National Cadet Corps (Singapore)

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National Cadet Corps
Active 1901
Country Singapore
Branch Air, Sea and Land
Garrison/HQ Amoy Quee Camp
Nickname(s) NCC
Motto "To serve with Pride and Dedication"
Anniversaries 114th
Commandant LTC Johnny Yeo Yew Kuan
NCC Formation Patch and NCC Arms Badges

The National Cadet Corps (NCC) is a military cadet corps youth organisation supported by the Singapore Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Education. The primary mission of the organisation is to "develop resourceful, responsible, resilient, loyal leaders and team players through fun and challenging military-related activities."[1] As of December 2010, it had a total strength of 20'000+ members. This consists of 823 Officers, 726 Cadet Officers and 18500 cadets, amongst others.The NCC is represented in Secondary Schools and there are a total 176 School Units-137 Land Units, 21 Sea Units and 18 Air Units.


Early 1900s[edit]

The history of National Cadet Corps dates as far back as May 1901 when C M Philips, the acting principal of Raffles Institution formed a cadet corps unit composed of existing and ex-Rafflesians. By 1905, Raffles Institution Cadet Corps was formed. This was followed by the creation of the St Joseph 's Institution Cadet Corps in 1906 .

The Cadet Corps in Singapore during those early years was aimed more at training the youths for the Local Volunteer Corps rather than making it a youth organisation. The interest level and enthusiasm, however, began to wane during World War I and by the end of 1916, the membership had diminished.

In 1917, steps were taken by the Education authorities to revive the Cadet Corps on a new basis. It was decided that six schools (Raffles Institution, St Joseph 's Institution, Anglo-Chinese School, St Andrew's School, Outram Road School, and Victoria Bridge School ) should each form a Cadet Unit. This time, the Cadet Corps in school would be entirely separated from that of the Volunteer Corps. The aim of the movement was to improve the physique and discipline of the boys, and to inspire them with ideals of esprit-de-corps and patriotism.

In 1918, all the six selected schools formed their Cadet Units under the command of their own Cadet Officers. Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) from various military regiments in Singapore and Wardens from the Prisons helped in the training of the school unity, which included squad drill, recognition of the different parts of a rifle, fields signals and military games.


The usefulness of the military training became apparent during the outbreak of the Second World War. A large number of cadets from St Joseph’s Institution, St Patrick's School and Raffles Institution joined the Singapore Volunteer Corp (SVC) and fought against the Japanese troops in the defence of Singapore. In light of their role in the defence of Singapore, the Japanese banned the Cadet Corps in schools.

The Cadet Corps movement was eventually revived in the post-war years with the end of the Japanese Occupation.

The Singapore Sea Cadet Corps was started in 1948 with the formation of a unit from the Junior Technical School. With its training syllabus based on the UK Sea Cadet Corps programme, the corps soon expanded to include five more school units and two open units by 1951. The Sea Cadet Corps HQ was a converted Japanese Patrol Craft moored in Kallang Basin. It later shifted to a Public Work Department office, then to a petrol kiosk. The Governor of Singapore presented the Sea Cadets with their Colours in a formal parade.

The Air Cadet Training Corps was officially recognised on 14 July 1949, when the Singapore Legislative Assembly passed the “MATC Ordinance 1949 Bill” whereby all administration and training of the corps were governed by this Ordinance under the control of the Defence Ministry. This jurisdiction was transferred to the Education Ministry in 1963.


In 1965, the Ministry of Education launched its Cadet Corps expansion programme. The programme was launched by the Ministry to meet the demands of the Republic in preparation for National Service in 1967.

In 1967, the first girls' unit—Raffles Girls' School, was formed in single gender (female) and mixed secondary schools.

In 1969, the land, sea, air and the police cadets were integrated under one organisation – the National Cadet Corps.

The year 1969 also saw the establishment of the NCC Headquarters which is responsible for the training, discipline and welfare of the cadet movements. In 1970, the Police arm left the NCC to form the NPCC under the Ministry of Home Affairs whereas NCC continued under the Ministry of Defence. This occurred when the then Ministry of Interior and Defence was re-organised to form two separate ministries: Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs.

By 1971, there were 82 Land (Boys) units, 52 Land (Girls) units, 3 Sea Training Centres and an Air Training Centre.

In 1972, the NCC Council was formed as the highest policy making body and the NCC Act was promulgated in 1973.

