Thursday, December 24, 2015

My first week of having a platoon (?)

Hey hey, before I start, I must apologize for any incoherent sentences in my previous blog post. Wasn't in a really clear frame of mind when I was blogging. So anyway back to topic. The day has finally came for me to take charge of men. And by men, I meant men from all walks of life. To say I am taking a platoon would yet would not be apt for my platoon consists of 89 troopers, which by conventional standard, is a company plus size hence the question mark.

Being an officer isn't about the rank nor the greetings you get simply because troopers see you with the bar; it's about handling responsibility when it comes, balancing the fine line between discipline and safety, knowing when to push their limits so on and so forth. I must say I am both excited yet nervous for this course. Maybe I'm not ready, maybe I am but I know I will put in my best. Many excellent officers who commissioned way before me share a common advice - learning how to be an officer is On Job Training (OJT), meaning to say we will definitely make mistakes and it's ultimately how we overcome them that makes us true blue green officers. <--PUNNY THERE!

Having conducted quite a few sessions of PT, I am about to conduct a high key exercise in a few weeks' time. I may not be the most experienced, nor the most confident, but I am definitely the most prepared. May I achieve a good conduct~

P.S. if any of my troopers seriously stalked me and happened to read this, hmm hello?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Books

Reading has always been a favourite pastime for me, although I have not touched books for a long while after I entered OCS. Good news is I have started reading books again since a month ago, henceforth ending the 9 month's drought of knowledge.

The Enemy series by Charlie Higson, Ender's Game series by Orson Scott... so on (I'm still reading this month's Forbes Asia which is tediously long)

One thing I love about reading is that I can do it anytime anywhere even in the toilet. And the magical thing is I can unknowingly read for hours in a sitting, imagining as the characters come to life in front of my eyes.

Surreal - that's what I feel. Books can get you to places you can only dream of; in opening your eyes to the book, you are closing our eyes to the outside world. Every page you flip tenderly, every chapter you incessantly pursue, every book you devour... I simply enjoy it.

Perhaps you do not understand the joy of reading as I do; not anyone enjoys the same passion for books as I do. But I believe one day you would, either as you stand along the sidelines of the train carriage sticking your nose into a book or as you sit in a rocking chair with reading glasses reading a light novel. Then will you share the same joy as I do.

On a side note, I do have an ask.fm account now for you readers to ask away HERE!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Virgin marathon experience

Well hello there guys and gals! It's been quite a while since my previous post so oops, sorry there... Quite a long list of events lined up for me the following quarter so you can look forward to another post, just that it wouldn't be anytime soon.

I have always imagined myself doing a marathon, because for one, I like having bragging rights and two, I wanted to break my limits. The opportunity arose when I met my Sergeant Major and MSG Chan who were avid runners and they were sharing their running experiences. Intrigued, I joined in the conversation and somehow got persuaded to sign up for Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) 42.195km. THe first thought that got to me was "oh shit, how do I accomplish the feat?" But that thought soon got displaced by another matters at hand and time slowly went by with the marathon being the last of things on my mind.

It wasn't till November that the sinking reality of my marathon struck me. Hence my training begins. On top of my weekly workouts, I run at least 5km per run, clocking up to 12km every week. As the weeks went past, I gradually increased the distance to get my legs acclimatized to the soreness of long-distance running. 5km became 12km, 12km became 22km, and the penultimate week I clocked 32km. Due credit has to be given to my close friend cum training partner, Qi Xun who also happens to live 2 storeys above me. He has been training with me almost every week and I'm really glad to have such motivation when running. On a side note, happy birthday once again bro! Stay strong and fit!

6 December dawned like literally at dawn. I started the marathon at 5.15am, somehow managing to spot Yue Min at the start line. Holy cow, such stroke of luck. The first 6km was hell for me, as I stupidly drank milk the night before and caused me to have bad diarrhoea. Every step I took was accompanied by periodic shivers and goosebumps, my butt clamped tight for fear of being accidentally disgracing myself shitting my pants :P Luckily, it slowly eased off as I continued running. At my 26km mark, it was when my muscles started twitching, a sign of cramps to come. I shook off the notion and continued running. 30km - I had my first muscle rub on my thighs which cramped up. Wow, the relief came almost instantly and I pushed myself to continue running, albeit slow but steadily putting one leg before the other. 35km onwards was hell all over, with me just repeating the same process... Cramp, muscle rub, walk, stretch, run. This carried on to 39km where the 5hours 30 mins pacers raced past me, cheering fellow runners on and shouting not to give up now. Spurred by these, I grit my teeth and pressed on. Passed by Esplanade, saw Henderson bridge, ran past Fullerton Hotel and finally the finishing mark was within sight. I sped up as the finishing mark gradually rushed towards me and YES! I'VE DONE IT! 42.195km!


Ta da~ xD

EDIT: I SOMEHOW GOT NIPPLE ABRASION!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Parallels

Recently there has been a series of terrorist attacks, the most deadly being the Paris attack which caused the lives of at least 128 people. While my sympathy and condolences go out to the victims, these terrorist attacks got me thinking.

Black and white. Yin and yang. Police and thieves. The world is made of harmonious balance between parallels; neither exists without the other. Think of it this way. How would you acknowledge the existence of light if there isn't a dark to compare it against? How would you identify a positive point if there isn't a negative point? To put a darker shade of comparison, imagine Joker and Batman. The Joker once said to Batman, "I don’t wanna kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no, no. You… you complete me!” The fact that the Joker needs Batman, just like how evil depends on the good, is ironical. Now I give you an scenario. A world without criminals, no evil, no darkness. Whilst you may think of it as an ideal dream world, it may not be so. What defines ideal - the mere notion that there is peace and good in the world? Light? No, it is not that simple. Evil, by definition, is the quality of being morally wrong (to quote thefreedictionary.com) and if we were to bring it down to the simplest form, it would mean not being good. But the fact is there is no evil in the first place so how would we know something is good? The explanation then disappears for we do not know what is right, what is good and what is light; there is simply no comparison to prove the counterexistence of the other.

Pardon my English and my putting across of ideas, it's been years since I stopped writing and exercising my cognitive thinking. But you get the idea... Or not...


Friday, October 30, 2015

First week in new unit

Hellooooo, as you may have known, I am finally out of OCS :) still not used to being acknowledged as a commissioned officer, but getting there heh. #privileges Oh, and I'm not going to write as per how I used to write during my OCS journey so yep!!

First day of reporting to camp was hectic, mainly being my alarm failed to ring and I had 5mins to scramble my smart 4, brush my teeth and get ready to go to camp. So I was late haha SHIT what a way to start! Luckily it did not affect the running of the schedule so I was let off the hook phew~ Had CO's opening address, followed by many lessons and many other addresses by various people, including RSM (Regiment Sergeant Major), USO (Unit Safety Officer) et cetera... I must say I rather love the PT culture here; will really get to improve my already not bad physique xP

Finally coming to an end of this induction programme and oh wow, turnout! A series of mentally and physically draining exercises which coupled with the crazy amount of morning PT caused me to reach my limit. But of course, I had to push myself to complete it! Shag omg :X

I BOOKED OUT FINALLY YIPEE BUT WITH A SORE BUTT AND ACHING THIGHS!!

