SINGAPORE: Singapore will commemorate 45 years of National Service at this year’s National Day Parade, which will feature many firsts for national servicemen.
It will be the first parade to feature a special marching segment in which a 140—strong full—time national servicemen contingent, including personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Home Team, will march out from the spectator stands at the Marina Bay Floating Platform.
They will march some 100 steps down the seating gallery before joining other marching contingents at the floating platform.
It will also be the first National Day Parade where NSmen from the SAF will don the new pixelised combat uniforms.
This year’s parade is also the first time since 2007 that an NSman, 45—year—old Lieutenant Colonel (NS) Clarence Tan, has been selected to be the parade commander.
"The rehearsal started for me way back last year as a reserve parade commander. It’s given me quite a lot of opportunities to further perfect my individual drills, as well as my commands," LTC Tan said.
More than 2,000 participants from 32 marching contingents will be involved in the parade. They include 12 civilian contingents, the highest number in NDP history.
They will march to the tune of "A Nation’s March", a piece specially composed by another NSman, Syawaludin Kassim.
"I think back to my NS days and there were good moments, bad moments and a lot of memories. From there, I managed to draw a picture and that’s where the song comes from, as A Nation’s March," Kassim said.
While there are still months to go before August 9, preparations are already underway.
To commemorate 45 years of National Service, there will also be a special "Salute to NS45" segment where spectators will be wowed by a land, sea and air display.
Chairman of the parade and ceremony Colonel Roland Ng shared what the audience can expect from this year’s parade.
"This year, we will retain the traditional elements that Singaporeans like. At the same time, we introduce special moments and new elements that remind Singaporeans the importance of defending our country, the Singapore we love," he said.
There will also be the usual crowd pleasers, such as the fly—past of the state flag and the presidential gun salute.
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