Template:Infobox Military Unit

St John Ambulance Singapore is a voluntary organisation in Singapore which provides training in First Aid and Home Nursing. Its members also perform voluntary first aid coverage duties during national events.

The headquarters is located at 420 Beach Road. It was opened on July 23, 1960 by the Yang di-Pertuan Negara (and subsequently President of Singapore), En. Yusof bin Ishak.


The St John Ambulance Singapore comes under the command of the National St John Council with the following appointments:

Appointment Incumbent
Council Chairman Mr Bobby Lim Chye Huat, PBM, C.St.J.
Vice-Chairman Dr. Chen Sze Hua, C.St.J.
Vice-Chairman Dr. Teh Peng Hooi, C.St.J.

Apart from promoting and assisting St. John Ambulance Association & Brigade as well as to raise the necessary funds to support their work, the main objects of the Council, are briefly as follows:

  1. To promote and encourage all works of humanity and charity for the relief of distress, suffering, sickness and danger without any distinction as to race, class or creed, and the extension of the great principles of the Order of St John embodied in its mottoes "for the Faith" and "For the Service of Mankind".
  2. To render aid to the sick, wounded, disabled or suffering and to promote such permanent organisation in time of peace, as may be available immediately in time of emergency, such aid shall include the provision of technical reserves for the Medical services of the Armed Forces or civil defence organisations in the Republic of Singapore.
  3. To do such other things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects or any of them.

In June 1978, the Brigade was reorganised and upgraded to National Headquarters level with the following appointments:

Appointment Incumbent
Chief Commissioner Dr Chen Sze Hua, C.St.J.
Deputy Chief Commissioner Mr Tan Yak Huang, PB, C.St.J.
Chief Surgeon Dr Christopher Goh Hood Keng, S.B.St.J.
Senior Assistant Chief Commissioner (Administration) Mr Seah Boon Chun, PB, PBS, C.St.J.
Senior Assistant Chief Commissioner (Operations) Mr Tian Mong Ching, C.St.J.
Senior Assistant Chief Commissioner (Nursing) Mrs Yang-Ho Ah Pong, PBS, O.St.J.

This brought our organisation status at par with St. John Ambulance organisations in other independent nations. The Brigade was structured into 4 Districts and 10 Areas.

In 1996, the Brigade was again re-structured. The District level was removed, and the Brigade became simply structured into 10 Zones.

St John Ambulance is a ranked organisation, and members fall into a hierarchical structure of command. St. John Ambulance ranks run from Member, through Corporals, Sergeants and Officers all the way up to the Chief Commissioner. However,it is difficult to equate the rank structure to equivalent ranks in other military/paramilitary organisations.

Cadet movementEdit


St John Ambulance in Singapore largely consists of cadet members - i.e. secondary school students who joined St John as their CCA. Currently, the various schools under the 10 Zones are as follows:

Zone 1 (Zone Commissioner: Ms Nancy Low Bee Lian, S.S.St.J.)

  • Bedok Green Sec Sch
  • Bishan Park Sec Sch
  • Peirce Sec Sch
  • CHIJ St Nicholas' Girls School
  • Northview Sec Sch
  • Pasir Ris Crest Sec Sch

Zone 2 (Zone Commissioner: Mr Cheng Chung Hsien, S.B.St.J.)

  • Anglican High Sch
  • Bedok North Sec Sch
  • Bedok View Sec Sch
  • Changkat Changi Sec Sch
  • Springfield Sec Sch
  • Temasek Sec Sch
  • Yuying Sec Sch
  • Junyuan Sec Sch
  • East Spring Sec Sch

Zone 3 (Zone Commissioner: Mr Derek Tan, S.B.St.J.)

  • Anderson Sec Sch
  • Deyi Sec Sch
  • First Toa Payoh Sec Sch
  • Mayflower Sec Sch
  • St Anthony's Canossian Sec Sch
  • St. Joseph's Institution
  • Yishun Town Sec Sch
  • Northland Sec Sch

Zone 4 (Zone Commissioner: Mr Eric Koh Siak Hong, PK, PBS, S.B.St.J.)