EDIT: Just celebrated Golden Jubilee 50!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Week 39/39

It's finally the end of OCS guys and gals. What was once so far is now so near and within reach. As every day pass by second by second, minutes gradually became hours and hours turned into days. Before I knew it, I was standing on the graduating parade square itself.

Day 1
Rehearsals.

Day 2
Rehearsals.

Day 3
Rehearsals.Oh! And a random nights out which was pointless to me hence I slept in bunk.

Day 4
Rehearsals.

Day 5
Rehearsals. Got to book out in the evening but alas, I have to book in tomorrow at 8.30am. ZZZ also no point but going home is still going home.

D-day
The day I have been waiting for throughout my NS life. The morning felt so surreal that I could've pinched myself and still not felt pain. As the actual graduating parade drew closer, the tension also built up within me (familiar with the butterflies in the stomach feeling? Yup, that's it). Every minute on the parade square felt eternal yet I did not want that feeling to end, because somehow I dread the unknown, if what is to happen. We have been taught to lead, but this will be the test itself. How we fare is up to us, and I definitely do not want to screw it up. Before I knew it, I was grabbing the 2LT rank insignia and marching back onto the parade square to be properly commissioned as a fresh 2LT. My eyes actually welled up at the thought of that. Whatever people say about doing anything just to be in a commissioning parade again is true, the feeling is indescribable!


 My dad affixing on my rank

 Me and Qi Xun, a long-time exercise buddy and close friend of mine
 Me and Gerald, it's been 2 years?
 Not sure why am I slanting in the opposite direction as the Leaning Tower of Pisa
 My parents!
 Air-force buddies for life!
Part 2 of that because Xuan Wen was late. tsk.

P.S. Sorry Ulric, my 12 year friend, but I just can't seem to find our photo LOL. But it's on twitter anyway :)

Oh, and I was bored so I audio-taped me singing 小幸运 by 田馥甄. DO NOT JUDGE! Okay i'm kidding, just judge LOL!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week 38/39

Can't really say I did much over these two weeks because it's just endless parade rehearsals after rehearsals. OMG the lower back pain.

Day 1
Rehearsal.

Day 2
Somehow got rest, aka more lectures. You will never know how hard it is to find the Z monster until you face a droning monotonous lecturer who knows way too much in his field of expertise and keep wanting to digress to share more...

Day 3
ACPC (Awards Certificate Presentation Ceremony) rehearsals. It was kind of different; for one, we wore No. 2 which was the formal dining in dress attire, and secondly the rehearsing was all for a mere 10 seconds up on stage which somehow people still screw up.

Day 4
Nothing much, same old rehearsals.

Day 5
ACPC itself. In summary, it was good food turning cold because of formalities' sake, we had to wait for the higher-in-command to tuck in first before us consuming.

Day 6
Stayed back for Inter-arms relay which got pushed back due to haze. Thanks Indonesia for burning another of my weekends!

EDIT: My team for PT excellence somehow won this LOL.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Week 37/39

Joint term begins! Familiar faces from the air force and my ex-wing mates who left for artillery during Professional term. Also signifies the start of droning lectures and the torture of having to keep myself awake in order to not get confined receive the best out of all these lectures.

Day 1
Lectures. Lunch. Lectures. Remember these 3 Ls guys and gals.

Day 2
3Ls.

Day 3
Quite an refreshing change for awhile. We had PT excellence which was to compete between groups to see who fared better after a long hiatus of not doing any rigorous training. Of course, thanks to Indonesia, our very friendly and helpful counterpart near us, we could not resume the running part of this competition and hence have to be pushed back to sat (aka we had to stay back zzz). And NS being NS, had the wonderful planning idea of stacking a lecture 30mins right after the supposed end time which in the end was truncated due to the increment weather (for the less knowledgeable, I meant the haze). Imagine if we had gone on with the competition; definitely rushing and dead beat in the lectures. And that's not all, we had to go for our first commissioning parade rehearsal right after that randomly slotted lecture. Double the sleepiness WOOHOO. Okay, at least I survived the day to crash the night away.

Day 4
Lo and behold, grand planning today, just lectures.

Day 5
Whole day of parade rehearsal, I feel like my fingers are gone.  Holding the rifle still by my side for about 1 hour without rest = no joke. Now I understand why the seniors say Joint Term is the hardest phase of OCS. Shag day indeed.

Day 6
Because haze. #ihateyoujokowidodo

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Week 36/39

This week marks the end of Professional Term YAY!!!

Day 1
Nothing much I guess, mainly lectures and administrative stuff. Oh wait, we had Infantry Vocational Obstacle Course orientation... hmm quite okay

Day 2
Preparation for Platoon Assault Course, force preparation et cetera blah blah

Day 3
Platoon Assault Course! We promised our instructors that we will be the fastest and win the trophy back. Sadly, being an adept marksmen was deemed an integral skillset for an infanteer to possess hence even though we were fastest, we were last in the shooting component and thus not first. Disclaimer, I do not think I was a BOBO shooter haha XD

Day 4
Kinda forgot what happened lol... OH YEA OFF-IN-LIEU

Day 5
Le random book-in because we had to visit the artillery institute to learn about how that vocation works.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Week 35/39

Ex Panther Strike week, also haze-going-to-kill-everyone week.

Day 1
Spent the day sitting in for conducting briefs and exercise briefs. Had the usual force preparations to prepare for the final summary exercise of my whole OCS journey. YAAYYYYYY!!

Day 2 - 3
A frantic rush to settle everything by NMT (No move time which means everything is prepared and ready and nobody is to move anywhere) and we did accomplish that. Originally intended to board the tonner to head off to Landing Site for Heliborne insertion into the depth of our area objective but HAZE. So the bird is unable to take off nor land. Hence in the end, we waited till early dawn to set off to our area objective because our mission is truncated. Nonetheless, the walk was still perilous in pitch darkness; the weight of the matador coupled with SBO3 made it tough. Ex Panther Strike had 2 missions, first one being a dawn BUA (built up area) assault followed by a conventional quick attack in the jungle. Shan't spoil the summex for future infantry cadets so you guys/ gals enjoy the fruits of your laborous training.

