Once in our life, 2 years of our time

Thursday, 11 December 2014

I skipped in front of every other post because today's a special day. I remember the day I finally managed to leave HQ Perscom and went over to BMTC (Basic Military Training Command) because I managed to up my PES (Physical Employment Status) status. Had an amazing 4 months worth of BMT with the best people.

Sure, there were fights, arguments and bad times, but underneath it all there was camaraderie and it's something that I've never and doubt I ever will experience in my entire life. It was, I can say, the best experience I've ever had in my entire 2 years of life. I never thought back and regretted once getting myself back into the combat field, something I was denied due to certain circumstances...

I remember all the marching, the singing, the push-ups we've had to do, the running up and down of the stairs from the bunks all the way to the coy line. I remember the first time we all met, how we were all shy and didn't want to talk to each other and then we found common ground in making fun of a certain weird guy in the group before we all started breaking the ice.

From then on, it almost felt like brotherhood. From all the sporting of tattoos and attitudes, it was pretty clear that the people here knew how to live on the rougher side of life, however it made it even more fun, because emotional quotient, to me, is always a better thing to have than intelligence quotient. You can have the smartest people in the room, but they may not know how to properly be with people. In here, you don't need people who are smart, you need people who have your back when you need it the most.

It was a tough 4 months, getting used to the regime, getting punished whenever necessary, but at the same time, having fun and making the best out of this situation that we have all been forced into (unlike me who voluntarily came here hahaha). We trained, ran, exercised and then got our wives. Learned to polish and look after her. Needed a ridiculous amount of time to clean her out, to make sure she's properly oiled and that she doesn't rust. Knowing that the next time we take her out to fire she will do her best, and give us her utmost cooperation. 

I enjoyed it here. It felt like army, and it felt like serving the nation.

True enough, to me, 2 years seemed like a long time, but I've learned a lot of stuff (albeit not good ones) and it's now a memory to me. I remember when the 4 months came to an end and we were all separated into our different units, and how everyone split up and said to contact each other again. Of course, some did, but for me, I faded back into a hiding place, where I just wanted to slack off and burn off the remaining 6 months that I had.

I hated waking up early in the morning every damn day, doing the same routine stuff, being forced to do something that I disliked, getting some stupid minimum wage that wasn't even compared to working part-time 3 days a week outside. The strict and rigid hierarchy that meant the higher your rank, the more bullshit you can give you people just made me want to do horrible things to them (in my mind, of course), but the people made it all worthwhile and tolerable.

At the end of the day, 2 years is long, but 2 years is mandatory, and how we deemed it and made the best use out of the time we had was what really mattered. I believe, as much as I abhorred being in that situation, that I was able to take something out of it, and it has molded and shaped me into the person I am now. It may have been a better change, or a worse change, but at the end of the day, it's still a change that I believe I made for my sake, because we pick up the things we require in order to protect ourselves, or the people around us. It is basic instinct.

All the bullshit in the bunks, hanging clothes, smoking in the toilet and getting caught, doing guard duty, burning our weekend, watching people go report sick, joking with our sergeants and officers, filling waterbottle, rushing to shower, rushing to take a shit in the toilet with the hose, getting scared of ghosts in the bunks, watching Peng Soon and Xu Hui wrestle and fight on the floor, Callow walking around naked swinging at everyone, walking around calling people my black brothers, getting camo'd and powdered on our birthdays, having late night talks about life even though it's lights off, putting on the stupid camo before any activity, rushing to wait and waiting to rush, marching around the obstacle course and saying got ghost on top lol. Best memories.

I remember marching that 24km, with 10kg worth of stuff in the field pack, holding our wives, walking, singing and basically groaning about how tired we are. But the best part is, we were all there for each other to the end. The moment we reached the platform, and did the parade, it felt so amazing. The atmosphere was exhilarating and you could just feel everyone's excitement. It's like a chapter of our lives had just been overcome. As we turned from boys into men, we threw our jocky caps in the air, signifying that we are now trained soldiers. As we don the new beret in our new units, we remember that we've gone through something that almost all the men in Singapore, have experienced. We can call ourselves Singaporean men.

2 years, I'll never get back, and 2 years I didn't achieve much, but at the very least, I achieved something. Everyone goes through this thing that they call a burden, but after they finish this 2 years, there's a little sense of pride whenever they talk to the ones who are going in, or are inside, because that twinkle in the eye, and the warmth in the heart, only you who's gone through it, will know.

Cheers on today's ORD guys, it's been a long 2 years for you all, my ninja brothers!

Ninja, ninja all the way~ We like it here, we like it here, we've found ourselves a home, a home, a home sweet home!


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