I guess everybody has their own unique ORD story to tell, be it in terms of the friendships made or the tough times they had went through. I didn’t get around to posting this right after my last day at work as it was the day I returned from Brunei and it was really quite intense to go from high-key straight to a civilian life.
Most of us, I believe, have to share their thought on ORD as a form of closure and to really announce to the world that we have done our part to serve our nation. I think its more important to take this opportunity to really thank the people that have been through this chapter with us, and acknowledge their contributions.
BMT, Raven Platoon 2 Section 4 02/11
Despite coming from NCC and being familiar with the rigors of the ”tekan” culture and military discipline, the first day in Raven Coy didn’t fit the ongoing sentiment at that time that the Army was a lot slacker and easier to go through. This was apparent from the hilarious conversation I had with a Pegasus Coy (neighboring Coy) recruit a few months later regarding our first night, where throughout the duration of his ”finishing last parade, going to toilet to bathe, returning to bunk and eventually going to brush his teeth again” he noticed that we were still doing our water parade, arms horizontal and getting screamed at in the faces. I remember people all around unable to endure any longer, while some were just downright experiencing spasms and unable to control their arms. And after that, we were allowed to make our first call back home to our loved ones. That was first night in Raven.
BMT was uniquely memorable because of that survival mode we all were in. Surviving enough to get to the end of the week, and until POP. There was that one time when the platoon got confined and I am sure the entire Platoon 2 will remember that incident caused by 4 or 3 unflushed toilet bowls choked with…shit. It was during that session that I really experienced what going through Army was about. Its the tempering of character in young adults like us. My buddy at that time, Wei Xun actually owned up to the deed after unlimited counts of almost everything. People were crying. And yet he stepped up when no one dared. The thing is, as he later told me, was that he wasn’t guilty and just confessed in the hopes that the real offenders will come clean too. That to me, was bravery and sacrifice that really made me look up to him so much.
More drama came in the form of us winning Sports Day under the diabolical (kidding) leadership of CO Cpt Gan. Little did i expect to be working alongside him in the future. And to the person who stole from the ninja van and got sent to DB and had his medicine placing revoked, I really hope he finds his way back in life.
OCS, Echo Wing Platoon 2 Section 1 84/11
Out of my BMT Section, 4 of us were posted to OCS. Despite being the most unfit, I somehow stayed in Infantry while the rest eventually went over to Artillery. OCS was actually a hell of a ride and as a friend once described, is something that ”I would want to experience and go through but not want to repeat it”. Looking back, I know that I definitely would not have made it without the close friends that I had made. Sorry for all the times that my mistakes have caused you all physical torture (haha).
Many thanks to my first and only buddy in OCS, Lim Jie, for becoming a legend through your antics and ”monster” hunting skills. Your stories have spread throughout OCS and even in our unit, and I will never tire of recounting them to anybody that knows you. Despite not sharing rooms with you, you will always be the first buddy to me, the person that buoyed me through Scorpion King and all.
My section, Nigel, Dawei, Lim Jie, Hao Jie, Eugene, Gavin, Xiang Lonn, Jared, Lester, Ernest, Asyraf, John Soh and Mooris. At least, this is the section that I remember. Thanks for all the crazy memories that include finding a lost gas regulator in the middle of Tekong’s forests (Lester) and driving LTA Kenny to depression with our performance during Centipede, as well as having the least OOC rate (XL no count as its due to some f*-up PC).
I really appreciate the opportunity to go through JCC with a bunch of specially talented people, Yu Cheng, Sebastian, the navigators, Bolong, my fellow plotter, and Lim Jie, Mooris, and Ziming, the camels. Haha just kidding about that last part. I can honestly say that JCC was my most fantastic outfield, the happiest time I had in the Army doing real work. You can say that its probably because of the high morale caused by a perfect 25 points in Nomad and the lack of instructors but it was definitely a hell of a ride.
