Singapore had only about 1,000 soldiers at independence in 1965. In the late 1960s, after the British decided to withdraw its troops from Singapore, the Government implemented a conscription programme.
The National Service (Amendment) Bill was passed on March 14, 1967, making national service (NS) compulsory for all 18-year-old male Singapore citizens and permanent residents.
About 9,000 men born between Jan 1 and June 30, 1949, became the first batch to be called up. While 900 were enlisted in the Singapore Armed Forces for full-time NS, the rest served part-time in the People’s Defence Force, the Vigilante Corps and the Special Constabulary.
Full-time NS was extended to the Singapore Police Force in 1975 and Singapore Civil Defence Force in 1981.
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