  • Anglo-Chinese School(Independent)
  • Chua Chu Kang Sec Sch
  • Beatty-Katong Convent Sec Sch
  • Paya Lebar MGS
  • St Andrew's Sec Sch
  • St Joseph's Convent
  • Swiss Cottage Sec Sch
  • Westwood Sec Sch
  • Hillgrove Sec Sch

Zone 5 (Zone Commissioner: Mr Frederick Lim Yew Soon, CMSJ)

  • Chung Cheng High School (Yishun)
  • Dunearn Sec Sch
  • Monk's Hill Sec Sch
  • Nanyang Girls' High School
  • New Town Sec Sch
  • Poi Ching PS Badger Unit
  • Queensway Sec Sch
  • Zhonghua Sec Sch
  • Canberra Sec Sch
  • West Spring Secondary School

Zone 6 (Zone Commissioner: Mr Eric Lee, S.B.St.J.)

Zone 7 (Zone Commissioner: Mr Kuo Keng Huat, S.B.St.J.)

  • Ahmad Ibrahim Sec Sch
  • Hwa Chong Institution (High School)
  • Henderson Sec Sch
  • Nan Hua High Sch
  • Naval Base Sec Sch
  • Tanglin Sec Sch
  • North Vista Sec Sch
  • Xinmin Sec Sch

Zone 8 (Zone Commissioner: Mr Chin Chee Wah, S.B.St.J.)

  • Bedok South Sec Sch
  • Chung Cheng High Sch (Main)
  • Dunman High School
  • East View Sec Sch
  • Greenview Sec Sch
  • Peicai Sec Sch
  • Pei Chun Badger Unit
  • Tampines Sec Sch
  • MacPherson Sec Sch

Zone 9 (Zone Commissioner: Mr Yong Cheng Thye, S.B.St.J.)

  • Boon Lay Sec Sch
  • Bukit Batok Sec Sch
  • Clementi Town Sec Sch
  • Clementi Woods Sec Sch
  • ITE(Central) Bedok
  • Jurongville Sec Sch
  • River Valley High Sch
  • Yuan Ching Sec Sch
  • Northlight School

Zone 10 (Zone Commissioner: Ms Wendy Neo Lay Cheng, S.S.St.J.)

As St John the Baptist Day, June 24 normally falls during the Singapore School Holidays, St John Cadets observe St John Ambulance Brigade Day on the first Wednesday after school reopens. On that day, all St John Ambulance Brigade members in schools will report to school in Brigade Uniform, and the St John Day Message by the Chief Commissioner will be read out by the Principal or a student leader. On that day, St John members reaffirm their loyalty to the Republic of Singapore and affirm their commitment to the mottoes of the Order, 'For the Faith' and 'For the Service of Mankind'.

Typically, St John cadets in Singapore learn First Aid, Home Nursing, Transportation of Casualties and footdrill as part of their core syllabus. They also have the opportunity to go on other enrichment activities such as camping trips where they can earn proficiency badges [1]. Outstanding members may also vie for the prestigious Chief Commissioner's Badge, which is only attainable after obtaining 12 proficiency badges according to a set of strict criteria.


To be loyal to Singapore and the President of the Republic

To upkeep the honour and dignity of the Brigade and my Country

To observe the mottoes of the Order, which are "Pro Fide" – For the Faith, "Pro Utilitate Hominum" – For the Service of Mankind

To be loyal to the Chief Commissioner and all my Officers

To read the Brigade Regulations and to comply with them in all respects

To carry out all orders received from time to time from seniors

To carry out my duties with zeal and efficiency to the best of my ability

To be courteous and honest in all my words and actions

Cadet Proficiency Badge SchemeEdit

The objective of the Cadet Proficiency Badge Scheme is to encourage cadet members to take an interest in subjects outside their normal curriculum and to widen their interests by carrying out these activities in their leisure time. Such activities may also be organized by their respective Corps/Zones. Certain activities are also organized by the NHQ.

The proficiency badges are divided into 4 groups as follow:

Group 1 : Welfare and Service

  • Anti-Drug Abuse Course (Ref: Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association)
  • Casualty Simulation
  • Citizenship
  • Civil Defence (Ref: Singapore Joint Civil Defence Force Civil Defence Volunteer Unit)
  • Community Care
  • Crime Prevention
  • Energy Conservation (Ref: Energy Conservation Division Corporate Planning Department)
  • Heart Saver (Ref: SJAB National Headquarters/Ministry of Health)
  • Leadership (Ref: SJAB or NACTI)
  • Total Defence (Ref: Ministry of Defence)
  • Nursing Care