Day 4
Cleaning of weapons and our VERY MUDDY uniforms, no thanks to the waist deep mud "river". Oooohm the stench of infantry... Then booked out in the evening.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Week 34/39

If you guys and gals noticed, I changed the total duration in OCS to 39 weeks because somehow it's not the usual 38 weeks. Either I got scammed or what lol. Pretty chill week, just like a calm before a storm; Ex Panther Strike is next week :O

Day 1
Half a day spent rotting cleaning common area then promptly got chartered to Bedok Camp 2 for Guards internship. CO opening address, followed by a rough outline of Principal Staff Officers' job scope. In summary, S1 is in charge of manpower, S2 security and intelligence, S3 operations and training, S4  support  and logistics. Jogged the ground around the camp because the Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) "does not like to walk". Oh well, anything goes. Can't describe how Guards camp look like due to confidentiality but just wow at what they actually have to do. Mind over body eh...

Day 2
Second day of internship, just that today is a full day package. I got attached under CPT Tong, which is a female Guards Officer Commanding (OC) and also a SMS scholar. *insert applause* She is quite cool and chill, unlike the Platoon Sergeants (PSses) who are hmm fiercer. Guess it's inherent in their nature in order for them to control their men. Really productive day listening to Platoon Commanders (PCs) share about their experience in unit; OCS do train competent officers with high moral values.
---For people who are clueless as to what OC/ PC/ PS stands for and how they work, basically OC commands a company which has 4 platoons, every platoon is led by a PC and a PS. The PS assists the PC in regimentation and discipline while the PC conducts exercises and draws up lesson plans.

Day 3
Vocation Obstacle Course orientation run, sounds scary but is in reality just SOC with stretcher + 3 jerry cans (20kg each) rundown at the final stretch. Random 9km route march in the afternoon which was easy peasy :) I have not lost my touch~

Day 4
ICCT grading and YES, GOODBYE TO ICCT FOREVER WHEEEEEE!!!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week 33/38

An integral moment of my OCS life because this week is ATP week. Time for another badge on my uniform.

Day 1
We went to IMT (Individual Marksmanship Trainer) which brought back memories of my time in NCC. If I am not mistaken, this would be my 5th time coming to this place. Ahah despite all that said, I did not score very well for the familiarization shoot. Had instinctive action drills lessons in the later part of the day in order for us to at least achieve perfect score for this aspect of ATP.

Day 2
Had zeroing shoot first before commencing the actual staging shoots. In essence, ATP is broken up into 3 components: Stage A, Stage B and Stage C.
Stage A is the most tiring shoot, why so being the presence of 300m rundown, 200m rundown and 100m rundown. The key to scoring well is to run at a adequate pace where your breathing is regulated so you limit the amount of panting you have during the actual shoot.
For stage B, it is instinctive action drills, which as said is the easiest to score through sheer practice and rough estimation of where your scope should aim to hit the targetboard.
Stage C is night shoot which most of us will assume is the toughest to score simply because the targetboard is too hard to distinguish from the backdrop. BUT!! We somehow scored relatively well in this aspect LOL.

Day 3
I scored marksman the day before and by right was supposed to rest back in wingline but sadly, NS lies. Was worth coming back to the range though as those who scored marksman already were allocated duties to better understand how the conduct of a live range shoot works. This was something OCS did not prepare us for and I felt it was invaluable for our future endeavours in NS as officers will indefinitely conduct such exercises.

Day 4
Certain "bobo" cadets have to go for reshoot day 2 while the rest of us stayed at wingline to YEP, you guessed right, clean our weapons. Didn't really do much today because of the irregular hours of sleep we had the past two days (we slept 4 hours or less!)

Day 5
Lessons of area security operations. Basically how to secure an urban area while handling possible riots and misguided mobs of citizens. Quite a cool experience although I am not sure when will I actually put this into practice.

A worthy bookout for me to integrate the marksmanship badge into my uniform family XD!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Week 32/38

Relatively simple week although I'm like super lethargic for the whole week. Such an irony that when you have nothing to do but rest in bunk, you feel more tired.

Day 1
Probably the only worthy thing to note was ICCT (Intermediate Close Combat Training). The instructor was going to ORD tomorrow so this lesson was slack. Cheers to ORD HAHA

Day 2
Felt like we turned back time to CLM, where one full day was dedicated to self-directed learning. What a great day of "studying" I did!

Day 3
Had Chinook heli training in the morning, followed by UO (Urban Operations) practical in the afternoon. This was in preparation for Ex Coyote II and subsequently Ex Panther Strike. Again, the contradicting SOP (refer to previous post for what SOP stands for) between the instructors and 2WO Philip continues to befuddle us.

Day 4
Ex Coyote II. We went to Lim Chu Kang abandoned area for UO training. Because it was supposed to last 2 day but shortened to 1 day, we were anticipating a CM in the middle of the night to move off to the mission objective. Phew, luckily it did not happen.

Day 5
Furious mad rushing of cleaning stores, weapons and the wing in order to achieve mission objective - NIGHTS OUT!!! Surprising how things get done fast when everyone shares a common goal. Second nights out, went to chill with DJ Loo at Jurong Point.

Day 6
UO live firing. Saturday is definitely not a good happy day for anything related to NS so I guess you understand our pain, unless of course if you are a girl which means ... well, you get my point.

Oh yea, selected "lucky" few cadets got targeted for not shining our boots for parade... Nothing to say except thank you, fairness. Sergeant Major forced us to clean up the whole wing and I swear it was never better since 15 years ago. And he still said, "I see almost no effort". Wow, the angst boiling inside me was real. In conclusion, I booked out luckily to attend my DC Justice League run. 

EDIT: TA DA~ bonus marksmanship badge pic too!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week 28-31/38

Another chunk of week gone due to overseas exercise. Haha, Brunei and then before you know it, BAM Taiwan!

Day 1 (28 July, Tuesday)
Just your average day of settling in-processing at 恒春 camp. Busy day.

Day 2
Ex Comet, also known as navigation familiarization exercise. It was quite an experience considering that it was the first time we were doing this in open terrain.

Day 3
Had commanders' recce for Ex Scorpio, a company live firing exercise (Given the Platoon Sergeant appointment) Wow, the view up there is quite up there (ahahaha geddit? :D) The amount of pre-planning before an exercise an officer has to do...

Day 4
So I heard the non-appointment holders had quite a relaxing day of lepak GRRR oh well, anyway everyone went to the area objective to walk the ground today. Surprisingly a lot more "Anti-Personnel Mines" than before (sorry guys/ gals, army joke. But I'm nice so I'll let you all on the joke. They refer to cow dung XD, the similarity being us people tend to avoid it like mines)

Day 5
Ex Scorpio blanks firing. Nothing much to say, apart from the sweltering weather causing many to *(%*%&#$!(#^$ and keep drinking water.

Day 6
Ex Scorpio live firing, can't really say it was scary because the planning and safety measures were carefully implemented and enforced.

