, The Command Band Swiss Winds also supports various Charities and National Events that include the President’s Challenge, Children’s Charities, Celebrate Christmas in Singapore Launch and the Singapore Youth Festival Opening Ceremony. The NCC Command Band is led by the Band Master MAJ(NCC) Anthony Chew.
The National Cadet Corps comprises three services. These are the Land (Army), Sea (Navy) & Air (Air Force) services.
Of the three services, the Land service is invariably the largest and is divided geographically into three districts. The Air and Sea services function independently of these geographical districts and have a more centralised command structure.
Headquarters National Cadet Corps (HQ NCC), based at Amoy Quee Camp, an Army facility, controls the organisation; there are subordinate HQs at service or district levels staffed by teachers seconded to the Corps, civil servants and a handful of volunteers. A regular Army Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) serves as Commandant National Cadet Corps. While the Commandant holds command over the Corps and controls its day-to-day activities, he or she is bound, by law, to work in consultation with a policy making body known as the National Cadet Corps Council when making major changes in policy.
The NCC Council is chaired by a Chairman appointed by the government. Members of the Council include officers from the armed services as well as officials from the Ministry of Education. Each Council term lasts for 3 years. The current NCC Council is the 17th NCC Council and the current Chairman is BG(NS) Chan Wing Kai. The official term of the 17th Council begins on 1 January 2017.The previous Chairman, BG(NS) Goh Kee Nguan, retired after having served the Corps as Chairman for 6 years, from 2011 to 2016.
Units of the various services of the Corps are based in various secondary schools throughout the nation. It is also not unusual for some schools to support more than one unit, with a few schools hosting even up to three units (Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), as an example), one each from the Land, Air & Sea services. Each unit’s ranks are usually filled by students from the school in which it is based. The typical NCC unit is commanded by a Commanding Officer (CO), who is usually also a teacher from the host school. The CO is assisted by a team of officers, cadet officers and cadet specialists.