Taking leave

As a full-time National Serviceman (NSF), you are entitled to different types of leave.

Vacation leave

You will be entitled to 14 days of vacation leave per year. Leave for service of less than a calendar year will be pro-rated according to the length of service. Any unconsumed leave will be forfeited at the end of the calendar year.

Going overseas

You are permitted to go overseas during your vacation leave. However, before you leave, you must:

  1. Obtain approval for overseas leave from your unit and ensure that you have not been scheduled for duty during the period you are away.
  1. Apply for an Exit Permit if you are going overseas for three months or more.

Note that an Exit Permit is not required if you are travelling overseas for official military duties.

Medical leave

You may be granted medical leave if you have been issued a recognised Medical Certificate (MC) by a government doctor, Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Medical Officer (MO), Dental Officer (DO), or private practitioner registered with the Singapore Medical Council or Singapore Dental Council.

MCs issued by an SAF MO or DO will indicate whether you should rest at home or in the barracks. If the MC allows for light duties, it may specify the types of activities you are exempted from. MCs issued by Chinese physicians and spiritual healers will not be accepted.

To qualify for medical leave, you must:

  • Have an MC
  • Inform your instructor and send him your MC if you are too ill to report for duty, or submit it immediately upon reporting for duty

Compassionate leave

You may be granted compassionate leave of up to three working days per episode by your Unit Commanding Officer or Head of Department if you need to be absent from duty due to any of the following circumstances:

  • Dangerous or terminal illness of family members
  • Imminent death of family members
  • Death of spouse, children, parents, parents-in-law, step-parents, siblings or grandparents
  • Serious domestic problems where your presence is essential to avoid domestic hardship

If the three working days of compassionate leave are insufficient for the same episode, you may take your vacation leave. If you have insufficient vacation leave, you may be granted an additional four working days of compassionate leave by your Unit Commanding Officer or Head of Department for the same episode.

The total number of compassionate leave days, regardless if it is for one or more episodes, remains capped at seven working days per calendar year.

Academic leave arrangement

To allow you to attend local university admission exercises and scholarship interviews or tests, SAF has made certain provisions in their training schedule. These leave arrangements include:

  • A common leave window in the first half of every year. For some of you, this window will fall within your post-Basic Military Training block leave
  • Block leave in the later half of the year
  • Weekends at the Basic Military Training Centre (BMTC), Officer Cadet School and Specialist Cadet School, except during the initial BMTC adjustment period or during major exercises

Those who have completed their essential military training will have to apply for annual leave to attend interviews or tests outside these windows. Approval of leave will be subject to exigencies of service.

Local universities, ministries and statutory boards schedule their university admissions and scholarship interview or tests during the available leave windows or weekends throughout the year. Further information on these windows can be found on the NS Portal and on the Ministry of Defence Facebook page.

You may also approach your unit’s Manpower Officer directly for further clarification on leave arrangements.