Day 7-8
Ex Green Beret. Was supposed to be a OPEN TERRAIN navigation exercise which would be DIFFERENT but as you all know, NS being NS, nothings goes as planned. Turned out it was CLOSED TERRAIN most of the time and being so, nothing different from any other normal navigation exercises. My detail was different from my JCC detail but it did not matter. Basically everyone turned on man-mode LOL #postJCCsyndrome
*We did better than other details somehow*

Day 9
Ex Taurus 1 & 2. Our instructors decided to shorten these exercises into one day, reason being the supposed hurricane is EDIT:WOULD HIT Taiwan and they want to push forward Taurus in case Ex Homerun gets affected (it did anyway). Another reason was so that we had one day to rest, which again is not a vocabulary found in NS. Oh and the hurricane upgraded to a cyclone.

Day 10-11
Supposed admin rest day. Spent the day doing AOP. Warning orders issued down to us today and we had to be under lockdown for 24 hours. Mixed emotions regarding the lockdown because I was actually looking forward to using the PANTES (Personal Area Network Tactical Engagement System) yet I'm too tired to want to carry on with missions.

Day 12-14
By right, Ex Homerun 1 & 2 cancelled and we start with Ex Homerun 3, but hey NS! So by some stroke of luck, we started with Ex Homerun 2, of which I was appointed... *drumroll*... Platoon Sergeant (kudos to you if you guessed correct!) Continued with the rest of the missions.

Day 15
Ahem *cough* ahem, sorry to all readers but for the sake of any officer cadets reading my blog, I got to keep what happened today/ midnight a secret. Sorry oopsie!

Day 16
Out-processing, and lepaking the rest of the day.

Day 17
Nights Out @ 垦丁.  Shiok ahha.

Day 18
Weird day comprising of kit bag inspection and more canteen breaks? Boring day in general.

Day 19-21
R & R. Eat, explore, chill, eat, window shop! Probably the only interesting situation I've been into was @ 忠孝复兴站. I went to SOGO shopping mall, which is like Orchard Road on steroids. On literally every floor, there were at least 5 salespersons greeting me with a deep bow as I ascended the escalator, 2 at every mini-outlet within the level and 3 at every corner. HOLY, there's even a lift attendant just to attend to you. W-o-w, just wow. Oh, and the theme parks were cool.

Homesick feels strong this time, finally touched down at Changi Airport. So glad to be back.

P.S. Not really a photo kind of person, so yep no photos. Memories are etched in the brain, not stored in a hard disk~

Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 27/38

Oops, was too lethargic to post this last week. Sorry my avid followers (assuming I do have ... hmm questionable). Booking in on Sunday morning was not a pleasant start to the upcoming week though.

Day 1
Sunday book in, as stated. Needed to help out with 97/14 commissioning parade, which was very painful mainly because we had to stand and usher for 7 hours. Dem feels when they throw their No 1 peak cap oh god...

Day 2
Lessons on coastal hook operations

Day 3
Actual coastal hook operations exercise. Although the week plan stated one full day, the duration spent onboard the assault boat (General Support Boat/ GSB) was less than 3 hours. The real deal came when we had to clean the boats after the exercise. Wow, it was no joke; every GSB required a platoon size to wash, lift and carry the boat to the storing hangar. We had 9 GSBs to clean, imagine the joy D:

Day 4
Zombie platoon. ICCT in the morning was pretty damn bad planning zzz WHATEVER HAPPENED TO NO ACTIVITIES IF NO 7 HOURS OF UNINTERRUPTED REST?!

Day 5-6
Exercise Dump-in which comprises of back-to-back missions in our SBO mode. Quite tough to fight alongside my platoonmates since over JCC but somehow my combat fitness is good to last me through. Hmm the training regime kicking in o.0

To sum up, quite an easy week if not for the lack of sleep which made it 999999999999999x harder.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Week 26/38

What a short week, nothing much happening though.

Day 1
Ah SAFTI Anniversary yup, took up the whole morning plus I worked out a sweat! That felt refreshing considering I have not properly worked out in a while... today was seriously workout day. Had ICCT (Intermediate Close Combat Training) and aqua jog thereafter. Chill day in my opinion.

Day 2
ICCT in the morning, which was kinda painful since we have not recovered from yesterday's training. Got our first CETL (Combat Endurance Tekan LOL I actually do not know the acronym shit!) then ended the day with Tactics Test, which was holy shittingly tedious but managable if time is not a factor.

Day 3
Basically another chill day. Had to go for an usher's brief for 97/14 commissioning parade then followed by walk the ground at our respective sectors. Cleaned up bunk waiting to be inspected when suddenly "Charlie wing, please change into your White-Black and fall in 1600 ready at the parade square!" AHAHA, high level our CWC (Cadet Wing Commander)~ Well done yay!

Plus Happy Birthday Gerald Koh, the only Security Trooper bro I made lasting friendship with! Cheers to many more fun outings ahead XD

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Week 22-25/38

This is gonna be a long post so please bear with me. Finally writing after a long hiatus (maybe I'm over-exaggerating) because of my overseas exercise - Ex Lancer @ Lakiun Camp, Brunei. Will be sub-dividing the weeks for easier comprehension.

Phase 1: Infantry Training Package

Day 1 (15 June, Mon)
A day of in-processing which took half a day but could have been faster had it not rained zzz. The welcome dinner was great :)

Day 2
Started all the required briefings (safety brief, conduct brief, exercise mission brief yada yada...)

Day 3
Crossing Water Obstacle (CWO) training in preparation of Ex Helang 2.

Day 4
Actual dry/wet run of CWO (is it considered a dry run when we got wet doing it?) at Sungai Batu Apoi river, not forgetting the mandatory rifle cleaning thereafter.

Day 5
Ridgeline fighting lessons at the "Saw mill", in preparation of essentially all exercise missions. Really important to master fighting on the main terrain for all infantry troops.

Day 6
Climbed up to Landing Point (LP) Pheonix to wait for air insertion into Jungle Village. First exercise to come was Ex Hornbill - a Platoon Battle Course intended as a search & destroy mission. Took us quite a while to navigate into the correct enemy location due to the misleading forked paths which led us off the wrong track twice.

Day 7
Ex Temada (the usual section ridgeline fighting) in the morning, followed by closed terrain live firing in the afternoon.

Day 8-9 (23 June, Tues)
Ex Helang 1 to 3. Sorry I can't really describe much about it due to me falling out after Ex Helang 1 but nonetheless, the worst back-to-back missions an infanteer will experience yet. Imagine route march with a 25kg load on harsh unforgiving undulating terrain with missions in between. Yep, blisters, abrasions, heat rashes!

-----------------------------END OF INFANTRY TRAINING PACKAGE--------------------------


Phase 2: Pre-JCC

Day 10
JCC start proper. Course Instructor brief, more random but important briefs... We got jungle cadre team 2, which consists of 3WO Ezekiel, 3WO Joe, LTA Rajwinder and CPT Utama. Not forgetting of course, their signaller CPL Gary.

Day 11
Knots & lashings lesson/ test. Also had a lesson on identification of edible plants.

