'We will ask honest questions' after NSF's death, says Chief of Army
Chief of Army, Brigadier-General (BG) Goh Si Hou addressed online allegations about Corporal First Class (CFC) Dave Lee's death in a letter to Singapore Armed Forces commanders on Thursday (May 3).
BG Goh said there was no point speculating and the Army was conducting thorough investigations into the incident.
He said: "We will ask honest questions of ourselves."
He said a Command Call, which is a meeting between senior Army personnel, will be held next week to share initial findings and immediate measures they will be taking as an Army.
Stressing the need for accountability as a public institution, BG Goh added soldiers should trust the Army will be fair.
He said: "We will back our commanders and trainers up, as long as we do our job in line with sound regulations, and anchored on our values.
"Beyond ensuring accountability, we are focused on uncovering lapses and shortcomings in our system, especially so in the prevention and management of heat injuries. This is so that we can continue to ensure the safety of our soldiers in future."
BG Goh stressed the Army safety system was not broken.
"Otherwise, we would not be able to take civilian soldiers and train thousands of NSFs (full-time national servicemen) and NSmen every year, and still manage the inherent risks of military activities," he said.
"No system is perfect, especially with the constant churn of people through our units and training system. This is an inherent challenge for our Army."
BG Hou promised CFC Lee's death would not be forgotten and added: "We will take a hard look, learn the right lessons, and strengthen our systems.
"We will do better as an Army, so that we can continue to do our job well, and train our soldiers realistically and safely."