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Neo Kian Hong
Place of birth Singapore
Allegiance Singapore
Service/branch Singapore Armed Forces
Years of service 1983–2013
Rank Lieutenant-General
Commands held
  • Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Singapore Guards
  • Commander, 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • Assistant Chief of the General Staff (Operations)
  • Commander, 9th Division
  • Commander, Army Training and Doctrine Command
  • Chief of Staff, Joint Staff
  • Chief of Army (2007–2010)
  • Chief of Defence Force (2010–2013)
Awards see #Awards
Other work see #Civil career

Neo Kian Hong is a Singaporean civil servant and former military officer. He was the seventh Chief of Defence Force of the Singapore Armed Forces from 2010–2013 and held the rank of Lieutenant-General. Prior to that, he served as the Chief of the Singapore Army from 2007–2010. After retiring from the military in 2013, Neo joined the civil service and became the Permanent Secretary (Education Development) in the Ministry of Education.

Education[edit | edit source]

Neo received his secondary education in Victoria School, where he was also a National Cadet Corps cadet,[1] and his pre-university education in Nanyang Junior College.[2] He was awarded an overseas scholarship by the Singapore Armed Forces in 1985 and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons 2nd Upper) in electrical and electronic engineering from King's College London. He holds a Master of Science in management of technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[3] He also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2013.[4]

Military career[edit | edit source]

Neo joined the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in 1983. Throughout his career in the SAF, he has held various appointments, including: Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Singapore Guards; Commander, 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade; Assistant Chief of the General Staff (Operations); Commander, 9th Division; Commander, Army Training and Doctrine Command; Chief of Staff, Joint Staff; Chief of Army (2007–2010).[3] He attended the Indonesian Army Command and Staff Course (SESKOAD) in 1994. He also served as the SAF's contingent commander for the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) in 1999 and was involved in establishing the national contact and tracing system in Singapore during the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak.[5]

Neo succeeded Desmond Kuek as the Chief of Defence Force of the SAF on 31 March 2010 and relinquished his previous appointment as the Chief of Army to Chan Chun Sing on 26 March.[3] He was promoted from the rank of Major-General to Lieutenant-General on 1 July 2010.[6]

Neo retired from the SAF on 27 March 2013 and was succeeded by Ng Chee Meng as the Chief of Defence Force.[7]

Civil career[edit | edit source]

After leaving the SAF, Neo joined the civil service and was appointed as the Permanent Secretary (Education Development) in the Ministry of Education on 1 July 2013.[4]

Awards[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Speech by Mr Masagos Zulkifli BMM, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Home Affairs, at the 10th NCC Affirmation Ceremony on Saturday, 10th April 2010, at the Singapore Expo Hall 2 at 3.00pm". MOE. http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/speeches/2010/04/10/10th-ncc-affirmation-ceremony.php. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  2. "Distinguished Alumni". Nanyang Junior College. http://nanyangjc.org/index.php/graduated-nyjcians/distinguished-alumni/. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Change in Chief of Defence Force and Chief of Army". MINDEF. 15 January 2010. http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/press_room/official_releases/nr/2010/jan/15jan10_nr.print.img.html. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Mr Neo Kian Hong to be Permanent Secretary (Education Development)". Press Release, Public Service Division. 3 June 2013. http://www.psd.gov.sg/content/psd/en/media/press_release_3June2013.html. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  5. "Change of Chief of Defence Force and Chief of Army". MINDEF. 6 February 2007. http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/press_room/official_releases/nr/2007/feb/06feb07_nr.print.img.html. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  6. "Recognising SAF Personnel". MINDEF. 24 June 2010. http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/press_room/official_releases/nr/2010/jun/24jun10_nr.print.img.html. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  7. Chow, Jermyn (27 March 2013). "New Chief of Defence Force takes over reins of SAF". The Straits Times. http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/new-chief-defence-force-takes-over-reins-saf-20130327. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 "SAF Leadership". MINDEF. http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/about_us/biographies/saf_leadership.html. 
  9. "Chief of Defence Force Receives Prestigious Military Award from Malaysia". MINDEF. 4 October 2011. http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/press_room/official_releases/nr/2011/oct/04oct11_nr.print.img.html. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  10. "Chief of Defence Force receives Indonesia's highest military award". AsiaOne News. 2 May 2012. http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20120502-343471.html. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Lieutenant-General Desmond Kuek
7th Chief of Defence Force
31 March 2010 – 26 March 2013
Succeeded by
Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng
Preceded by
Major-General Desmond Kuek
Chief of the Singapore Army
20 March 2007 – 26 March 2010
Succeeded by
Major-General Chan Chun Sing

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