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19 Useful Items You Can Buy From The SAF eMart – That You Can Use In Your Civilian Life

Lifelong buddies, service to Singapore, personal development – the best things in NS life are priceless. For everything else, there’s the eMart.


On a personal level, there are many valuable things that Singaporean men gain from National Service (NS) and are still immensely practical and useful even after we’ve collected our pink NRIC (when we ORD) or our National Service gift watch (when we completed our reservist obligations).

These include interpersonal skills honed by living with and working with people from all walks of life, forging lifelong bonds of friendship and gaining a wider network. For many, our NS days will also be the fittest we will be in our lives, and this will inculcate a habit of keeping fit even in our civilian life. There’s also a common saying that our NS represents a transition for boys to become men – learning to be independent and having to fend for ourselves.

In addition, there is also something immensely useful from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) that Singaporean men can and should make full use of in the civilian life – our eMart credits (at least until we MR).

Read Also: 6 Ways It (Literally) Pays To Be An NSman

In commemoration of SAF Day (1 July) and a salute to all National Servicemen past and present, here’s a guide to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) e-Mart and a list of useful items you can buy there that you can use, even as a civilian.

Read Also: Complete Guide To Financial Planning For National Servicemen (NSFs)

About The e-Mart

e-Marts are run by SAF HQ Supply, augmented by private-sector vendors. It is responsible for providing effective and convenient access to personal logistics items to SAF personnel.

The e-Mart credits system was introduced to give service personnel the flexibility and autonomy to plan for the replacement of our own personal equipment, while ensuring overall waste is kept to a minimum.

In addition to e-Mart outlets in various military bases, there are also two e-Marts that are accessible to the public:

The Chevrons (Jurong East)
Address: 48 Boon Lay Way, Singapore 609961
Opening Hours: 1100 – 2100 hrs daily (Closed on Tuesdays and selected Public Holidays)
Tel: 6862 5600

SAFRA Punggol
Address: 9 Sentul Crescent, Singapore 828654
Opening Hours: 1100 – 2100 hrs daily (Closed on Tuesdays and selected Public Holidays)
Tel: 6243 6505

You can also shop at the eMart online through the NS Portal. Simply select your items, pay using eMart credits, Visa, Mastercard or DBS PayLah!, and arrange for self-collection (from eMarts/eLockers/Mobile Trucks) or home delivery.

The lead time needed for both self-collection and home delivery is at least three working days, and more if additional service is required, such as sewing or embroidery. Home delivery is for local addresses only and is charged at $12.50 per order. Bonus tip: you can apply your credits towards the delivery charge and have it all delivered for free.

How Much Credits NS Personnel Receive?

Here’s how much personnel from various branches and vocations will receive, according to the NS Portal. You can carry forward any unused credits to the next credits top-up period before they expire.

Army

Active Combat Vocations – 260 Credits every year
Active Non-Combat Vocations – 170 Credits every year
Active Permanent PES E NSF- 120 Credits every year
Active NSmen – 115 Credits every 2 years or 230 Credits every 4 years
Active SAFVC Volunteers – 50 Credits upon completion of each year of service

Airforce

Active Combat Vocations – 260 Credits every year
Active Non-Combat Vocations – 200 Credits every year
Active Permanent PES E NSF – 120 Credits every year
Active NSmen – 115 Credits every 2 years or 230 Credits every 4 years
Active SAFVC Volunteers – 50 Credits upon completion of each year of service

Navy

Group A – 210 Credits every year
Group B – 230 Credits every year
Group C – 270 Credits every year
Group D – 300 Credits every year
Active NSmen – 115 Credits every 2 years or 230 Credits every 4 years
Active SAFVC Volunteers – 50 Credits upon completion of each year of service

Read Also: Complete NSF Allowance Guide: How Much Can You Earn As A Full-Time National Serviceman?

Useful Items You Can You Buy Using Your eMart Credits

#1 Green Towel: The green towel is an absorbent, durable piece of kit that anyone can continue to use daily. It is also quick-drying, so we can have peace of mind when you hang it up to dry after use that it will be ready for the next time we take a shower. Many men (perhaps at the dismay of their wives) continue to use the green towels for our daily use years after we ORD or even MR!

e-Mart credit: $5.39

#2 Black Socks: With these socks purchasable using eMart credits, we probably don’t need to buy black socks with our own money for the entire time as an NSman. They’re also discreet enough such that not many will recognise that we’re actually wearing one purchase from the e-mart.

e-Mart credit: $1.65

#3 No. 3 Shoes: These are nice-ish looking dress shoes that no one will find out of place if we wear them in the Central Business District or to our next job interview. Just be sure to purchase the next set of items #4.

e-Mart credit: $44.68

#4 Kiwi And Brush: The kiwi and brush are useful for more than just polishing your No. 4 combat boots during a “Stand By Universe” inspection. They are identical to what you can buy on the shelves outside and used for all kinds of black leather shoes. The brush can also be used to clean other things, like scrubbing mud/grease off your bicycle, just make sure you don’t have any kiwi on the brush first!

