I met Darryl back as a National Cadet Corps (NCC) CCA Leader during my secondary school days, and among the many tasks given to us was to organise, plan and execute a school camp held for the cadets within our unit. This camp was meant to embody the CCA’s adventurous nature and physicality in training, to nurture these same principles in our juniors and prepare them as future leaders of the unit. Naturally, taking on this project as a novice leader was a daunting task, and we sought Darryl’s aid as he was, at the time, the overall Cadet Officer in charge of our unit. He was able to take reference from previous editions of the camp and worked with us to organise a hike along the coasts of Punggol to Coney Island, whilst implementing a series of training ideas and activities which we could utilise in the subsequent days of the camp such as Team Building Challenges and Confidence Building Games. The significance of this project is threefold: In taking heed from past editions of the camp, Darryl displayed the gumption to fall back on reliable training methodologies whilst giving it its necessary adaptations and adjustments to fit our specific training circumstances – A crucial quality in any leader.
Second, in pioneering a series of ingenious training exercises, Darryl demonstrated the rare trait of innovation and ingenuity, and his talent for organising large scale activities that build soft skills and life values. Lastly, his ability to work with his juniors (myself and my team), seeing us not as subordinates but rather team members of equal stature, points to his character as a humble leader willing to work with anyone to achieve mission success.
Beyond this simple project, Darryl and I have also taken on many initiatives that demonstrate his plethora of experience as an excellent leader. When I was building a youth-led organisation that provided free tuition for financially disadvantaged students, Darryl readily offered me advice as to how I could structure my executive committee in a manner that maximises efficiency and ensured that I utilised my own members’ strengths. He was key in suggesting many of the departments required for my organisation to be a success. This further encapsulates his experience in administrative leadership, in effectively running committees that manage large groups of like-minded individuals.
I firmly believe that Darryl is a competent, natural-born leader, equipped with the right philosophies, methods and knowledge in leading large teams. I dare say that I would fail to find any other qualified individual that could take his stead and step into his shoes. If it were my decision to select a leader, Darryl would be my immediate pick.
– Nigel Pang Tun Ray (Friend)