In January 1988, the first ever batch of girls - twenty students from Pasir Ris Secondary School - were recruited into the Sea unit. An Air unit for girls would follow thereafter. [3]


Prior to 2001, NCC Headquarters was dispersed into 4 separate camps namely Springleaf Camp, Haig Road Camp, Pasir Panjang Camp and Jalan Teck Whye Camp. HQ NCC was not centralised until the year 2001, with the opening of a single NCC Campus at Amoy Quee Camp, on 30 May.

The year 2001 was a significant one for NCC as it marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the elite organisation.

2006 - 105th Anniversary Dinner and Award Presentation and the opening of the Motivation Hall by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Minister of Defence, on 9 September.

Today the National Cadet Corps (NCC) is one of the biggest UGs in the MOE family of Uniformed Groups with a wide variety of programmes. The NCC syllabus not only consist of adventure training and also the chance to participate in the many overseas trips. NCC cadets actively participate in the International Cadet Exchange Program (ICEP) which allows them to visit countries like Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States. They can also embark on experiential learning through Service Learning projects in India and Thailand.

2011 - The year 2011 marks the 110th anniversary of NCC which culminates in a 110th Parade in July presided by the President of Singapore, S.R. Nathan.


National level[edit]

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 last for 3 years. The current NCC Council is the 15th NCC Council and the current Chairman of the 15th NCC Council is BG (Ret) Goh Kee Nguan. The official term of the 15th Council begins on 1 January 2011.The previous Chairman, Dr Arthur K L Beng BBM, retired after having served the Corps as Chairman for 23 years, from 1987 to 2010.

Unit Level[edit]

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.

List of Units[edit]


  • Anglo-Chinese School(Independent)
  • Catholic High School
  • Bartley Secondary School
  • Unity Secondary School
  • Changkat Changi Secondary School
  • Compassvale Secondary School
  • Swiss Cottage Secondary School
  • Compassvale Secondary School
  • St Patrick's School
  • St Joseph's Institution
  • St Gabriel's Secondary School
  • Dunman Secondary School
  • Hillgrove Secondary School
  • Zhenghua Secondary School



NCC Creed[2][edit]

NCC Teachers' Pledge[edit]

We will be true to our mission to bring out the best in our pupils.

We will be exemplary in the discharge of our duties and responsibilities.

We will guide our pupils to be good and useful citizens of Singapore.

We will continue to learn and pass on the love of learning to our pupils.

We will win the trust, support and co-operation of parents and the community so as to enable us to achieve our mission.

NCC Cadet Officer' Creed[edit]

I am a Cadet Officer, a member of the National Cadet Corps. I take pride in my organisation and will be loyal to those under whom I serve.

I am the present and future of a distinguished Corps and will honour those that have passed before me, and those that are to come. I will never do anything that will disgrace my uniform school or country.

It is my duty to maintain my discipline and those of the Corps. I am committed to the values of the Corps. I will uphold the responsibilities bestowed upon me to the best of my abilities.

I strive to be the best that I can be and to lead the Cadets in the acquisition of knowledge and skills. I will persevere so that I can make a difference to those I lead and maintain the faith by caring my cadets. I am proud of the Corps and my country and will try to make the people of this nation proud of the service I represent.

Advanced Drills Instructor's Creed[edit]

I am a Supernumerary of the National Cadet Corps I serve with pride and dedication.

I will ensure a high standard of discipline and maximise the potential of those under my charge

I will overcome all odds and uphold the prestige of a supernumerary.

NCC Specialists' Creed[edit]

I am a Specialist of the National Cadet Corps I serve with pride and dedication.

I excel in my specialist duties, ensure the discipline of my Cadets and will nurture them to their potential.

I overcome difficulties with my adventurous spirit. I will uphold the prestige of the National Cadet Corps to be the premiere uniformed group in Singapore

NCC Pledge[edit]

We, the members of the National Cadet Corps and youth of the Republic of Singapore, do hereby pledge to be loyal to the Republic and the Corps and to maintain a high standard of discipline and performance so that we may better serve our country



Singapore citizens and permanent residents typically join the NCC as a school Co-Curriculum Activity (CCA) around the same time they enrol for 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 two-week-long Cadet Officer course (C/Offr Course). Cadets passing out from the course are then appointed Cadet Officers (C/Offr). Upon graduation of the course, 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 who wants to further their career in NCC can be promoted to the rank of Cadet Lieutenants (C/LTA) once they accumulate 300 points and fulfill 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 accumulating 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 Course are then promoted to the status of Specialists (3SG - 1SG). 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, where they earn the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSG) to prepare 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(USM) and Assistant Unit Sergeant Major(AUSM/ASM), holding the rank of Master Sergeant (MSG).

