NS facts

National Service (NS) was introduced in 1967, shortly after Singapore’s independence, to defend our nation. Since then, 700 000 sons of Singapore have served their NS.

Every son is important to Singapore. NS will transform our boys into men, a path trodden by many sons of Singapore and more to come. Your son is no different. Your son’s potential will be put to test in a challenging environment that will strengthen his mental and physical abilities. Living together with peers from different ethnicity and backgrounds, he will also appreciate the importance of teamwork and unity.

NS, is the responsibility of every male Singapore citizen and permanent resident (PR) when they reach the age of 18. This is compulsory, governed under the Enlistment Act.

If your son is a male Singapore citizen or a PR, he is liable for NS when he reaches 16½ years old. He is to enlist at the first opportunity upon reaching 18 years old.

Your son will serve in one of the 3 Uniformed Services:

  1. SAF (Singapore Armed Forces)
  2. SPF (Singapore Police Force)
  3. SCDF (Singapore Civil Defence Force)

NS requires 2 years in active service as a Full-Time National Serviceman (NSF). After the 2 years of NS, your son will serve as an Operationally Ready National Serviceman (NSman) up to the age of 40. Officers or those with special skills may serve until the age of 50.

Follow these links to learn more about NS:

  • NS essentials: start here if you are new to NS.
  • Pre-enlistment: check out the pre-enlistment activities that your son has to go through.
  • Enlistment day : this is the first day of NS and as a parent you have a part to play.
  • Life as a recruit: get a good glimpse of what your son will be going through as a recruit.
  • Welfare & Benefits: from monthly NS allowances to leave schemes and from medical to financial assistance, view this section to learn more.
  • NS then & now: see how NS has changed and evolved over the years.
  • Glossary: stumped by some acronyms or definitions that you’ve come across? You’ll most likely find these and more in the glossary.