The HomeTeamNS Awards recognise Home Team officers for their exemplary contributions to HomeTeamNS.
Four categories of awards were presented during the HomeTeamNS Awards Ceremony, namely the Gold, Silver and Bronze Meritorious Award and the Long Service Award.
This year, a total of 46 Home Team officers were recognised for their commitment to HomeTeamNS on 7 April 2017 at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok.
Singapore Police Force (SPF) Deputy Assistant Commissioner DAC (NS) Jonathan Wan, Chairman of the HomeTeamNS Branding and Publicity Committee, is the recipient of this year’s HomeTeamNS Meritorious Gold Award.
DAC (NS) Wan was part of the team that conceptualised and executed a successful outreach campaign to rebrand HomeTeamNS in 2014.
|Singapore Police Force (SPF) Deputy Assistant Commissioner DAC (NS) Johnathan Wan received the Meritorious Gold award for his exemplary contributions to HomeTeamNS. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim|
The campaign aimed to spread awareness about the HomeTeamNS and also showed appreciation to Home Team National Servicemen in their efforts to keep Singapore safe and secure. Part of the campaign included the distribution of 20,000 figurines in Singapore's public trains.
The figurines, which were made to represent Home Team National Servicemen (NSmen) and their families, created a means to recognise the contributions of Home Team NS men in Singapore.
“Change is always a constant, everybody wants something different”, said DAC (NS) Wan.
The media covered the rebranding campaign broadly and it became a topic of interest for both the public and NSmen. Under the leadership of DAC (NS) Wan as the Chairman of the Branding & Publicity Team, media coverage on HomeTeamNS surged by over 600%.
“I hope that through us we can inspire the younger ones. National Service (NS) goes beyond the physical aspect. It also keeps us active and gives us the courage to let go,” he said.
DAC (NS) Wan attributes his success not only to himself but also to his team.
“I always felt that earning an award given to a volunteer is not just for an individual but for the team as well. It’s always team work, this is not just for me, an individual alone,” he shared.
Recognising the importance of the future generation, he highlights the need for young blood.
“The young ones always aspire for something more, something a little faster. It’s from my generation to your generation to the next so hopefully we will do better,” he said.
“Whatever is better, I’m sure it depends on the youth, “he added.
“I’m very glad to know that many of our NSMen are serving their units, coming forward serving the various HomeTeamNS communities and interest groups,” said Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and President of HomeTeamNS, Mr Desmond Lee.
|Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and President of HomeTeamNS, Mr Desmond Lee speaking during the opening ceremony of the HomeTeamNS Awards Presentation. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim|
That night, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Major (NS) Muhd Faizal, a member of the Sembawang Executive Committee and the HomeTeamNS Strategic Review Committee, received the Meritorious Bronze Award in appreciation of his passion and dedication as a volunteer.
Maj (NS) Faizal was instrumental in the development of the HomeTeamNS Clubhouse’s Marketing & Communications efforts.
|Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Major (NS) Muhd Faizal was awarded the Bronze Meritorious Award for his commendable contributions to HomeTeamNS. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim|
“I didn’t think about receiving any awards. It was just volunteering to me but after receiving news about getting an award, I suddenly feel more appreciated. It was a welcoming surprise,” he said.
An avid animal lover, Maj (NS) Faizal is also an ambassador for The Cat Welfare Society. Part of his contributions also included the organisation of the “Fur Friends Fiesta” at HomeTeamNS Sembawang, which aimed to raise awareness of the care and treatment of pets.
Held on 26 November 2016, “Fur Friends Fiesta” had attracted over 2,000 participants, who joined in the activities that included a mini pet café, caricaturist by caricaturist.sg and free veterinarian check-ups for pets. A cat adoption drive was also organised by the Cat Welfare Society during the fiesta.
“I love cats. I had nine cats at home when I was younger. Due to the recent cases of cat abuse, it is very important for people to realise that cats are also living beings as well,” he said.
Maj (NS) Faizal describes his family as his main source of motivation. Without their support, he wouldn’t be where he is now.
“I have a special-needs son and my wife became a full-time housewife to take care of him and my other son. I don’t have to worry about work or volunteerism at home because they are my pillars of support,” he said.
“I always attribute my awards to them. It wouldn’t have been possible if they were not there for me,” he added.
Regardless, Maj (NS) Faizal still feels the need to constantly pick up new things.
“Maybe I can do a little bit better and a little bit more, so I always welcome new challenges. I like to improve my knowledge and skills, and learn from those that are more experienced,” he said.