e-Mart credit (Kiwi / Brush): $0.54 / $0.53

#5 Ankle Socks: The SAF ankle socks are pretty good for all-purpose use. Unless you insist on wearing cute pikachu socks which nobody will see anyway, these socks are good enough and will match almost any shoe, especially item #6.

e-Mart credit: $1.48

#6 Sports Shoes: Reputable brands manufacturers like Asics, Brooks, New Balance and adidas have supplied the SAF with sports shoes over the years. We can also continue to buy and use them to train for our Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) or just living a healthier lifestyle. While not typically encouraged, it’s a known fact that many men buy these shoes for their dads and even spouses to use as well. Do note that we cannot purchase shoes that have 3 sizes or more difference from the last pair that we purchased.

e-Mart credit: $42.71

Read Also: 6 Free Fitness Programmes That Singaporeans Should Join In 2019  

#7 Admin T-Shirt/ Shorts: Designed for use during “admin time”, these tops and shorts are equally practical for wearing around the house (and even for trips to the neighbourhood market). They have an added benefit of instilling you with the pride of being a Singaporean Son every time you wear them. Personally, we think they’re great for sleepwear – perhaps because of how used we’ve gotten to sleeping in it during our 2-year NS stint.

e-Mart credit (T-shirt/ Shorts): $4.81 / $4.55

#8 Running T-Shirt/ Shorts: Many of us can still remember waking up at 5.30am to do the 5BX, or something up to 20BX! The running t-shirt and shorts help to keep us cool and offer a lightweight material while doing our exercises. Back in the real world, these are the exact clothes we want to continue working out in.

e-Mart credit (T-shirt/ Shorts): $7.65 / $5.59

#9 Sandals: Some fashion aficionados might argue that sandals have no place on a man’s feet, but for those for whom sandals are a part of our wardrobe, we can save ourselves a pretty penny by getting a pair from the eMart. They might look ugly, but if you’re wearing sandals, you probably don’t care.

e-Mart credit: $13.38

#10 Duffel Bag/ Field Pack/ Day Pack: These packs are useful for stowing your military equipment neatly at home until we need to use them again, such as during mobilisations or In-Camp Trainings. They can also come in handy when we need to haul a large amount of stuff from Point A to Point B, such as a picnic, a camp, or on hikes.

e-Mart credit (Duffel/ Field Pack/ Day Pack): $25.89 / $64.15 / $30.60

Read Also: MINDEF/MHA Group Insurance: Here Are The 3 Things You Are Insured Against

#11 Water Bladder: The water bladder supplied by the eMart can be used if your bag is compatible with hydration systems, which fitness enthusiasts who cycle, hike or run frequently would already have and be using.

e-Mart credit: $25.95

#12 Insect Repellent Spray (NEW): Those who have ever used the old SAF insect repellent (olive green tube) would swear to its legendary insect-repellant properties. It was second to none and came without that incessant lemongrass smell. Now it seems that a new and improved spray version is available which would make it easier to apply. If the old one’s corrosive properties are anything to go by, it’s probably best to avoid spraying on clothes made of synthetic fibers, and probably best to avoid getting it into your eyes or sensitive parts of your skin.

e-Mart credit: $2.22

#13 Ear Plugs (NEW): There’s a new type, called the Non-Linear Noise Attenuation, which is really just a fancy name for earplugs that have a soundhole that can be temporarily opened if you want to hear better when talking to people. The old type is still available for those who prefer, but the rubber is slightly stiffer and it’s just less comfortable. Useful for attending noisy events like live concerts or F1 races, or even to sleep better if your partner snores!

e-Mart credit: $1.71

#14 Swimming Trunks: Branded swimming trunks cost an arm, a leg, and then some. Fortunately, these are inexpensive (or basically free), and do the job every bit as well!

e-Mart credit: $3.53

#15 Thermometer: Useful to keep around the house, in our first-aid kit, or in our bag, so we can precisely monitor our body temperature when we’re unwell.

-Not available online-

#16 Torchlight: Camping and travelling aside, these are also handy for blackouts or looking for things in the dark.

e-Mart credit: $9.63

#17 Powder: The powder available in the eMart has legendary qualities. We can use it for anything from foot sores, to a replacement for actual showers during an outfield training exercise. In bunk, we would also know of “that one guy” who would smoke up the place with powder right before he goes to bed. In the civilian world, we’d all need to have some powder at home anyway.

e-Mart credit(Powder/ Bottle): $1.08 / $0.33

#18 Mess Tin: For the adventurous, this item is a must-have if you wish to eat your food hot while camping. Remember to save some solid fuel tablets from your combat rations pack too!

e-Mart credit: $3.53

#19 Pocket Knife: Definitely useful for those who have watched way too much MacGyver. Otherwise, for those who like to do camping, or just simply need a utility knife around the house, this would be a great tool to have. Comes with a beefy main blade, a wood saw, can opener, screwdriver and even a bottle opener for that cold beer in your fridge!

e-Mart credit: $10.59

What are your favourite eMart items that you’re still using on a daily basis? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article was first published on 1 July 2019, and updated with the latest information.

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