Day 12
Tour of the Survival Village (not to be confused with Jungle Village which uhh duhhh is in the jungle). Saw the standards of the A-frame shelter, fireplace and monitor lizard trap. Then we witnessed live skinning of quail, chicken, rabbit, snake and goat <- exactly in this order typed. Sampling of sago worms, which I valiantly volunteered to try and ... no comments guys and gals, you have to try for yourselves to understand my "predicament".

Phase 3: JCC

Before I begin on my JCC experience, I shall share how the scoring system works:


Knowledge
10%
Qualities
25%
Abilities
40%
Physical Fitness
15%
Peer review
5%
Commander Bonus**
5%
Total
100%


JCC consists of 4 exercises, Ex Nomad, Ex Explorer, Ex Forager and Ex Trekker. All 4 exercises contribute to the 80%. Prior to JCC, there will also be tests which takes up 10%. 5% from peer review comes just before the end of JCC where the detail is given sheets of paper to grade every individual of the detail. Lastly, the commander bonus, 2% of which is gotten if the detail manages to find all 4 Checkpoints (CP) and reach the Endpoint (EP) on time in Ex Nomad, the other 2% given if an individual scores more than 70 out of 90 in Ex Forager. If you are actually still alive after all the math done, the last 1% is randomly given on the whims and fancy of the cadre assessing you.

Throughout my JCC, I penned down my thoughts and reflections every day in my black notebook, something I took pride in doing and in doing so, became my countdown timer to the end of JCC. Typed out my reflections at the end of each day.

Day 13 (27 June, Sat)
Start of Ex Nomad - 0600. It is a test of navigational skills within closed terrain and discipline. Trust in your teammate's navigation/ plotting/ pacing is integral to the dynamics of the detail.

+++"Started Ex Nomad at 0600. Felt confident at first but lost every ounce of it 1 hour later. Brunei terrain is really no joke. Spent at least 6 hours searching for CP ROAD but gave up to find CP BLUR. Equally shitty to locate but luckily still found :) harbouring near Midpoint (MP) tonight, honestly unsure of my skills..."

Day 14
Ex Nomad.

+++"10 hour sleep was shiok but the trek to come was hell. Survived climbing up & down at least 4 ravines... on 1 pack of biscuit. Gonna tank thru this. 7 more days!! P.S. Hooray for Endex Nomad."

Day 15 (29 June, Mon)
Endex Nomad - 1000. Start of Ex Explorer - 1300. The infamous self-discovering journey to the North-East (trust me, general direction to Mt Biang from the "piano bridge" is NE). Rough gauge of route would be .361, aka Temburong, followed by .169 and .168 helipads and finally Mt Biang. Climb on all four limbs; it helps.

+++"Reached EP COLD! Never felt so happy to see instructors :) Settled transition to Ex Explorer. Wow, eating 1 pack of biscuit today again. Somehow managed to survive my hunger... tmr confirm eat main pack alr... too damn hungry. Might start food craving list soon."

Day 16
Ex Explorer.

+++"Most tiring day of my life. Trekked uphill & downhill, total vertical distance covered about 800m? The climb up Mt Biang was... wow never again... Really unimaginable scaling until you experience it. Too sleepy to continue..."

Day 17
Endex Explorer - 0900. Transition to JCC combat swim and insertion into survival sites (not to be confused with survival village which is uhh at base camp). Ex Forager will usually start early due to the early insertion into survival sites.

+++"Surprisingly managed to chiong to 4B turning site and down to 4B for JCC combat swim! 18 pts for Explorer! :) last detail to arrive tho, so we waited till 3pm before we actually got inserted. Started Ex Forager feeling lost... dunnoe how to start & maintain me fire zzz plus it rained today... no mood :("

Day 18 (2 July, Thurs)
Official start of Ex Forager -0600. Be disciplined and do not be afraid to venture far for resources! Think creative and positive!

+++"Moody; everyone is so good at building and tying things but I am just clumsy and slow... morale all time low. Still have not done monitor lizard trap, roofing and fireplace shelter... so much to do, not to mention my rashes are itching like mad. HELP!!"

Day 19
Ex Forager skinning assessment (killing was sinful, eating was sinful too, although the intended meaning behind the word 'sinful' differs for the latter)

+++"Somehow managed to get my shit together and accomplish some stuff. Still left with 2/3 of roofing but aha fuck it... 1 layer hopefully can clear. *fingers crossed* I feel that Ex Forager really woke me up to how helpless & vulnerable I can end up judging from ytd. Shall sleep now..."

Day 20
Endex Ex Forager - 1200. Extrication to harbour site in preparation for transition to Ex Trekker.

+++"Ex Forager finally ended OH YEA!! Hope I passed. The angonizing 3 days 3 nights of moody me was horrible; made me reflect a lot on what do I excel in... JCC almost over. Lost the black screw but luckily managed to find it back WOO!! :) safe~ harbouring at 4A now feeling relieved that everything is coming to an end. And for the first time, I actually miss my family. Gonna treat them dinner when I am back^^." EDIT: I DID TREAT THEM YAY!!

Day 21 (5 July, Sun)
Start of Ex Trekker - 0600. How fast JCC ends depends on how fast your detail reaches Cynthia gate :)

+++"The awaited day of return to LAKIUN camp to mark the ENDEX. last night was memorable tho; it poured heavily in the middle of the night, making us soaking wet and unable to sleep further... I ended up reveilling at 0400. Started Ex Trekker at SP4 -> CP WATER -> CP NAGA -> CP OKRA-> CP PHEONIX -> CYNTHIA!! Not really a shag trek but rather just a casual route march with uphill feel. Somehow ended up crying having walked past CYNTHIA gate. JCC definitely went well!"

Day 22
Out-processing and loading of kit-bag. Prepare for R&R~

Day 23 (7 July, Tues)
R&R day. Went to the Royal museum of Brunei which housed all the international gifts offered to the Sultan, wished I had more time to appreciate the objects there :(. Boat tour around Water Village then lunch buffet at Jalan Aman camp. Good food yay! Went to The Mall (it is actually called that...). Watched Terminator: Genisys (really good, strongly recommend to watch), had double cheese fries from Jollibee and vanilla oreo frappe which was delicious OH MY GOD! Then dinner buffet again and hand carry inspection at Jalan Aman camp before departing to Brunei International Airport to catch my flight home woots!!

My food craving doodles LOL~

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Week 21/38

Pretty average week, but the discipline of the wing going downhill due to the persistence of certain individuals wanting to talk in a file. Hopefully after the scolding and "corrective training", they will wake up (but then again, I highly doubt so...)

Day 1
Still chilling. Don't remember anything important being done today.

Day 2
SOC test. Hur hur, finally the end of SOC. Finishing it seems so simple yet induces such breathlessness. Apparently, the breathlessness stems from all the height drops which kicks out all the air and since you are continuing ahead without stoppage, the breath just cannot come back until the end of SOC. Hmm, guess that does not matter anymore because NO MORE SOC!!

