Singapore Military Recruits to Be Gifted with iPads

Singapore has a conscript-based military (i.e., they have a draft), so they don't have to "entice" recruits to join. Nevertheless, new recruits to Singapore's military will get a primo perk. In addition to their uniform and a rifle, they'll get a standard issue iPad.

Singapore's defense ministry said on Monday that about 8,000 of Apple's hit tablets will be issued to new recruits starting in November. So that current military personnel don't feel left out, the ministry said that in 2012 it will issue more of the devices to other service personnel.

The lowest-cost iPad 2 costs about $538, which isn't too bad considering it would cost $499 in the U.S. Some countries see a much more considerable premium.

It's not about fun, though. It's serious military business. Troops will be able to use the iPad 2's built-in cameras to take photos and video clips in the field, which can be uploaded to the an online platform called LEARNet. Soldiers can use these photos and videos to carry out post-mission assessments [within the limitations of the rather lame iPad 2 camera resolutions, we would add].

Soldiers will also be able to use group chat and instant messaging to communicate with their commanders. In addition, the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) is working with private contractors to create custom-made apps for personnel.

Defense chief Neo Kian Hong explained the SAF's iPad 2 adoption as follows:
"By exploiting the use of popular and current information and communications technology, we are able to harness our advantage of today's technologically savvy servicemen."
Since Singapore's military requires every able-bodied male citizen and permanent resident aged 18 and above to undergo two years of military training, there is always an influx of young people joining the SAF. It will be interesting to see if the recruits show more eagerness to report, with an iPad 2 dangled in front of them.
Tags:  Apple, ipad, iPad 2