NSF who died after fast march posthumously promoted to Corporal First Class

Lee Han Xuan Dave, a 19-year-old National Serviceman, died on Monday (30 April) after he had a heat stroke following an 8km fast march. Photo: Facebook

A 19-year-old full-time national serviceman (NSF) who died on Monday (30 April) after he had a heat stroke following a fast march has been posthumously promoted to Corporal First Class (CFC).

CFC Lee Han Xuan Dave, who held the rank of Private (PTE) previously and was a Guardsman from the 1st Battalion Singapore Guards, will also be accorded a military funeral, said Brigadier-General Siew Kum Wong, Chief of Staff (General Staff) of the Singapore Armed Forces, on Tuesday (1 May). He will also be awarded the Guards and RECON military tabs, and the Guards beret, BG Siew said in a post on the Singapore Army’s Facebook page.

An independent Committee of Inquiry (COI) will investigate the incident, as with all training related deaths, BG Siew added.

The NSF showed signs of heat injury in the morning of 18 April after completing an 8km fast march in Bedok Camp, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Monday. An SAF medic attended to him immediately to bring down his core temperature.

He was evacuated to the camp’s Medical Centre where the SAF medical team continued body cooling measures and treatment on him. A while later, he was brought to Changi General Hospital, where he remained warded in the Intensive Care Unit since 18 April.

His condition did not improve in the ICU and worsened during the hospitalisation. He was pronounced dead at 5.32pm on Monday at the hospital.

The statement comes after a woman who said she was the aunt of the NSF demanded a full explanation from the SAF to the public, “who trustingly sent their children to serve the nation” in a post on Facebook. The woman, Cecilia Yeo, added, “I hope you share our pain and support that SAF must release full investigation and identity of all culprits to the public.”

Yeo shared the contents of a Facebook post from a “fellow soldier” claiming that “Dave struggled to complete his fast march” and showed signs of extreme physical exhaustion but was forced by senior commanders to finish it.