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SAF – Camaraderie At Sea

A desire to effect change in the lives of the men he leads is what inspired CPT Chua Sheng Hao to join the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) in 2009.

Fresh out of school, CPT Chua Sheng Hao’s drive and desire to serve a greater cause led him to joining the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) in 2009. He was awarded The SAF Scholarship to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering in Imperial College London in the UK and a Masters in Management Science and Engineering in Columbia University in the US.

Whilst studying in UK, CPT Chua met his wife and also took the opportunity to travel extensively around Europe and explored countries as far as Morocco and Kenya.

‘The overseas experience helped me to better understand how people from different cultures think, which is crucial in our line of work as “ambassadors” for our country in the RSN. One particularly memorable trip I had with my wife was when we drove through the entire 48 contiguous states of the US. It was the journey of a lifetime,’ CPT Chua tells us.

Since returning to work, his training in Engineering has helped him to think through problems systematically, a valuable skill in a dynamic workplace where things can change and evolve at a rapid pace. As the Gunnery Officer on board RSS Steadfast, CPT Chua ensures that the ship’s weapons are operationally ready at all times when the ship sails.

‘When we sail, we’re dealing with real machines and real lives in a real environment. There can be many unexpected changes and challenges, but it’s satisfying when we’re able to react innovatively and come up with solutions as a team,’ he shares.
On a day-to-day basis, CPT Chua works closely with his crew to maintain the ship’s weapon systems and plans for upcoming exercises. They train together to react to different scenarios out at sea. This interaction is one of the things he enjoys most. He explains, ‘Each ship is made out of diverse groups of people and they react differently to different kinds of motivations. It’s my duty to find out what makes them tick and how to bring out their fullest potential.’

He sees integrity and excellence – the values he personally holds in high regard – play out in the course of his work. When we’re out at sea, there must be utmost trust among everyone in the ship family. ­‘Everyone is in charge of his or her area. With ­mutual trust and understanding, we can all do the job well to achieve mission success.’

Despite being a junior officer, CPT Chua has had opportunities to participate in various forums and working groups which aim to plan and prepare the RSN for the future. ‘I am happy to be part of an organisation that emphasises on grooming and ­developing its people at all levels,’ CPT Chua adds. He concludes, ‘If you have a heart for public service and are looking to pursue a career in a dynamic and fast-paced organisation that plays an integral role in the defence of our country, then a career with the RSN is for you.’

Cpt Chua Sheng Hao
The SAF Scholarship (formerly known as SAF Overseas Scholarship)
Age: 25
Now: Assistant Operations Officer, RSS Steadfast
Attained: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at ­Imperial College London; Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering, from Columbia University in the City of New York
From: Raffles Institution