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The RSAF has traditionally focused on training our people to be good operators. But not enough has been done to prepare our people for staff work. This is all the more peculiar given that staff colleges started off teaching staff work and only evolved into staff and command colleges later. We need to properly teach staff work. And we should start by being clear what a staff officer is. Two things I would like to highlight. First, although “staff officer” in the technical sense refers to the junior officers in HQ appointments, I use the term more generally to refer to anyone who performs a staff function to a higher authority. A Branch Head is a staff officer to the Department Head, a Department Head or a Commander is a staff officer to the Chief, and I am a staff officer to the Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and CDF. This makes all of us a staff officer.

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