Established in 1986, the Total Defence Awards (TDA) aims to recognise supportive employers and civil resource owners for their contributions towards National Service (NS) and Total Defence (TD).

Since 2015, the TDA has been extended to recognise additional stakeholders including educational institutions, community organisations and individuals. With the incorporation of the Home Team National Service Awards for employers in 2015, the TDA is now the highest national accolade that acknowledges exemplary individuals, small and medium enterprises, large companies and organisations for outstanding support towards strengthening the defence of the nation.

The TDA comprises four categories: NS Advocate Award for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), NS Advocate Award for Large Companies, NS Advocate Award for Organisations, and NS Advocate Award for Individuals.

In support of NS and TD, CDL has been introducing several NS-friendly policies at its workplace to enable employees to fulfil NS duties at the highest priority, whilst various schemes have been implemented to recognise the many contributions made by NS men.