The lucky ones, like the Rear Admiral (NS) CEO at the National Environment Agency (NEA), can battle on by fending off attacks from Vivian Balakrishnan over restaurant-type food sold at hawker centers. The minister is overtly sensitive to the "r" word, a constant reminder of his "hawker center, food court or restaurant" rebuff to Lily Neo's request for a sufficient social welfare payout to afford 3 meals a day. Some even make it into parliament by luring old folks to political rallies with the inducement of free packaged meals. Army officers are supposed to possess skills honed in training, operations, planning and policy roles. So far we have yet to see demonstrable results at train operations or road planning.
Others may need special help after discovering that the years in uniform hadn't prepared them for useful work in the real world. Somehow the dean of postgraduate professional programmes at the Singapore Management University (SMU) has this freaking idea a master's degree or PhD title will be more relevant to the professional soldiers than a couple of medals for combat experience. Like, say, a Purple Heart for being brave at the front lines. The inglorious retreat at Little India does not count. Speaking at the launch ceremony, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng actually said, "Some even have combat experience in Afghanistan." More likely the closest they got to an I.E.D. was the Ingenious Expense Deduction for the $1 million per year bond-free postgraduate scholarships. The first-of-its-kind Warriors Scholarship is supposed to be sponsored by SMU, but you can bet the bill will end up being paid by the tax payers. When it comes to round tripping, City Harvest's Kong Hee ain't seen nothing yet.