The Girl In Green

Find out why she serves with the SAF Volunteer Corps.
Zizie Zuzantie, Singapore Armed Forces Volunteer Corps, National Council for Social Service
By day, Zizie is a social service planner with the National Council of Social Service. Outside office hours, she is a volunteer with the SAF Volunteer Corps.

Zizie Zuzantie Mohamed Said had always wanted to do her part for national defence.

Now, the 27-year-old manager with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) has found a way: by serving in the SAF Volunteer Corps (SAFVC).

For some, the military culture may be daunting, but Zizie credits her parents’ influence: “They never doubted the importance of national defence and often encouraged (and even reprimanded) my brothers to take it seriously.”

So strong is her conviction, Zizie also visits museums or war memorial sites yearly, so that she never forgets or takes for granted what Singapore has today.

The SAFVC is a uniformed volunteer scheme introduced in 2015 to provide more Singaporeans and Permanent Residents with the opportunity to contribute to national defence.

Many of Zizie’s friends were surprised by her decision to sign up.

“I often get incredulous remarks such as ‘you completed basic training?’ and ‘you went to [the Basic Military Training Centre] and Pulau Tekong?’” Zizie laughs.


But the training turned out to be “actually very doable”.

She explains: “No one is ever pushed beyond their limits and more importantly, no one gets left behind. Training is tough, but you can get through it, together with your buddy and your section mates.”

And the lessons learned, such as perseverance and keeping calm under pressure, have helped in her work too. On security duty during the 2017 Army Open House, Zizie observed how a lieutenant met disgruntled early visitors, who wished to bypass security checks, with quick thinking and calm. “I remember making a mental note to bring that [poise] back to my office… that can definitely help me in my daily work!”

At the NCSS, Zizie scans trends and the social service landscape to facilitate innovation and enhance solutions for the sector. It’s not front-facing work, but “there seems to be no lull period,” she notes.

So one day she and a work buddy started a short nerf gun “battle” in the office. “The spontaneity reminds me that, at the end of the day, we are the life that we bring to the office.”

This series is part of the PS I Love You campaign. Watch Zizie’s video on the PSD Facebook page.

    Jun 28, 2018
    Zul Othman
    Yip Siew Fei
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