Eighteen years ago, SLTC Kwan took a leap of faith when he decided to join the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) as a Naval Officer.

He was drawn to the wide array of opportunities for professional and personal growth and more importantly, a career in the RSN appealed to his desire to contribute the maritime defence of Singapore, a maritime nation.

He was awarded The SAF Scholarship and went on to pursue his degree and Masters in Systems Science Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

A wealth of experience

Today, the 37-year-old is the Deputy Head of Naval Operations, where he manages a wide spectrum of operations undertaken by the RSN.

This comes after amassing a wealth of experience such as serving as the Military Private Secretary to Minister for Defence, Executive Officer (second-in-command) of a missile corvette and a frigate, staff officer in the Naval Plans Department, branch head in the Naval Intelligence Department and most recently, Commanding Officer of a Formidable-class frigate, RSS Tenacious.

His eventful years of service illustrate the sheer amount of grooming the RSN offers to its scholars and SLTC Kwan relishes the trust the RSN has given him, especially during the initial years of his career.

“The scholarship advanced my career by providing me the opportunities to excel and prove my capability,” he shares.

He was also sponsored for his postgraduate studies in Business Administration at the Nanyang Technological University under the Nanyang Fellows programme.

Memorable moments

SLTC Kwan has no shortage of stories to tell, such as sailing to Vietnam and Indonesia, being attached to HMS Kent (a UK frigate) for navigation training, being involved in the acquisition of the RSN’s future ships and weapon systems and attending defence functions such as Shangri La Dialogue.

However, the one that he treasures the most was during his time as the Commanding Officer of RSS Tenacious.

He shares one particular episode when his ship was assigned to be the visit ship for the Navy@Vivo event in June 2016. It was a challenging assignment where his ship had to manage a record number of visitors, making sure the smooth flow and safety of the visitors.

Despite the long hours, he was proud that his crew managed the crowd well and kept up the high spirits, greeting every visitor with smiles on their faces.

“Personally, it was all the more memorable because it was not my own achievement alone, but one that we attained together as a ship,” he says.

Having come a long way in the RSN, SLTC Kwan can attest that the promise of a diverse and meaningful career remains true.

“The scholarship provided me with a head start in my career and widened my opportunities for professional and personal growth. If you enjoy taking on a diverse portfolio of work, the RSN is for you!” he concludes.