Captain (CPT) Lee Jia Pei
Assistant Operations Officer, RSS Sovereignty
My company and my job
I am the Assistant Operations Officer of RSS Sovereignty, an Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV) of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). As the Division Officer of the Weapons department, I am responsible for the training, morale and discipline of the crew under my charge. At sea, I also perform various roles such as watchkeeping and conducting deck operations.
How I got my job
I was working as an accountant for a year before deciding to join the Navy. I have always wanted to embark on a path that is less conventional and I believed joining the Navy would offer me the opportunity to do something both exciting and meaningful. I recall attending a career seminar, followed by an interview, and off I went for Basic Military Training (BMT)!
The highs and lows
I would say that being the pioneer crew of RSS Sovereignty has brought about a mixture of many highs and lows. While I appreciate the opportunity to serve as the pioneer crew of the ship, the journey towards operationalising the ship has not been easy. I had to deal with many uncertainties and obstacles, but I have also learned so much in the process.
Training and support
As part of the training to become a Naval Officer, I underwent the challenging nine-month midshipman course, where I was trained to lead. As I progressed through different appointments, I also attended courses that helped equip me with the necessary skills and knowledge to make sound operational decisions in the roles that I play.
Contrary to the popular belief that Navy personnel sail for long periods of time, our sailings do not usually last for more than a week. Long deployments are usually scheduled beforehand, allowing servicemen and women to make necessary personal arrangements. During non-sailing days, we observe normal working routine and get to go home to spend time with our families. As for the culture in the Navy, we pride ourselves for having a strong Navy family spirit because we eat, play and work within a common space. My ship crew are like my family members, and they are the reason why I am motivated to give my best.
There is only so much time you have when you are still young and energetic. If the thought of joining the Navy ever crosses your mind, just do it! It’s challenging, but the experience you gain and the friendships you forge with the men and women whom you live and work with will last for a lifetime.