SAF Core Values
Singapore Armed Forces: "Our Army; Customs and Traditions, Understanding Why We Do What We Do," 2006
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) core values define the character of the SAF. They bind our people together. They are the inner voices, the sources of strength, and the derivations of self-control, which are seen as the basis for today's military.
The SAF core values are the inner voices, the sources of strength, and the derivations of self-control.
In September 1986 under the Institute of Excellence (i.e. SAFTI) concept, the idea of a common value system was mooted and the SAF seven core values were formulated. The orginal implementation strategy was to introduce it to the Officer Corps and allow the natural cascading effect to influence the rank and file. In July 1996 the SAF core values were established as the common core values for all Services in the SAF, regardless of rank, vocation or service status.
The seven core values are:
- Loyalty to Country
- Fighting Spirit
- Care for Soldiers
Loyalty to Country is what commits us as citizens to protect and defend our nation. The nation represents our homeland; all that is cherished by us, our family and our way of life. We have a responsibility to protect the nation. Loyalty is vital for the SAF because its mission is to defend the nation and, if need be for us to sacrifice our lives for Singapore.
Leadership is being able to influence and motivate one's followers, to imbue them with trust and confidence in us so that they will carry out a mission confidently and to their best ability. Leaders achieve this by demonstrating sound knowledge, as well as abilities such as being able to communicate with their followers. Good leaders lead by example, exude personal presence and display active involvement. The defence of the nation can only be assured by commanders who are competent to lead, excel and inspire others to give their best to the nation.
Discipline in the SAF is obedience of orders, and the timely and accurate execution of assigned tasks. This is achieved through tough training geared towards operational readiness and combat effectiveness. The essence of discipline is doing what we have to, even when it is difficult and painful, and doing it the best we can. Discipline means inner strength, control, mental stamina, physical toughness and perseverance. A high standard of discipline must be maintained to train soldiers to withstand fear and tension. Disciplined soldiers can be depended on.
Professionalism in the SAF is proficiency, competency and reliability in all we do. This would involve having a sound knowledge of what we have to do and doing it well. We know our roles and carry them out well. It is a continual strive for excellence which rejects complacency. In the SAF, it also incorporates and emphasises a sense of duty and service, which compels everyone to train hard and give their best. It is this sense of professionalism which bonds the SAF together in teamwork to excel in all we do, to serve with pride, honour and integrity.
Fighting spirit is the tenacity to succeed in whatever we do. In the SAF particularly, it is marked by determination, aggressiveness and perseverance, the spirit of a fighting fit defence force. Fighting spirit makes us courageous, bold and decisive, with the necessary aggression to engage decisively in a battle and quickly put an end to it. Fighting spirit is also the dedication,stamina and endurance which enable us to overcome obstacles and achieve our mission with continued will and motivation despite all odds.
Ethics is exemplary conduct and moral strength. It enables us to know what is right from wrong and keep to it. It wil help us handle ethical problems which arise out of a war and in peacetime. For example, we must be honest and accurate in our report writing, have integrity in our dealing with others, and not misuse our position against anyone. Ethics will also ensure we do not act against our country and are loyal to its law and constitution. Such thrustwortiness and uprightness of character must be unshakable for the SAF.
Care for soldiers is the genuine concern that we have for the well- being of those in our command. It is training soliders so well that they can protect themselves and survive in battle. This is the philosophy of more sweat in peacetime and less blood in war. At the same time it is also ensuring the provision of service support so that soliders are propely equipped, trained and fit to fit a battle. Care is absolutely essential for cohesion, team spirit and ultimately combat effectiveness. Commanders who care for the training, morale and discipline of their troops can be sure they have a fighting fit force at their hands. They can also be sure of their loyalty. Care for soliders should also extend to the families of the soldiers.