“I’m left with four months of National Service (NS), and I plan to study economics at Singapore Management University when I’m done. From there, I‘ll see where the path takes me.

What do I do in NS? I’m a maintenance officer, so I’m in-charge of technicians who risk their lives everyday in real-life operations. They’re non-combatants, but they do repair work that’s very dangerous because it involves army vehicles that weigh tonnes.

Before the army, I was very competitive. I was a national wrestler. I was also studying at a junior college, so I focused a lot on my studies and making sure that my results were of a certain standard. I seldom thought about others and how I could help them improve.

I guess I changed a lot during NS. In the army, they say that to lead is to serve, and I think that’s very true. Now, when I wake up, I think about about what I’m going to do for the day and how my actions will affect my men. It’s more about benefitting them than thinking about myself.

In the army, you get drilled to do the right thing at the right time, so helping people feels second nature to you. It will be quite a jump to civilian life, but I will try to apply what I’ve learnt during my time there.” – Edwin, 20