No tall order for this Lieutenant: 1.46m-tall army regular becomes officer & awarded Sword of Honour

Officer Cadet Course height requirement was waived to allow 1.46m-tall army regular to enrol

At a diminutive height of 1.456m, 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) Chue Zhi Sheng Jeffrey may have thought becoming an officer with the Singapore Army was literally a tall order.

However, not only did he become an officer, he received the Sword of Honour — typically awarded to the top cadets commissioned as officers.

Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

His route was an “unconventional” one, The Singapore Army said.

He was downgraded due to his height

2LT Chue’s journey to becoming an officer was relayed in a Facebook post by The Singapore Army on Monday (10 June).

When he enlisted for national service, he was given a Physical Employment Status (PES) of B2 due to his short stature.

Servicemen with such a medical grading are said to be unable to attend command school after their Basic Military Training (BMT).

Despite this, he was named Company Best Recruit during BMT.

He credited his BMT section mates for being a “great pillar of support” since day one and for accepting him wholeheartedly for who he was.

Chue with his BMT section mates. Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

This gave him the confidence to pursue his goals, he said.

He became a specialist & was inspired to sign on

Then REC Chue was posted to the Logistics Specialist Cadet Course (LSCC) as a Specialist Cadet Trainee (SCT) after his BMT.

True to form, he clinched the Golden Bayonet when he graduated as a Specialist.

Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

The Golden Bayonet is awarded to top specialist cadet graduands from each vocation.

Then a third sergeant (3SG), Chue became motivated to sign on with the Army as he wanted to contribute further and inspire his men.

Chue’s father putting on his 3SG rank insignia at his Specialist Cadet Graduation Parade. Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

He entered course to become army officer despite being 1.46m tall

However, a snag remained — he did not meet the height requirement for the Officer Cadet Course (OCC).

Thus, he couldn’t attend Officer Cadet School (OCS) despite his good military performance.

Thankfully, he found support in Chief Supply Officer, Colonel Edwin Lee.

COL Lee had heard about 3SG Chue’s plight and offered to waive the height requirement, paving the way for him to become a supply officer.

His superiors, including 23 SA Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel (LTC) Edwin Cai, supported his decision.

LTC Cai even wrote a letter of recommendation for him to enrol in OCS.

2LT Chue with LTC Cai. Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

“He also made me understand that a capable officer, with good time management, will always be able to make time to be on the ground with his soldiers and maintain a strong command presence,” 2LT Chue said.

He receives Sword of Honour while being commissioned as an officer

During his 18 months as a cadet (SCT and Officer Cadet Trainee, Chue said he was thankful for the many people he met who helped shape him into the person he is today.

On Saturday (8 June), his dream of being an officer finally came true when cadets from the Logistics Officer Cadet Course (LOCC) were commissioned at a parade in SAFTI MI.

Chue’s father putting on his 2LT rank insignia. Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

2LT Chue did well enough in his course to be presented with the Sword of Honour from Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat, who was the reviewing officer for the parade.

Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

He accomplished this feat due to his “relentless grit”, said the Army.

He pays tribute to family

2LT Chue paid tribute to his family as they had stood by his side throughout.

Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

He’s thankful for “silent yet strong support” that gave him the peace of mind to focus on doing his best, he said, adding:

Without them, I would not have been able to perform as well as I have been.

2LT Chue shared that he was also “fortunate” to meet numerous people at different stages of his life who helped propel him forward.

Additionally, when asked what keeps him going, he said:

Know your reason for wanting to be here. If you know what drives you forward, nothing will be able to hold you back.

Also read: ‘I wanted to win for Dad’: LTA Nicholas Tang honours late father as best international cadet

‘I wanted to win for Dad’: LTA Nicholas Tang honours late father as best international cadet

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at

Featured image adapted from The Singapore Army on Facebook.

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

  • More From Author