8th of November marked the next phase of my life, which is compulsory for all sons of Singapore. National Service. That’s right, every Singaporean son has to serve his duty to his country for the next 2 years.
Packing my bag in my room, I took a slow look around my room trying to soak up as much “homey” imagery in me so as to spur me on through the tough trainings ahead. I then walked around the house and did the same. They were many questions and worries that ran through my mind. “Will I be able to perform well?”, “Will I be able to cope and bond well with my peers?” so on and so forth. As time drew nearer to leave for Tekong, time in the house really is very precious. This may all sound very dramatic, I know, but it really is what I felt at that moment.
And so the time came to set off for the bus interchange. At Pasir Ris, the interchange was filled to the brim with the many enlistees going into Tekong for for the 1245 book in timing. Many unfamiliar faces and a few familiar faces was all I could describe. 1245pm, everybody boarded the buses and set off for SAF Ferry Terminal, and that was followed by a very quick entry into the fast craft and reached the destination in a matter of minutes, Pulau Tekong. The first thing was the split, where the parents, relatives and friends went on for the camp tour and the enlistees took the other turn up the stairs to surrender their pink IC and collect their ID package which consisted the infamous 11B and ID tags. With that, it’s goodbye to civilian life. So after the various administrative things have been settled, everyone went into the theatre for the introduction speech and the oath taking. After that it was lunch with my folks. For me at that point of time, I really couldn’t bear to leave my parents. The time there was already about 1500hours. Time’s up for lunch/dinner, all the enlistees formed up at the parade square leaving their parents and girlfriends. We then continued to collect our issued equipment.
After even more administrative matters were settled, we settled in to what we would be calling home for the next 7 weeks. Viper Company, Platoon 2, Section 1. My bunk mates are an awesome bunch of individuals, very colorful in terms of their character as well. Looking at all the issued equipment, I was pretty amazed at the amount to go through. The iLBV was really cool.
The first few days were more of light activities and gradually became heavier as time goes by. Within the first 1 and a half weeks, some of the activities that we have gone through was our first IPPT categorization test, swimming categorization test, our vaccinations which was very amusing because some people were bleeding like nobodies business, our weapons presentation, which I almost cried at, firepower demonstration, various physical training regimes, weapon technical handling and various theory lessons. For one thing, the activities are just going to get more and more tiring.
For the food, it really isn’t all that bad, in fact, i daresay its actually pretty tasty. The only complaint i have is the amount of time we are given to eat. This is because, we still to have queue, eat and clear the plates all within 20mins.
I guess that is all I have got to say for this 1st week of BMT. I have more or less set my mind in the right direction and hopefully will be able to pull me through the remaining grueling 7 weeks.
Always remember, you are not alone and so do your platoon mates, help each other out, help each other pull through the difficult times, celebrate the happy occasions and it will all be over before you know it. -Anon
Valor, Virtue, Victor. Viper.