Adult Staff[edit]

The staff who run the NCC come in 3 types: commissioned officers, adult volunteers and SAF personnel.

Commissioned NCC teacher officers are usually teachers from the Ministry of Education, who have been seconded to the Corps. Adult volunteers may also apply to be commissioned as NCC officers, however, there also exists a sizeable pool of civilian volunteers who are not commissioned and provide service to units on an ad hoc basis. 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 Captain (NCC) while working in that capacity.

The Singapore National Cadet Corps Command Band "Swiss Winds"[edit]

Formed in 1967, Swiss Winds is the Command Band of the Singapore National Cadet Corps and the Band of Swiss Cottage Secondary School. The Swiss Winds is a composite military music unit comprising a ceremonial band known as "Max Impact", a select wind ensemble,"Command Brass" brass ensemble and "Blue Shades" combo band. The Director of Music is MAJ (NCC) Anthony Chew.

Formed under the guidance of Principal Mr Gan Chee Hau and Chairman NCC Council Dr Arthur Beng in 1999, the Singapore NCC Command Band "Swiss Winds" has been at service to the School, Corps and the Nation. As Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) of military music, Swiss Winds supports various military occasions that include 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. Other than providing musical support for various NCC functions, the Swiss Winds has also been part of the Combined Band in the state National Day Parades and at the SEA Games 2015 Opening Ceremony.


Within the framework of the training programme NCC cadets have the opportunity of taking part in many activities.

A cadet taking part in Fieldcraft training.

Training Days[edit]

Every unit meets or parades, at least once a week. Training Days usually begin and end with a simple parade. The parade at the start of training is usually used for taking attendance and briefing cadets on the schedule for the days training session while the parade at the end of training is used to brief cadets on subsequent events and as a short feedback session. A typical training day might include Physical Training, Drills and lessons on topics such as Fieldcraft, Navigation and other military-related topics.

Physical Training[edit]

PT, or Physical Training, is widely emphasised in the Corps, and a typical PT session could take up about an hour. Physical Training usually consists of calisthenics, led by a Physical Training Instructor (PTI), himself usually a Specialist who is trained in this field by his seniors or C/offr.

PT usually starts with a short warm-up, then a few sets of static stations before the whole unit goes for a company run. Physical fitness is a criterion for the Best Unit Competition. It has also been added as a graded component for courses.


Before cadets are allowed to handle the rifle, cadets have to go through a trainfire package. In the package, lessons conducted by NCC personnel who have attained the Army/RSN/RSAF-NCC badge who are certified as SAF trainfire instructors include stripping and assembly, marksmanship fundamentals, stoppages and remedies and finally loading and unloading. Cadets can be trained to be proficient to a degree that stripping and assembling the rifle in blindfold or one hand.


Cadets have the opportunity of firing a SAR 21 rifle on firing ranges. Cadets first train on the Army Individual Marksmanship Trainer (IMT), a computerised simulation, before progressing on to shoot at live firing ranges. Safety is always the main concern when shooting, with everything done by the book. Cadet live firing is always conducted by active armed forces personnel under the supervision of a trained Safety Officer. An armed forces Medic is also attached as a safety measure.

A Shooting Competition is also organised annually where cadets from all three services (Land, Sea and Air) compete.

Cadets who obtain a respectable shooting score are awarded a Marksmanship badge.

Cadets of the three services marching in the annual NCC Day parade


All NCC units(Land)/squadrons(Air & Sea) practise drill as a means of instilling discipline and teamwork, it is also used in formal parades, for moving around military bases and moving cadets in a smart and orderly fashion.

Cadets and Cadet Officers who possess a high standard of military drill may be given Parade Appointments such as Colours Ensign, Parade Regimental Sergeant Major, Colours Regimental Sergeant Major and Armed Escort. This group is given further drill training and compose the Guard-of-Honour contingent who greet visiting dignitaries.

Certain units also form Precision Drill Squad which specialise in performing display drills and the newly introduced Freestyle Drill teams.

Cadets taking part in a Rappelling training.

Adventure Training[edit]

As part of the NCC's mission to develop resourceful, responsible, resilient, loyal leaders and team players, the NCC offers a wide range of adventure and experimential programmes and activities.