2SIR, S3 Branch 15th Mono
Never expected to get posted to a Unit, and much less as a DyS3. Long story about how me and a particular sword of merit had a fateful exchange of roles…
One of the first arrows that landed upon me was Ensign duty for NDP. I wouldn’t call it an arrow actually, I was patriotic enough to think of it as an honor. But to my disappointment I found out that it out of the 3 of us, I was the only one not chosen to be the actual ensign for NDP. It was still an awesome experience to do it for the NE show. Nothing beats saluting the national flag flying past with your Unit’s own colours… I really want to thank Mike and Yu Cheng though, for being such great committed people by giving their all to putting up a great show, even though they are not true blooded Singaporeans. I still remember both of them telling me that hey don’t even know when was national day. Even though the trainings sapped up so much of our free time (I think Mike still has 9 unclaimed offs), it was special to be part of the whole event. I will remember the times when we shared how all 3 of us broke up with our girlfriends on the same day and camped at the Milo Van enjoying ourselves 🙂
In hindsight, its probably a good thing that I got posted to S3 branch. The people there were really hardworking and dedicated, which is really a rare thing for NSFs. I went to different units and the office culture was really different, and different as in generally slacker. Even though some might scoff at us putting in so much effort for this ”inefficient and self-conflicting system”, I dare say that its people like us that actually turn the cogwheels of our nation’s defence. To the batch of specs that ORDed before me, Roy, Zunwei and Zhenming, I have so much respect for you guys, most of all for giving me due respect despite me being so immature and un-officerlike at times. To Zunwei and Zhenming, I actually have a seething hatred for prcs but I reserved my judgement and am thankful for that. You guys really proved to be a cut above the rest, in terms of your commitment to work and sense of responsibility. We need more people like you guys. Roy, I am so glad that you ORDed without breaking up with your girlfriend. Even though S3 always likes to make fun of your relationship, but I cant help worrying that something may happen. I may not say it but I don’t want anybody to be like me.
For Gajen and Jasper who ORD with me…you guys are just awesome. Without Gajen, my workload would have tripled and with his calibre and attitude, I don’t see why he cant be an officer. Thats why we all call him LTA Gajen haha. To be honest, if Jasper had the same drive and energy as me, he should just switch roles with me! He’s just too smart and capable and mature (if you get what I mean hahaha).
To Weiyan, Bing Hui and Ridzuan, I hope that while you guys will continue to uphold the good work of our branch, please achieve a work-life balance and maintain your relationships. If you two can weather out this period together, there should be a bright future ahead for you. I think this applies to my new Dy too, Lester, for I guess that will be the greatest concern in your time to come. For Kenneth…I hope that you will not feel underappreciated because your work is so important too. I guess that so long as we give you access to the INET, you would continue slaving away for us 🙂
The most important bonds I forged during my time in the Unit are the ones between my fellow DYs. I’m not sure why or how, but this motley bunch of us really bonded together so tightly. Be it Swee Kiat’s never-ending curiosity, Nich’s hilarious relationship woes and predicaments, Wen Xuan’s complaints about work or Lester’s epic abrasive attitude, you guys are the reason why I feel coming to 2 is better than going to 5.
My parents have always been there for me but its only during NS that I really understood the meaning of parenthood and the sense of family. Somewhere during BMT, I had the urge to go back to my family, be part of my home, do housework, spend dinner time with my parents and such. This had never occurred to me before. Even up till I ORDed, I am having the same feelings and now I feel that I truly grasp the notion of a family as a stabilizing force in one’s life, a ground zero that one can return to after going through whatever ups and downs outside of home. It is definitely something that I will cherish forever.
I don’t think I have matured enough through NS. As my ex-girlfriend told me, not everyone who went through NS broke up with their girlfriend. Doesn’t that speaks about their level of maturity perhaps? So, even though her words always stings, they are perhaps true. NS may have taught me a thing or two but maybe even so, I have a lot more growing up to do. What I am really grateful for, was the company and special times that she had given me. Being there for my POP and Commissioning really meant a lot to me, but there are times like comms ball and social night where I had to bring someone and it really wasn’t that fantastic an experience for her. Even though we broke up during trying times, I think I didn’t let it affect my work too much. Even though you told me to always maintain contact even after we part, I think those were just words to soothe the process. I can already see you growing distant and lets just say that perhaps one day when we meet again, we can just laugh at the silly things we did out of love.
There are so many people who have inspired me or taught me so much, and they are all part of the process of going through this 2 years or less to serve your nation. To the next batch of young Singaporean boys or anybody who reads this, I hope that your NS experience can be as enriching as possible (don’t try to keng) and for those that have done their part, please don’t take every opportunity to shout ”ORD LO!” at recruits because c’mon, that’s just so immature.