Day 3
Heliborne voice procedure test and practical. Quite fun; brings back memories of when I was back in the RSAF (Royal Singapore Air Force), although I must admit, I ain't that good at it anymore :( practical was muddy... hmm then more admin and packing for Brunei.

Day 4
Brunei briefing and pre-Brunei unhappy hour! Had buffet at Kushinbo, not my cup of tea... but I learnt how to choose the best crab meat :) you just gotta kick the ones that has the highest density, healthiest/ strongest shell aka the fresh ones with succulent meat. #perksofdiningwithfishermen

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Week 20/38

Short but crazy week, probably because of CSB 32km...

Day 1
Nothing much, they had to give us mandatory rest before our 32km route march hmm.
Route march start: 2130

Day 2
Counted day 2 when it hit 0000. People starting to get tired, and as a result, very angsty... I do not understand why some people just cannot control their emotions and act professionally. Is professionalism not part of the SAF core values which you obviously live by in NS? I may not be perfect but at the very least I try my best to control my emotions. Speaking of which, 32km was NOT FUN; I was the rear scout, aka the last man who walks alone without friends and have to cheer myself up. Must have sang to myself at least 30 songs LOL, for motivation. Everything felt alright until we crossed the water obstacle... HOLY SHIT SIA, every abrasion I never felt before erupted painfully. Nonetheless, we completed it and the 100m shoot. CSB badge woohoo~

Day 3
Post-CSB rest day, had swimming confidence test which I half passed D: but it's alright. Had lessons, more rest.

Day 4
SOC test cancelled by our wing comd! I swear he is the best we can ever wish for. Anyway, we had another swim/ waterpolo competition in replacement of SOC, plus canteen break after the swim. What a day~ Family engagement day followed after at 1745, but since I did not want to trouble my parents to come here, I went to pack my JCC stuff instead hehe. The brunei feels is setting in.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Week 19/38

What a long draggy week, got weird food cravings in the middle of the week but that kinda helped me to press on hahah. Cheers~

Day 1
BOOKED IN ON SATURDAY NIGHT WHEN I BOOKED OUT THE NIGHT BEFORE. Yep, had to say the painful truth. Had Exercise Rhino on a Sunday zzz what a refreshing thought. But anyway, my mind was clear and resigned to it. Witnessed a PLC (Projected Line Charge, looks like a human-sized cigarette) which is to help clear a path from a minefield so soldiers can advance without stepping on a mine. How it works is that it will detonate or activate the mines using the blast from its ends, allowing a path that is charred but safe to step on. Went on with platoon live firing. Everyone went fine, until just before night live firing, it poured heavily. What can I say? The luck of the infantry outfield.

Day 2
CWO (Crossing of Water Obstacles) lesson with Encik Philip. It was fun.

Day 3
Exercise Gateway. It is basically a live showcase of what to do in Exercise Forager, the survival phase of JCC. Will have to type out/ write my jungle survival tips soon to remind myself...

Day 4/5
Exercise Castaway. Split up into details of 6 person to do a mock survival phase of JCC Rediscovered many setups which we thought were built right but are actually wrong. Guess I have to practise tying sheer and square lashing in my free time. Oh, and writing up of my survival tips too!!

Day 6
Recovery from Exercise Castaway, which was a great experience :) Finally getting to book out oh yes! Ramen here I come!!!

Week 17-18/38

Week 17 was block leave. Went Langkawi to relax with my parents and just enjoy leaving NS everything behind. Even though the time spent there was short, it was fruitfully amazing. A long overdue break from the hectic lifestyle. Tuesday fun with my JCC detail bros, shiok pork chop + vegs @ tiong bahru (if you really want to know the location, just drop a comment here! :P) Then every other day left was spent nua-ing at home... As said, rest. Literally.

Week 18 started badly, with everyone having post-block leave syndrome... aka AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave) feels. Can't really remember much about it so I'll just state the high keys.

Day 1
SOC practice again. Quite tiring haha, mostly because I can't land properly with my current shin pain.

Day 2
PAN TES familiarization in the morning, followed by JCC lesson after lunch. Learnt alot of new cool stuff, like building an A-frame, monitor lizard trap et cetera. Wow, I am really excited for Exercise Castaway next week where we will be building it...

Day 3
6km CETL with Platoon estab. According to everyone, it was a killer but oh well, the field pack regime really toughened me up for this; I felt relatively okay heh :)

Day 4
10km CSB run, clocked 49mins 21secs. Not bad for a guy with shin pain :P

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Week 16/38

An uttering shag week of exercises. Funny how I survived.

Day 1
Exercise Wolf starts. Loads of pre-AOP planning (refer to previous blog post on what is AOP) and now we are finally putting it into action. Had ridgeline fighting lesson and training, as usual easy to understand, hard to coordinate and execute. Platoon battle course came next, what can I say, it's tough and tiring. Dinner, more planning and sleep before Ex Wolf 1.

Day 2
Ex Wolf attack phase 1. I was the runner, aka the sad person that runs around in FBO mode WITH SIGNAL SET. So in essence, I was lugging at least 25kg around running, keyword is 'running'. Nothing much la, just damn shagged out after that and my shin pain does not help D:

Day 3
Ex Wolf attack phase 2. Luckily I am not anything important so just doing what my section commander wants and fight. Can't really describe much about the firefight. But in general, our platoon is definitely rusty after not doing platoon/ section fighting for quite sometime.

Day 4
Rest day, or whatever you call it when we have nothing strenuous planned. Got swimming holy that's like a rarity in OCS. Oh yea, then shit happened - 9km Endurance Run... wow, my shin pain really hampering my results... but at least I completed it :)

Day 5 & 6
Navigation exercise. EDIT: They are Exercise Hunter and Seeker, out which Seeker is the one without instructors following your detail. With FBO, soft plates hard plates and 2 1.5L bottles. Haha, killer man but great realistic training nonetheless. Guess it's really true that you never know where your limit is till you break it.

Going off to Langkawi wheee~ bye guys (and gals)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Week 15/38

First week of my appointment as a Cadet Platoon Commander.

Day 1
Pre Exercise Wolf lessons and instructions. Lots of administrative duties to finish UGHH running up and down 3 floors is no joke... Then rest of the day was dedicated to Approval of Plan (AOP) planning, which is was tedious.

Day 2
Went to Pasir Laba camp, more specifically the Infantry Gunner Training System (IGTS) school. The lecture was damn dry, I don't understand how the lecturer can make such an interesting brief into a droning monologue. Guess the older you are, the more windy and monotonous you become. Kudos to me for surviving the lecture without sleeping YAY. But during the IGTS, I kinda dozed off for a moment and FML Murphy's law activated. Got caught by LTA Lewis at the wrong place wrong time. GG, immediately after dinner, hell rained loose. Fell in, ran up take field pack, run down ground floor everything out, run up take IBA camo on, camo off fold smart 4, camo on, pushups, crunches, camo off, pushups, camo on, pushups crunches, camo off, arms outstretched hold for 10 mins. Wow, can't believe I survived that; I swear I'll never fall asleep again. Oh, and not to mention Platoon 3 got fucked by LTA Wei Jie too.

