my national service story – and why green goes well with everything (part 2)

after getting the news I was going to SCS, I remember pulling out my wisdom tooth to get a good break before going in . Honestly, my extra teeth were starting to ache, so it was just very timely. I remember shaving my head to match the “freshly POP-ed” Privates that would form the bulk of my batch.

SCS was a new world. granted, karma was a bitch to me again , sending me to Lima where Guardsmen held the fort and the infamous Ranger PC kept domain. and of course, because I had the unique CBR badge, I was quickly singled out for the slaughter.

a part of me wished I could still cross over to OCS, but I was generally satisfied with where I was. leadership was self-determined – we were to decide for ourselves our fates. if we were honourable, we’d get through; but if we were to play around too much we’d get the axe. it was back to life as an infanteer, wearing the iLBV and learning about various weapons and tactics. my knowledge of the army continued to grow. my bunk was pretty fun, with its fair share of antics. there was no one excessively “wayang” in our section, everyone wanted to do their best and graduate. i made some of my dearest memories in the field camp on Tekong.

i remember feeling so suay that we were the lucky bunch being sent back to the treacherous island. i had so many memories left behind there, going back awoke them all again. i learnt that in the jungle, with the gear on, the soldier in me comes out ferociously. it’s do or die, fight or lose.

but we pulled through. the enciks were easier to talk through as well – they were fountains of wisdom, pouring out not just skills but stories that made a lot  of sense. the 8 weeks there flew quite fast, but SCS is truly the spiritual home of the WOSPEC Corp.

Thanks to Warrant Yuen, Warrant Chang, Staff David for your honest leadership. Created the best kind of memories.

My section – Kah Leong, Bobbi, Pak Ming, Jun Zhou, Kevin, Jon, Liang Jun, Jyh Harng, Edison, Joe, Daniel, Yuan Feng, Zi Xuan, Zhi Sheng,Ernest and Justin the Shark. 

Fucking amazing what we had.

___

My Engineer Training Phase was probably the defining part of my training year. This was where the skills that mattered most were taught, and the decisions I made that affected my path most were made.

the bunks here were phenomenal. life was abit more regimental but we didn’t mind. heck, I came from Kestrel. Regimental was nothing.

Again being singled out as someone who came out from unit was an advantage I played out fully. in ETI, i met some of my best friends in army. it was a smaller batch, so we grew our culture fast. we defined it and held it proudly.

we were that much closer to being a specialist.

Ervin, Frank, Li Xu, Jeremy, Ping Woo, Paesson, Deng Yang, Kah Fong, -Daniel, Aloysius – some smexy times we had.

Some of the better friends I made in my army life – Alex, Joshua Chee, Jervin(Who I met again after class), Brandon and actually a lot. There were so many people.

___

CBRD CC was where everything played out. here, it was home turf. I knew the game, and I had to play it well. there was added responsibility, because not only was I the resident laojio, CPT Alex who was my OC when I was in the unit as a pioneer was now the Course Commander. He had higher expectations of me, and rightly so. My ex-CSM was a Course Warrant as well. What were the chances right?

I had learned enough this whole journey to start applying the lessons I learnt.  Leadership is about applying yourself to the needs of others , it’s about being present, being available. Leadership in the army is about decisiveness. No one needs a political speaker, they need someone who can give specific direct decisions and instructions to lead to success. It’s about building an image of trust, of certainty. It’s about tough love, and soft touches – showing you care in the darkness but remaining the spirit of force in the light. Did I embody of all this? Probably not, but I tried my best.

Graduating out of the course with the Golden Bayonet was recognition that I had what it took. My blip as a pioneer was only temporary , that this was where I was to be. It was my underdog story – my clawing up the ladder.

So CPT Alex, CPT Zhifa, Warrant Kelvin, Warrant Ravi, Warrant Jack, Warrant Neo, LTA Jerome – thanks for your mentorship. Thanks for caring so much. Thanks for giving a damn.

My powerteam Half-Life that emerged victorious – Yong Kee, Alfred, Frank

The friends I made – Akio, Soon Kee, Dickson, Chea Hau, MSG Adrian, CPT Derek, Yong Jian, Darren, Raymond, Puvir, Meng How, De You, Terry, Vincent, Wei Chong, Min Ren, Shaun,  Dickson, Brian (who I met after so long in Kestrel) – all made the last leg of the course a power-packed one.

During SCGP , it was really another proud moment. I didn’t tell my parents I was the contingent commander again, and that gave them the bejeepers. My churchies (MY AWESOME CHURCHIES) came down to support me – love these people. Man , that was an amazing day. I love creating memories.

___

I’ll write Part 3 about unit life soon , and schedule the post for tomorrow! Talking about the Spec Culture, NDP 2013 , EPSC and finally my dear platoon.

it’s good to remember.

geronimo.

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4 thoughts on “my national service story – and why green goes well with everything (part 2)

  1. bouts of insanity – my thanksgiving post this year (part 1) – Love, Dream, Imagine

  2. bouts of insanity – my thanksgiving post this year (part 1) – Love, Dream, Imagine

  3. bouts of insanity – part 1 – Love, Dream, Imagine

  4. to die is to live – my thanksgiving post of the year (part 2) – Love, Dream, Imagine

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