The Singapore government will work with education institutions to identify potential "cyber defenders" to join the new cyber defence vocation in its armed forces and defend the country, said its Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung.
Mr Ong, who was speaking at a competition for students related to cyber security techniques, said that outstanding performers at such competitions would be invited to go through a selection process for that vocation, and would be able to serve their military service in that field if successful.
Able-bodied men in Singapore are conscripted for two years once they turn 18, and continue to go for training annually until they are in their 40s to remain operationally ready.
“We should learn from our elite combat forces, to develop our cyber defence force also as an elite force comprising people with exceptional talent. Hence, recruitment must be highly-selective, and the demands on the vocation will be exact, will be intense,” said Mr Ong to the students.
“We will expand future camps and make them more rigorous to better identify cyber talents. As for ladies - your talents are much needed too, so please consider us as you make your career choices and as you decide on your course of study and then step into the workforce later.”
He added that past winners who are active in the cybersecurity industry or who have completed their two years of military service could also be considered for possible reassignment to a military role in cyber defence.
Earlier this year, Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced the ministry’s target to train 2,600 cyber defenders in 10 years.