The Singapore Armed Forces, like every other armed forces in the world, has a disciplinary system in place in order to maintain order and discipline so as to uphold high standards of conduct amongst its serviceman. In order to ensure that the appropriate and proportionate punishment is meted out commensurate with the offence committed, both informal and formal punishments might be ordered. 

Your Questions Answered

My son has been charged by his OC. What are some of the common punishments that can be meted out?

Extra duties: Most commonly known simply as “extra”, the serviceman might be punished and made to perform extra weekend duties. These duties vary from unit to unit, but may include ‘guard duty’, where the serviceman will perform security duties at the entrance to the military camp. Alternatively, the serviceman may be deployed at the company operations room in an administrative role.


Stoppage of Leave: Might also be referred to as ‘SOL’ or ‘confinement’. This punishment simply means that the serviceman will not be allowed to book out of camp for the period of confinement. Typically, he will also not be allowed to use the camp recreational facilities (e.g. the mess), and might be required to report to the company operations room at regular, pre-set times throughout the day.

Is there any way to object to certain punishments?

If punishment has been formally (through ST/GCM) and legally meted out for a charge, it is not possible to object to the punishment. Your child may appeal against the decision through different means such as appealing to the Armed Forces Council or the Military Court of Appeal. Please refer to the section ‘For NSFs/Regulars’ for more information.

Is there any way to intervene to help my child?

Previous cases have involved parents approaching their Members of Parliament or contacting the Commanding Officer of the unit. This is not recommended as the military justice system is an internal system that does not recognize external parties. External involvement may complicate the matter further. If you have any objections to your son’s punishments or want legal help for your son, it is best to communicate with your child, his superiors or, at personal expense, a lawyer to know the legal rights and options your child has.

My son has been charged; will I be able to contact him?

Yes. Even if he has been confined, he will be allowed to contact you via his mobile.


If he is appearing before the General Court Martial, you will be allowed to attend the hearing at Court Martial Centre (Kranji Camp II, 90 Chua Chu Kang Way, Singapore 688264). Please remember to bring your identification card or driver’s license as you will need to obtain a visitor’s pass from the guard house.

If my son is charged, will it affect his education or employment prospects?

If the charge is under the SAF Act (e.g. for AWOL or conduct to the prejudice of good order), there will be no criminal record. However, if the charge attracts civil penalties (e.g. theft, rape, drugs-related offences), there might be a criminal record registered.


Nevertheless, even if offences do not result in a criminal record, they may be reflected in the ORD transcript, which may be requested by prospective employers/schools.

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