Day 3
Went (back again woohoo!) to Signal Institute to learn about the PRC 940A, which is a lighter signal set with GPS configuration and 100000 buttons. Feels so happy to be here learning AHAHA such is the truth of my OCS life; every other visit to camps just feels less demoralizing. Saw a class and CCA senior ( LTA C Y Goh!) at the cookhouse :) happy to see a familiar face. OH, and I saw my "upperstudy" from Aeromedical Centre, I kinda rather missed the life there with the medics and doctors.

Day 4
Held turnout for all the newly received wings. I was in charge to turning out female cadets from Delta. Wahh sad sia, only get to shout from the stairway because 男女纷纷不轻!Hopefully I was not too condescending towards them during the turnout... Had platoon sharing, dished out many grievances and I really learnt more about my commanding. Heartfelt tips for improvement and I really appreciate them. If anyone from Platoon 3 reads this, I am already changing to better my leadership style. Officially got my IPPT gold ^^

Tomorrow is labour day, gonna surprise my mum with a dinner and my fancy formal attire :) HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY IN ADVANCE!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Week 14/38

A short but fulfilling week.

Day 1
Had self-directed lessons (SDL) for almost half of the day. The other half spent preparing for Exercise Hearts which is primarily to introduce ourselves to junior cadets and share with them our amazing experiences we had during service term! Was appointed Platoon IC of Delta Platoon 2; my job was to orientate them around the stations and answer any questions if need be.

Day 2 - 3
Service term debrief and peer appraisal. Honestly a lepak day because 24km route march later D: and instructors want to let us rest sufficiently for it. 24km was so tiring, singing cheering talking et cetera to burn the time away while walking. Finally managed to finish the distance towards parade square where we earned our professional term bar and me my professional term Cadet Platoon Commander (CPC) bar. First day on the job and I am tasked to tidy up the out processing for artillery people and in processing of Tango cadets. Wow, tiring running up and down. Plus the fact that Singtel data connection was down, thus reducing my means of communication down to the "primitive" level which is SMS ahaha!!

Fruitful week I must say.
- To lead, to excel, to overcome!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Week 13/38

Crasy ass long week!! Finally pulled through and am writing this blog post now after a full day of rest.

Day 1 & 2
Exercise Coyote. Basically urban operations for the general public to understand. Everything about it was fun, from room scanning to door tackling to window breaching. Wow, if you coordinated the section well, it would really look like a scene from some movie LOL!! That was how cool the actions were woven together. Here comes the uncool part ahaha - we were carrying SBO3 aka Integrated Body Armour with soft plates and hard plates to protect us from getting injured although I feel purely wearing it adds injury to my muscles already... Add a matador which I have kinda been complaining about most of the time and somehow still lugging it around POOF the weight of what I am carrying becomes at least 25kg... doing the drills doesn't seem so fun afterall.

Day 3
Urban ops live firing at MMRC (sorry hunks and babes I forgot what that represents :P). The usual drills, just with heightened sense of awareness and safety precautions enforced rigorously. Probably the only perks of this was we got to buy ice cream and drinks from the canteen there YAY :)

Day 4
16km route march, the highlight of the day or rather the night to be exact. Volunteered to be the rear troop marching along with Warrant Philip. So glad I did; I enjoyed listening to his experiences, his thoughts, his family and himself. 2 men sharing heartfelt thoughts to each other, what more can I ask for!

Day 5
Rest day. Honestly, had it not been a rest day considering the hiongness of this week, I would have rage-killed someone. Had a canteen break after dinner, can't say I was happy about it, neither was I sad. Disappointed would be apt in describing my feeling; was hoping for a nights out instead but oh well, time and space.

Day 6
8km fast march in the morning was surprisingly normal. The final brief for ushers was NOT normal... damn it sia, got seated just an aisle away from the instructors (KG DOG) don't worry if you do not understand this hehe OSW (Operational Staff Work) being practised here. Need to keep doing funny things to myself to not sleep/ get myself killed. After lunch, Warrant Philip came up to our common area to give us massages to relieve our sore muscles from uhhh everything LOL. Warrant Philip, our godfather~

96/14 commissioning parade ushering started at 1600. This deserves a paragraph break hence yea. As the newly minted officers walked past us, with some saluting us back appreciatively and some just not giving a fuck, I guess it really says alot of these officers. But whether they deeerve it or not, they commissioned already and the RANK needs to be upholded. I vow never to be that kind of officer. People will not salute me because of my rank but because of the way I uphold myself.

To lead. To excel. To overcome.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Week 12/38

I guess this week is post scorpion king admin week. Full of tests and studying...

Day 1
Booked in mid-day because off-in-lieu got halved due to defaulter's parade. Horrible feeling knowing you fucked up so bad and off-in-lieu got cut short as a result of that. Oh well, collective tekan as wing ain't that bad. Rest of the day was spent cleaning up my field pack and its contents. Great night's rest knowing I finished everything I set out to do.

Day 2
Full day of running around cleaning studying and drawing my no. 1. Not sure why but I feel so drawn out today, the cascade of "must-complete-before-bookout" lists is wayy too much oh gawd... Had to go for an uniform inspection for my no. 2 by sergeant major, nearly wet my pants - LEFT MY NO. 2 AT HOME HOLY FUCK... surprisingly, sergeant major just asked me when can I get it by and did not screw me. Wow, thank heavens phew

Day 3
New IPPT in the morning. Felt really confident until I started my 2.4km. First time running 2.4km on the track. Thought I ran fast but was actually quite slow. 9min 46secs holy, if this was the old IPPT, I'll be dead. Haha, but 90 points XD. Commando gold baby~ Vaccination for Exercise Lancer was painfully numb, couldn't raise my arm for awhile still had to march around pfft army Urban operations lesson in the afternoon, then safety officer qualifications test. Shitloads of failures but I guess I did well?

Day 4
Intel lesson by wing commander! Everyone was so groggy that at least 40% of us slept during his lesson must be the IPPT ahahaha nothing much for the rest of the day - the most exciting thing was perhaps 8km endurance run. This run was a killer sia, no idea why but it was fun pacing my wing sergeant major! Granddad, more than double my age and runs as fast as me when I'm panting like a dog. Really motivational! Bad shin pain after the run but 37mins... worth it~

Day 5
Final touch-up of social night performances and area set-up.
Social night!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Week 11/38

Can't really break down the event chains of this week because we had Exercise Scorpion King. 4 days of mental challenge to stay awake while being physically exhausted. AND THE WEATHER DID NOT HELP. FREAKING DOWNPOUR DURING DIGGING FML GG FEET.

