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Factsheet: 1st Battalion Singapore
Infantry Regiment (1 SIR)
1 SIR was formed on 12 Mar 1957 against the backdrop of impending
self-government. Recruitment began on 4 Mar 1957 at the British
Army's Malayan Recruiting Centre at Bras Basah Road as well as the
Government Exchange at Havelock Road and Chua Chu Kang Road. Only
people born in Singapore were recruited. Out of a total of 1,420
applicants, only 237 were accepted for training.
By July 1959, the unit had a total strength of 654 officers and men
under the command of LTC R. W. Stephenson and was based at Ulu
Pandan Camp. It was not until March 1963 that 1 SIR reached its full
strength of 816 men.
1 SIR Today
1 SIR is one of six active infantry battalions in the SAF and comes
under the command of 2nd Singapore Infantry Brigade (2 SIB). The
enlistment and training cycles are based on a two-year mono-intake
system which also caters for basic military training.
Besides training, 1 SIR also plays an important role in the Army's
transformation efforts in testing and validating new doctrines for
the 3rd Generation Army.
1 SIR Cap Badge
The first cap badge of 1 SIR was one of a lion standing on a tower.
The "lion" represented the sacred animal of the land and the "tower"
represented a city, thus denoting the "Lion City". This logo
reflected the British influence with richness and grandeur. A parade
was held at Ulu Pandan Camp on 11 March 1961 to introduce
the Battalion Cap Badge to establish the identity of the battalion.
The first Regimental Badge was replaced in 1986 by one bearing the
State Coat of Arms with the motto "Yang Pertama dan Utama" ("First
Significant milestones include:
1961: The Yang di-Pertuan Negara, Inche Yusof Bin Ishak,
presented the Queen's Colours and the Regimental Colours to 1 SIR on
27 July 1961.
1967: The start of National Service led to many of 1 SIR's
experienced commanders being called upon to train the new
1968: 1 SIR came under the command of 2 SIB in June and in
October, 1 SIR started training national servicemen.
1969: 1 SIR moved to a new home at Guillemard Camp in January
and became a fully operational national service battalion by end
1973: 1 SIR supported the Southeast Asian Peninsular Games or
SEAP Games by providing manpower to ensure the smooth running of the
1980: 1 SIR received her first mono-intake on 26 December
1980. Besides training young Singaporean men to become confident
soldiers, 1 SIR was also actively involved in National Day Parade in
the areas of show support and show management.
1986: The present "Leopard" unit symbol was unveiled by
LG(Ret) Winston Choo, then Chief of General Staff on 14 March. Since
then, the name "Leopard" has become synonymous with the men and
commanders of 1 SIR.
1993: 1 SIR provided manpower to support the SEA Games
closing ceremony in a performance entitled 'Flames of Unity' which
was hailed as "eye-catching and beautiful" by the local press.
2003: 1 SIR moved to her present home at Mandai Hill Camp in
September. To commemorate the re-location of 1 SIR, a parade and a
special Leopards' Homecoming event were held at Guillemard Camp.
As the first regular infantry battalion in the SAF, the early
days of 1 SIR saw her play an active role in protecting Singapore's
internal security during the tumultuous period of the 1960s and
1970s. The operations that 1 SIR took part in included:
- Performing escort and crowd
dispersal duties during the Public Works Department strike in
- Maintaining road blocks and
cordoning off affected areas after the Bukit Ho Swee fire in 1963.
- Conducting border patrols at Sabah
during the Confrontation (1963-1964).
- Assisting the police in foot and
vehicle patrols, road blocks and cordon and search operations in
Chinatown and Tiong Bahru during the 1964 racial riots.
- Operation Thunderstorm to prevent
South Vietnamese refugees from entering and staying in Singapore.
- Assisting in the rescue operations
during the Hotel New World disaster in March 1986.
1 SIR has consistently done well in the SAF's annual Best Unit
Competition. To date, 1 SIR has won the Best Combat Unit award twice
in 1970 and 1998. It has also won the Best Infantry Unit seven times
in 1970, 1976, 1977, 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2005.
Release 9 Jul 2007