In the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), specialists are the group of ranks equivalent to non-commissioned officers in other armed forces. This term was introduced in 1993, for a more "positive" rank classification. In the SAF, warrant officers are not considered specialists.
Like many other modern militaries, the specialist corps forms the backbone of the military. Among other things, specialists are responsible for the training and discipline of the enlisted men. They are experts in the use of weapons and equipment, drill and ceremonies.
The following ranks are considered specialist ranks:
- Specialist cadet (SCT)
- Third sergeant (3SG)
- Second sergeant (2SG)
- First sergeant (1SG)
- Staff sergeant (SSG)
- Master sergeant (MSG)
Master sergeants may be selected to attend the joint warrant officers' course at SAF Warrant Officer School to be promoted to second warrant officer. In the new scheme, they need to first go through the rank of third warrant officer, which is usually attained just before or after they go through the warfighter course from the Specialist and Warrant Officer Advanced School.
With the SAF Warrant Officer School, Specialist and Warrant Officer Advanced School and Specialist Cadet School, Pasir Laba Camp, site of the former Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute (SAFTI) is the new home of the warrant officer and specialist corps of the SAF.
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Singapore Civil Defence Force
Despite being an armed service under the Home Team umbrella organisation led by the Ministry of Home Affairs as opposed to the Ministry of Defence as in the case of the SAF, the Singapore Civil Defence Force also trains specialist cadets known as fire & rescue specialists upon graduation from the emergency response specialist course administered by the Civil Defence Academy's Command & Staff Training Wing. On top of completing a firemanship course which makes specialists trained firefighters, fire and rescue specialists are also trained in a panoply of incident management (such as CBR and Hazmat mitigation), fire safety enforcement and fire investigation, and leads a team of fire fighters in fire fighting and rescue operations as section commanders, and eventually for some, as deputy rota commanders. Essentially, fire & rescue specialists form the backbone of the command operations of the Singapore Civil Defence Force particularly at the station level, filling the position of junior officers. Typically, all Singapore Civil Defence Force specialists (both reserves and regulars) graduate with the sergeant rank, while regulars may subsequently be promoted to the rank of staff sergeant. Senior staff sergeants may eventually be selected to undergo a warrant officer course and become a warrant officer in the force.
Apart from that, there are also disaster and rescue team, hazardous materials (Hazmat) and paramedic specialists who are made up of regulars in the Singapore Civil Defence Force.
The disaster and rescue team specialist is skilled in urban search and rescue, prolonged fire fighting operations, height and confined space operations, road traffic and industrial accidents and water rescue. On the other hand, the Hazmat specialist specialises in detection and containment of hazardous chemicals and toxins while the paramedic specialist is part of the emergency ambulance service team providing efficient and accurate pre-hospital care to accident victims and patients in critical condition.
- Koh B. P., Lee G. B., Shoulder to shoulder: our national service journal, Ministry of Defence (Singapore), 2002, 32. ISBN 981-04-6931-4.
- MINDEF, History Snippets, 1992 - The SAF Warrant Officer School, 7 Jan 2007. Accessed 19 Mar 2007.
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