Part A (Alpha, Secondary 1 cadets) cadets attend an outdoor camp for at least 2 nights and 3 days conducted by their school's unit. From 2008 onwards, they will also attend Camp FORGE, an adventure-based experiential day camp held in NCC Campus. The acronym FORGE, stands for Fun, Orientation, Resilience-Building, Group Dynamics (Social Gelling and Bonding) and Experiential Learning. Cadets are given opportunities to participate in activities such as archery, paint-ball gun competition and the Flying Fox, amongst many adventure facilities. Part B (Bravo, Secondary 2 cadets) cadets, until 2008, will attend Camp FEAST. From 2014 onwards Part A cadets attend Camp FORGE. Part B cadets have a new camp to attend. This new camp, since 2009, is termed Camp STEEL. This stands for Standards, Tenacity, Emotional Intelligence, Energy and Leadership. This is a 2 Day residential camp during which cadets participate in more challenging adventure training like the Rappelling Wall, Advanced Paintball Challenge, Weapons Technical Handling, Team Building and Team Learning, and basic Emotional Intelligence knowledge. All these serve to provide cadets with tools to become better leaders-both of themselves and of their peers and juniors.

Part C (Charlie, Secondary 3 cadets) cadets will undergo their marksmanship test, where they get a chance to fire the real SAR 21 rifle.

Selected cadets will also be sent to the Cadet Specialist Course, where they undergo training and tests and will eventually pass out as a 3rd Sergeant or 2nd Sergeant, depending on performance.

Cadets who performed well will be selected to attend a further training course known as the Senior Specialist Course, where they will undergo trainings and test and eventually pass out as Staff Sergeants (SSG). Cadets will also be rewarded with a red lanyard which can be worn round their shoulders while they are in uniform.

From 2009 onwards, Part C cadets will also attend the Advanced Drill Course, which will enable them to learn advanced drills not taught normally in their syllabus. Upon graduation, cadets will be rewarded with a yellow lanyard which can be worn round their left shoulder.

Cadets are also provided many opportunities to attend adventure courses locally and overseas. The following are some of the courses available:

  • Outward Bound Course in Singapore
  • Annual Kayaking Expedition
  • Mount Ophir Expedition
  • Endau Rompin Expedition
  • Outward Bound Course in Sabah/ Brunei
  • Desert Trekking in India
  • Glider Course in India
  • Jungle Training Course in Brunei

In addition to the above, the SAF also supports the NCC in getting selected NCC cadets to experience SAF Overseas Training during the various SAF Exercises. For example, selected NCC cadets are provided opportunities to observe the SAF training during the following Exercises and countries: Exercise ThunderWarrior-New Zealand Exercise Wallaby-Australia Exercise BattleKing-Thailand Exercise PanzerStrike-Germany (scheduled in 2011)

Other opportunities include: Pearce Air Base Visit (Australia) Midshipman Sea Training Deployment (MSTD)

NCC cadets are also able to attend prestigious courses such as the Basic Airborne Course and Basic Diving Course conducted by the SAF Commandos and RSN Naval Diving Unit respectively. Upon graduation, graduands will be award the SAF Basic Airborne Wing and Basic Diving badge. The Engineer-NCC Experiential Camp is another opportunity to expose the cadets to the SAF training environment.

Currently, there is an array of 17 different types of adventure trainings offered to cadets both locally and overseas as compared to 21 similar adventure trainings worldwide. The NCC is constantly seeking new adventure programmes to broaden the experiences and horizon of its cadets.

National Youth Achievement Award[edit]

The National Cadet Corps is one of Singapore's largest supporters of the National Youth Achievement Award. Cadets are often encouraged to achieve the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards as they progress through their cadet careers.

A cadet participating in a community park clean-up project.

Community Volunteering[edit]

Cadets often volunteer to help local charitable organisations through various fund raising and interaction programmes. For example, the Corps has previously raised funds for disabled youth. The Corps also frequently organises Clean-up projects at local parks, beaches and nature reserves.

In addition, the Corps occasionally organises overseas community projects in countries like India and Cambodia.

International Cadet Exchanges[edit]

Every year selected cadets are given the opportunity to participate in various international exchanges with cadets from countries like Australia, Brunei, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Hong Kong and India.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NCC - Vision and Mission". National Cadet Corps (Singapore). Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b NCC Website
  3. ^ "Girl air and sea cadets soon?", The Straits Times, 15 November 1987, Page 22; "More girls joining cadet corps 'a good sign'", The Straits Times, 22 May 1988, Page 15

External links[edit]