Group 2 : Outdoor Activities

  • Adventure Training Course (Ref: Outward Bound Singapore)
  • Athletics
  • Camping and Campcraft
  • Canoeing (Ref: People's Association)
  • Cycling
  • Diver (Ref: Singapore Underwater Federation - a member of the World Underwater Federation)
  • Expedition
  • Games
  • Hiking
  • Life Saving (Ref: Singapore Life Saving Society - a member of the Royal Life Saving Society)
  • Map Reading
  • Swimming (Ref: Singapore Life Saving Society - a member of the Royal Life Saving Society)
  • Gardening
  • Archery
  • Air Rifle

Group 3 : Crafts and Hobbies

  • Artist
  • Collecting
  • Electrical Repairs
  • Homecraft
  • Librarian
  • Martial Arts
  • Musician
  • Photography
  • Computer Knowledge
  • Community Song

Group 4 : General

  • Accident Prevention
  • Clerical Ability
  • Cookery and Nutrition
  • Drill Knowledge
  • Fire Fighting and Prevention (Ref: Singapore Civil Defence Force)
  • Handyman
  • International Friendship
  • Knowledge of The Order of St. John
  • Languages
  • Pet Care
  • IT Knowledge

Achievement Badges

  • National Activity Badge

Upon participation in any of the following activities: - SYF Parade - National Day Parade - Brigade Camp (National Level) - Inter-Zone(i.e. National) First Aid and Home Nursing Competition - Uniformed Groups Heritage Trail

  • Unicorn Badge

Upon obtaining 4 proficiency badges from each of the four categories (excluding the Knowledge of The Order) and the National Activity Badge.

  • The Commissioner's Badge

Upon obtaining 6 proficiency badges(at least one from each category + the Knowledge of The Order) and meeting the following criteria: - Must not be above 20 years of age on the date of qualifying for the badge

  • The Chief Commissioner's Badge

Upon obtaining 12 proficiency badges(at least two from Category I & II, no more than two from Category III + Knowledge of The Order) and meeting the following criteria: - Must not be above 20 years of age on the date of qualifying for the badge

In 2005, the policy on wearing of achievement badges was revised to allow members to continue wearing the Chief Commissioner Badge even after they are promoted to an officer.

Annual First Aid and Home Nursing CompetitionEdit


An annual first-aid-competition among schools is held in each of the 10 zones. There are 4 categories to the competition.

The champions of each category go on to represent their Zone in the Inter-Zone First Aid Competition.

Category Description
Ambulance Adult (AA) Males of age 16 or above with Adult First Aid Cerificate
Nursing Adult (NA) Females of age 16 or above with Adult First Aid Certificate
Ambulance Cadet (AC) Males of age 17 or below with Basic First Aid Certificate
Nursing Cadet (NC) Females of age 17 or below with Basic First Aid Certificate

Inter-Corps First Aid CompetitionEdit

The various Zones conduct Inter-Corps First Aid Competition amongst themselves to decide which Corps gets to represent them at the Inter-Zone First Aid Competition, usually held in July.

The following table lists the various champions for 2010.

Zone AA Champion AC Champion NA Champion NC Champion
1 Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School Peirce Secondary School Bedok Green Secondary School CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls' School
2 Temasek Secondary School Anglican High School Anglican High School East Spring Secondary School
3 Bedok Green Secondary School Anderson Secondary School St Joseph's Institution
4 - - - -
5 - Zhonghua Secondary School Nanyang Girls' High School Nanyang Girls' High School
6 Riverside Secondary School Bukit Merah Secondary School Bukit Panjang Govt. High School Bukit Panjang Govt. High School
7 Nan Hua High School Hwa Chong Institution Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School Nan Hua High School
8 East View Secondary School Dunman High School Dunman High School Dunman High School
9 Bukit Batok Secondary School River Valley High School Jurong Ville Secondary School River Valley High School
10 - - -

Inter-Zone First Aid and Home Nursing Competition 2010Edit

Category Champion Runner Up 2nd Runner Up
Ambulance Adult Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) (Zone 4) Hai Sing Catholic School (Zone 10) Riverside Secondary School (Zone 6)
Ambulance Cadet Hwa Chong Institution (Zone 7) Hai Sing Catholic School (Zone 10) Zhonghua Secondary School (Zone 5)
Nursing Adult Yishun Town Secondary School (Zone 3) Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School (Zone 4) Hai Sing Catholic School (Zone 10)
Nursing Cadet Hai Sing Catholic School (Zone 10) Dunman High School (Zone 8) Bukit Panjang Govt. High School (Zone 6)


The present uniform consists of a white top and black bottom for all members of the Brigade,.

