Captain (Ret) Hong Seng Mak


Captain (Ret) Hong Seng Mak

I was proud to be appointed Sergeant Major for the first batch of regular officers to be trained in SAFTI in 1966. I realised that these were the officers who would be responsible for training our first batch of National Servicemen in 1967.


I was not aware of it at that time; it was the period of my career when I earned the nickname ‘Tiger Hong’.


As Sergeant Major I was responsible for discipline and standards of drill. I put my heart and soul into drilling the cadets and I guess it must have had an impact on them.


Apparently many of them were terrified of me and my booming voice on the parade square. Those first batch of cadets gave me the nickname ‘Tiger Hong’ and it has stuck with me ever since.


There was a rumour that I made a captain remove his pips and run around the parade square for not observing proper behaviour on the parade square. I found all this quite amusing, but realised that the nickname had its benefits.


Read the full story and 24 other stories in the book ‘Old Soldiers Don’t Fade Away, They tell Stories’ published by the SAF Veterans League (SAFVL).

Available at $10 special discounted price at the SAFVL Secretariat, SAFRA Toa Payoh, Level 3 (next to the bowling alley) during normal office hours 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Do call ahead at Tel: 6355 4507.