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Empowering every Singaporean to contribute to Total Defence

It’s not just our heroic frontliners who keep our nation safe. Every one of us has a role to play in safeguarding our future – and together, we can remain united and strong.

It’s not just our heroic frontliners who keep our nation safe. Every one of us has a role to play in safeguarding our future – and together, we can remain united and strong.



Amid the sweetness of Valentine’s Day celebrations, Singaporeans are reminded of a more solemn occasion – Total Defence Day, observed annually on 15 Feb. This date marks a pivotal moment in our nation’s history: When the British surrendered Singapore to Japan in 1942 during World War II.

As we mark the 40th anniversary of Total Defence this year (TD40), we honour the indomitable spirit of our forefathers, whose resilience shaped our nation and paved the way for the peace and security we cherish today.

Our national safety rests on five key pillars of Total Defence: Military defence, economic defence, social defence, psychological defence and digital defence – each vital in its own right. But Total Defence isn’t just the responsibility of members of the Home Team or Singapore Armed Forces. There’s also a critical, but often overlooked, aspect: Civil defence, which focuses on empowering civilians with a state of preparedness, enabling us to safeguard ourselves and our loved ones during a crisis.

In the spirit of unity, every Singaporean has a role to play in strengthening our nation’s Total Defence. From being vigilant against misinformation to actively supporting our community and helping the vulnerable, here’s how you can contribute to our collective security.


Your personal preparedness is a cornerstone of our national resilience. In an emergency, such as a fire, do you know the steps to take? Can you recognise the different public sirens and their meaning, and do you know where the nearest shelters are located?

Understanding these details is not just to ensure personal safety, but also about being a responsible citizen equipped to aid yourself and others in times of need. Start familiarising yourself with these critical aspects of safety by reading up on resource packs and exploring the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) website.

You can also join free Civil Defence exercises to pick up life-saving techniques – such as first aid, CPR-AED or fire-fighting skills – at your nearest SCDF headquarters or community centres or take a self-directed e-learning course.

Responders Plus Programme, SCDF’s emergency preparedness training initiative, equips the public with essential life-saving skills.


Bolster the public safety net by becoming a myResponder. As a crucial member of your community’s first-response team, you’ll be trained to handle situations such as minor fires or cardiac arrests. This role empowers you to make a difference during emergencies and potentially save lives.

If enhancing community security aligns more with your interests, consider participating in the Home Team Volunteer Scheme. This initiative offers a unique opportunity to join police patrols around your neighbourhood or become a Crime Prevention Ambassador (CPA).

Volunteers under the CPA programme help to promote public awareness of crime prevention in the community.

Beyond these roles, building a close-knit community also means caring for your neighbours. Such camaraderie not only promotes a sense of belonging, but also positions you to identify and assist in situations of abuse, domestic violence, depression or other illegal activities. By keeping an eye out and lending a hand when needed, you’re helping to build a safer, more supportive community.


In today’s fast-paced digital world, misinformation can spread like wildfire, making your role in discerning and halting their progress more important than ever.

Before sharing any news – especially those that seem sensational – pause and verify sources. A simple online search can often reveal the truth behind a story. Your diligence in this regard is key – unverified news may lead to unnecessary panic, disrupt plans or cause unnecessary dissent.

Equally important is protecting our seniors from the growing menace of scams. Take the time to educate and engage in conversations with seniors around you and listen out for any mentions of unusual transactions or encounters to protect them from being exploited.

Putting digital defence into action means adopting good cybersecurity habits to protect your personal data and staying vigilant against online threats.

Lastly, embrace your role as a vigilant member of society. Be the eyes and ears on the ground and report any suspicious activities or individuals to the authorities. For those looking to further contribute to our national security, you can join SGSecure to boost our collective safety and help foster a more united community.


2024 marks a special year with the 40th anniversary of Total Defence, and you’re invited to experience it first-hand.

Gear up for a series of simulated exercises designed to enhance your awareness and preparedness. These are part of the inaugural Exercise SG Ready initiative, happening from 15 to 29 Feb 2024. Find your nearest venue to join any of the exercises.

Also, mark your calendars for the Civil Defence (CD) MRT Shelter Open Houses on 23 Feb 2024. The SCDF, in collaboration with the Land Transport Authority, will be hosting visits to Dakota (CC8), Potong Pasir (NE10) and Tan Kah Kee (DT8) MRT Stations from 10am to 4pm. The open houses will demonstrate how MRT stations can be transformed into public shelters to protect civilians during emergency situations.

For more information, visit Total Defence Resources.

Interested in serving beyond your obligations? Consider the Volunteer Extension Scheme, which allows PNSMen who have completed their NS liability to continue serving beyond their statutory age. PNSMen (With NS liability) who have passed their statutory age of 40 years (Junior Officers) & 50 years (Senior Officers) may apply.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Upcoming Events & Promotions

Check out the exclusive perks and benefits we have for our HomeTeamNS members in celebration of the inaugural Home Team Day 2024! Find out more here:

FREE 1-Year HomeTeamNS Membership

Check out the exclusive perks and benefits we have for our HomeTeamNS members in celebration of the inaugural Home Team Day 2024!
15th March 2024
12:21 PM

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