For the Cadet and Adult members' headdress, a black beret bearing either the Cadet or the Adult cap badge is worn. Nursing (female) members are also encouraged to wear hairnets, especially during major parades.

File:Sjab homenursing.jpg

The top consists of a white sleeved shirt/blouse with silver buttons bearing the SJAB insignia. Shoulder flashes bearing the Maltese Cross are worn on both sleeves. Epaulettes bearing the Cadet/Adult members' rank are worn on the shoulders.

The bottom consists of black pants for Ambulance (Male) members and black culottes for Nursing (Female) members. Black socks and shoes complete the uniform for members. Lady officers have the option of wearing court shoes for functions (i.e. when not on parade or duty.)

Officers and Warrant Officers have altogether 5 different uniforms:

Common Name Description (Ambulance) Description (Nursing)
Safari Uniform A bush jacket with 4 big silver buttons in front, with epulattes and metal rank insignias for both the men and the ladies. (Sergeants-Major wear embroided slot-in epulattes). Medal ribbons are normally worn though full medals (together with the ceremonial belt) are sometimes worn during parades and ceremonies. Peak Cap is worn.

A new Safari Uniform with slip-on rank insignias was spotted being worn

Same. Lady officers have the option of black culottes or slacks.
Field Uniform Same uniform as for Members except for collar badges. Beret is worn. Same. Lady officers have the option of black culottes or slacks.
No. 1 Uniform A long-sleeved version of the safari jacket, with full medals, worn on top of a white shirt black and tie (analogous to the SAF's No. 5E). A ceremonial belt, in red, white and black is worn around the waist. Peak Cap is worn. A long-sleeved version of the safari uniform. Senior lady officers also have a gray dress but this uniform is seldom seen nowadays. Round Hat is worn.
Mess Kit A wing-collared shirt with maroon cummerband bow-tie. Tuxedo jacket with miniature medals and rank insignias is worn. No headdress is worn. A cross bow-tie. Tuxedo jacket with miniature medals and rank insignias is worn. No headdress is worn.
Formal Uniform spotted being worn in 2011 A long-sleeved shirt worn tucked-in with two pockets in front, with shoulder flaps and slip-on rank insignias. Worn with a special name tag with the St John Ambulance logo, a navy blue tie embroidered with the 8-pointed St John cross and the words 'St John Ambulance' and the standard St John Ambulance nylon belt. Trousers are as per Field uniform. Peaked cap and medal ribbons are worn. Not seen yet

Besides rank insignias, Senior Officers are distinguished by different cap badges and embellishments. In addition, Officers Grades 2 and above are entitled to wear gorget patches.

As of 2011, a new embroidered cap badge is being introduced for Officers.

Rank Cap Embellishment (Ambulance) Cap Embellishment (Nursing) Cap Badge
Grades 4 through 6, Sergeants Major and Corps Presidents Plain Peak Cap Plain Round Hat Officer Cap Badge in White Metal
Grades 3 through 1 and Zone Presidents Peak Cap with a silver bar for the men Round Hat with a miniature cockade Officer Cap Badge in White Metal
Super Grades and HQ Presidents Peak Cap with a silver bar and St John wort Round Hat with a full cockade Senior Officer Cap Badge (cross in White Enamel)
Rank Gorget Patches
Supergrade Officers and HQ Officers (Grade 1) 60px
Zone Commissioners pending
HQ Officers (Grade 2) and Zone Officers (Grade 1) 60px
Zone Officers (Grade 2) 60px
HQ Officers (Grades 3 through 5) and Sergeants Major Collar badges with red backing
Zone Officers (Grades 3 through 5) and Sergeants Major 60px
Corps Officers (Grades 3 to 6) and Sergeants Major 60px
HQ/Zone/Corps President 60px

Rank structureEdit

Throughout their secondary education, members are awarded ranks as follows:

Upon completing their secondary education, ex-cadets may continue their service to the Brigade. Some choose to just return as friends of the school and conduct training for their juniors, while others undergo further formal training to prepare themselves to be appointed as Brigade Officers.

Brigade Officers hold ranks at Corps, Zone or National Headquarters level, and these ranks are further divided into Grades 6 through 1 (Grade 1 being the most senior). The most senior Brigade Officers hold ranks of Super Grade 5 through 1.

Description of rank structureEdit

All ranks are worn on the shoulder board. All badges are made of White Metal against a black background. (This list is not exhaustive.) Medical doctors have a red outline around their shoulder boards as shown in the below pictures.

