Captain (CPT) Amanda Tang
Assistant Navigation Officer,
RSS Vigour (Victory-class Missile Corvette)
Bachelor of Business
With no natural resources, Singapore is highly dependent on seaborne trade for
survival - almost all of our food and energy reach us via the sea. Therefore, any threat
to the sea lanes which connect our city-state to the rest of the world would endanger
the well-being of Singapore.
Standing vigilant at the forefront of our maritime defence are dedicated men and women who are trained to defend our waters, and one of whom is Captain (CPT) Amanda Tang. She shares her story and what motivated her to join the Navy.
A Perfect Fit
Signing on immediately after completing her A-Levels, CPT
Tang tells us that joining the RSN was an easy decision to make.
“I may not have had a lot of life experience then, but I knew that
a desk-bound job was not for me. Having been a dinghy sailor
since I was seven, I have always had a great affinity with the sea.
Furthermore, I wanted something that was both meaningful
and exciting – and a career in the RSN definitely fits the bill,”
Coming from a family with a tradition of service in the military also influenced her. She shares, “Both my parents were regulars in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and my brother is also a Naval Officer. Therefore, you can say that serving in the military is in my blood. As such, I chose to follow in my brother’s footsteps and signed on with the Navy.”
The three years that CPT Tang has been in service only affirmed her career choice. She tells us, “What I do contributes to something larger than myself – which is the defence of my nation and my loved ones. As a maritime nation, the importance of protecting our vital sea lines of communication cannot be understated. I am proud of the work that the RSN does to ensure that our sea lanes remain secured.
“In addition, I do not think you can find another job that entrusts you with the same degree of responsibility as the RSN does. As an officer, we are in charge of the training, welfare, and discipline of the men and women under our charge. Being in this position of influence means we are able to effect change positively, and this is perhaps the most rewarding part of the job,” she says.
A Dynamic Adventure
Today, CPT Tang is an Assistant Navigation Officer of RSS
Vigour, a Victory-class Missile Corvette (MCV). Equipped to deal
with air, surface, and underwater threats, the MCVs form the
backbone of the RSN’s strike capability to defend our sea lines
“The most memorable thing about my career so far is getting my Bridge Watch-keeping Certificate (akin to a license to drive) on board the MCV. It is the fastest class of ship in the RSN, and being entrusted to ‘drive’ a sophisticated warship is not something you can do elsewhere,” she enthuses.
Rewarding and challenging in equal parts, life in the RSN is never dull. However, serving in the RSN comes with difficulties. “Being away from home and my loved ones, I do get homesick at times,” she admits.
Regardless, CPT Tang has managed to soldier on to overcome this issue. “Focusing on work and spending time with my crew on board helps. After all, the crew is akin to a second family for many of us. Having a strong support structure at home is important too. My loved ones appreciate and understand the purpose behind my work, and that makes it all worthwhile.”
Opportunities for All
Having had a fulfilling professional life with the RSN, CPT
Tang calls for more people who are passionate about defending
Singapore’s survival as a maritime nation to join her. “A career
with the RSN will not be easy. However, it will definitely be
rewarding – not just in the sense of achieving mission success,
but also in terms of personal growth, experiences, and forging
friendships. If a meaningful career and challenges are what you
seek, then the RSN is the right place to be. As long as you have the
drive, there will be endless opportunities for you to develop as a
person and as a leader,” CPT Tang assures.
As for potential female recruits, CPT Tang encourages them not to hesitate when it comes to signing on with the RSN. “The number of females joining the RSN is increasing. This is a testament to the progress we have made as a country and as an organisation. Gone are the days where only men can succeed in the military. Young female officers now have several role models to look up to and to seek help from. Pioneer batches of female Naval Officers have charted the way and have shown us that we can do just as well as our male counterparts if we are equally competent and qualified,” she concludes.