People's Association (PA) has announced that all past and present national servicemen will be eligible for a free commemorative NS50 PAssion card long with a five-membership, to mark 50 years of national service.
PA said that NS50 PAssion card is given out to help national servicemen pick up new skills, bond over interests and foster more lasting friendships at various community programmes.
It added that national servicemen will receive application instructions for the complimentary card in their NS50 recognition packages of $100 in vouchers this year.
The cards can be used at community clubs, Water Venture outlets and PAssion card merchant.
National servicemen with an existing PAssion card can still apply, and use their cards concurrently.
PA also noted that it will be organising 52 ground-up ceremonies across the island over the next two months, to recognise the generations of national servicemen who have kept Singapore safe.
It stated that servicemen will receive their packages at this series of appreciation ceremonies, including fathers and sons. While the rest who are not attending the ceremony will receive theirs by mail in phases.
The first batches of the recognition packages at separate appreciation ceremonies were given out by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam and Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung on Sunday (9 April) at separate appreciation ceremonies.
Mr Ng also wrote on his Facebook page that he attended the ceremony at SAFRA Toa Payoh with Member of Parliament (MP) Saktiandi Supaat to present the NS50 Recognition Packages to several pairs of fathers and sons, residing in the Bishan Toa Payoh area.
He noted that this ground-up initiative is a simple way for the community to express their thanks to servicemen and for them to celebrate with their families and loved ones.
As for the reason the government chose father and son pairings to receive the gifts, Mr Ng said, "Nothing else better symbolises the passing of the baton from one generation to the next, than the handing over of the sacred duty of protecting Singapore from father to son. Many more such ceremonies will be held in the next few months, hosted by the grassroots advisors, to express our appreciation for our NSmen".
Mr Ng also posted a picture of him with 57-year-old Mr Lee Leng Siang, Mr Lee's 23-year-old son Jin Jie, and Mr Lee's wife on the stage.
The minister noted that despite the fact that Mr Lee was feeling unwell at that moment, he stood proudly on stage to receive their NS50 Recognition Packages.
Both Jin Jie, a Weapons Specialist, and his father, served in the Republic of Singapore Navy.