Rank Illustration Typical Appointment
Super Grade 1 Pending Chief Commissioner
Super Grade 2 60px Dy Chief Commissioner / Chief Surgeon
Super Grade 3 60px Senior Assistant Chief Commissioner
Super Grade 4 60px Assistant Chief Commissioner / Chief Nursing Officer
Super Grade 5 40px Commissioner / Zone Commissioner
Grade 1 40px HQ Staff Officer / Deputy Zone Commissioner
Grade 2 40px HQ Staff Officer / Zone Superintendent / Zone Surgeon* / Zone Nursing Officer
Grade 3 40px (HQ / Zone) Staff Officer / Corps Superintendent / Zone Nursing Officer
Grade 4 40px (HQ / Zone / Corps) Staff Officer / Corps Surgeon* / (Zone / Corps) Nursing Officer
Grade 5 40px (HQ / Zone / Corps) Staff Officer / Corps Nursing Officer / Zone Nursing Officer*
Grade 6 40px Corps Staff Officer
Special Grade 60px HQ / Zone / Corps President
Sergeant Major 60px HQ / Zone Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major Pending Corps Sergeant Major
  • Denotes such an officer can be promoted to the next higher grade depending on performance. A Deputy to such an officer (or one acting in his capacity) would normally be of one grade lower, and an Assistant would be of two.

Awards and commendationsEdit

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Officers and Members of the Brigade are eligible for the following Awards and Commendations:

Local awardsEdit

  • 5 Years First Aid Efficiency Medal (for 5 years' service)
  • Commendation Medal (which carries the post nominal letters CMSJ)

International (Order) awardsEdit

  • Service Medal of the Order (for 10 years' service)
  • Bar to the Service Medal (for each subsequent 5 years' service up to 45 years)
  • Gilt Laurel Leaf (for 50 years' service)
  • Admission/Promotion to the Order of St John
    • Serving Brother / Serving Sister (S.B.St.J. or S.S.St.J.)
    • Officer Brother / Officer Sister (O.St.J.)
    • Commander Brother / Commander Sister (C.St.J.)
    • Knight / Dame of Grace (K.St.J. or D.St.J.),
  • Life-Saving Medal of the Order (in Gold, Silver or Bronze)

The grades of the Order are numbered 1 through 6, however this is not to be confused with the grading of Brigade Officers.

The highest grade in the Order, G.C.St.J. is limited only to the Great Officers of the Order and 21 other individuals. The lowest grade in the Order, Esq.St.J. is for Personal Esquires for K.St.J. and above who probably play a role similar to that of an Aide-de-Camp.

The allotment is as follows: 2 Personal Esquires for Knights of Justice and above, and 1 Personal Esquire for Knights of Grace. No Personal Esquires have been appointed in Singapore.

Past leadersEdit

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Chairman, National St John CouncilEdit

  • Dr Baey Lian Peck, JP, BBM, O.St.J. ( - )
  • Dr Ng Eng Lim, K.St.J. ( - )
  • Mr Peter Ngo Gim Kang, JP, BBM(L), K.St.J. ( - 2007)
  • Mr Bobby Lim Chye Huat, PBM, C.St.J. (2007 - )

Director, St John Ambulance AssociationEdit

  • Dr Timothy Phoon, K.St.J. ( - )
  • Dr David Tan Kia Choo, C.St.J. (1999 - )
  • Dr Teh Peng Hooi, C.St.J. ( - )

Commissioner, St John Ambulance BrigadeEdit

  • Dr D.P.McIntyre ( - )
  • Dr P.C. Kwan ( - )
  • Dr K.L. Loh, BBM, C.St.J. ( - July 1970)
  • Dr S.R.Sayampanathan, BBM, C.St.J. (July 1970 - 1978)

Chief Commissioner, St John Ambulance BrigadeEdit

  • Dr S.R.Sayampanathan, BBM, C.St.J. (1978 - 10 Sep 1980)
  • Dr Gwee Ah Leng, PJG, JP, C.St.J. (11 Sep 1980 - 23 June 1989)
  • LTC(Vol) Prof Low Cheng Hock JP, PBM, PPA(E), K.St.J. (24 June 1989 - 1999)
  • A/Prof Ho Nai Kiong BBM, K.St.J. (1999–2005)
  • Dr Chen Sze Hua C.St.J. (2005 - )

See alsoEdit


(1997 edition)

External linksEdit