Day 1
First half of the day spent clearing admin stuff for the exercise and thus we embarked on an adventure. Saw the trenches dug by the instructors, fuck. Can't imagine how am I gonna match that standard D: Subsequently did platoon training for the first time HOLY SHIT, IT'S DAMN TOUGH BLOODY 45 DEGREES UPHILL FIGHT (actually not very sure of the steepness but I don't have a protractor...) Was cool though, in a shag kind of way.

Day 2
Woke up at bloody 4am to prepare for an early attack mission led by CPT Dom. Basically sleepwalking for 2 hours plus every prone position was a fine moment to sleep Just when we were about to start the fight, I got stung by a scorpion. Yes, you read that right.
STUNG BY A SCORPION IN EX SCORPION KING.
Oooo the irony. Ended up just following around as an observer for the platoon attack while my sore spot burned and throbbed madly. Went to see the medic, waited an hour or so to check for allergic reactions, cleared to continue the exercise phew.

Day 3
Started our digging. I was section commander for this defense mission so I was basically running up and down the bloody hill passing commands to my section. Dig run blah blah dig doze off for awhile wake up dig run dig. Freaking tired. Got fucked by instructors in the wee hours of the morning because we did not put in effort to stay awake and finish our mission objective. Pushups, rifle overhead, crunches, jumping jacks with rifle et cetera. Definitely dead tired.

Day 4
Went for another attack mission, the adrenaline rush felt great as I chiongsua-ed uphill with a bloody matador zzz 15kg+ on me while dashing dashing haha, fits the description for me Rained again zzz, after we had a change of uniform, but couldn't really give a damn anymore because the past few days of downpour did its job already - wrinkly feet that clump together to stab you with pain every step you take... finally went back to wingline and cleaned weapon. The maintenance of weapon was so bad we did not get to book out that night but oh well, at least I got to clean up every muddy shit of mine. Slept at 3.30am hahah!

Day 5
Booked out. 'nuff said.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Week 10/38

FINALLY OH GOD!

Day 1
General-Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) theory and practical lesson. Wow this gun is a beast man... heavy as hell. Practiced until I got quite proficient at it oh yay~ did force prep for tomorrow's 9km route march D:
Also, learnt of MM Lee's passing. I may not have personally known him, but I respected him for his actions and contributions to Singapore. He will be missed. Goodbye, MM Lee.

Day 2
9km route march basically summarises the day. Intense stuff, have not been route marching for such a long distance in awhile. Luckily I was able to pull through thanks to the motivation from everyone. Guess the singing of songs really helped!!

Day 3
Couldn't really remember when did I finish my GPMG tests but I redcon-ed 1 them aka best possible score attained :) Had 7km endurance run which was damn tiring oh my god... the uphill and stairs of hell were definitely thigh-cramping and energy-sapping. I like running but running under timing sure ain't my cup of tea. 38.1 degrees hopefully I survive tomorrow.


Day 4
Felt better but still quite bad. Nose leaking like a broken faucet tap throughout the day. Oh, and today is Exercise Cougar, which is section live firing and GPMG live firing. Can't really reveal much, except that it was super fast-paced and LOL the forests caught fire, forcing us to wait awhile before continuing. Ended everything at 0100+, RTU about 2, slept at 0400. What a screwed up day.

Day 5
The end is drawing close hell yes! Because we did not have 7 hours of uninterrupted rest, 8km fast march got postponed to a later date woohoo so glad it did or I would have labelled this week as the worst OCS week ever... Area inspection was harsh, bookout got delayed at least by 1 hour. Haiz, guess this week couldn't be any worse.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Week 8-9/38

This post is not gonna follow previous post structures because it's my first exercise since coming into OCS, meaning I am stuck in camp for two whole weeks (and of course it would feel weird to label the activities done each day).

----- Exercise Centipede -----
8 days back in Tekong, running around in Standard Battle Order (SBO) and section stores, aka 10+ kg of load, knee-breaking high kneeling every instance, battle formations et cetera. Worst of all, CAMO ON 24/8! Maybe for the freshly POP-ed recruits privates it will be a refreshing journey down memory lane and they get to see their company line again. But me being a 1 year old soldier already, it is sad for me to say that I do not have anything to relate to, first of all BMT evolving and changing to suit the current recruits and secondly all the officers and sergeants I know have ORD-ed months ago. The nostalgia in seeing the Changi ferry terminal and iconic Penguin ferry just wasn't there anymore. As I sat inside the ferry, there was no memory flashback, no reminiscence of my BMT experiences nor missing of my BMT sectionmates. Nothing, that's what I felt.

As we reached Tekong, we boarded the tonner which brought us to the camp. Setting up the basha (tent in layman non-NS familiar term) was different from what I did in BMT - we tied a rope between two trees as overhead cover then laid a groundsheet as base. TA DA our new sleeping place for 6 days. Section training was horribly tough and as expected, being in SBO for extended periods of time killed us. Definitely not used to it... Fresh outrations was a blessing though, downed it like a wolf ahahah.
Always remember the golden equation --> Training + Shouting officers = Fatigue + Hunger

Next day was similar although less tiring as we gradually got used to the weight of it. Was supposed to have a 6km tactical route march but heavy downpour. Kinda happy yet sad because although we missed the 6km route march, we got shittingly wet and the feeling sucks. Stuck in the basha for about 3 hours. Highlight of the day was probably encik asking us to open our palms and discreetly pass us gummy bears to boost our morale even though the rain was still heavy. Simple gestures like this really touches me and I am sincerely grateful for commanders like encik whose actions are noble and intentions pure. These are the people I truly revere from the bottom of my heart. Commander SAFTI came down to address us and wow, his commanding aura is fearsome. He does not need to raise his voice to be respected; he's a natural leader who knows it and puts it to full use. Being in OCS exposes me to so many different styles of leadership which I'll never forget.

Navigation exercise was next in line as we were put to the test of navigating foreign undulating terrains and clearing checkpoints. There was a signal set dispatched to every section and it was hell carrying it throughout the exercise. Navigation was fine; the only challenge was rotating the carrying of signal set. Perhaps it's due to the fatigue and weather, people in my section started man-modeing (ignoring everyone, zoning in their own world and generally not helping anyone but himself). The true nature of most of my sections were revealed that day and I shan't disclose my personal bias I developed as a result of that. I myself hate being ignored hence I always tell myself to toughen up and brave through this. Even if my section is being this way, if I keep talking sense to them, they will somehow regain themselves back. Selfishness ain't gonna help the section, selflessness will.

Technical break came at day 4, which marks the halfway point of Exercise Centipede. So glad I made it up to this point. However, we got turned out that dawn to experience Prisoners-of-War training... the experience sucks but the lessons learnt were deep. All I can say is this execution of POW training was well intented - the best medicine tastes bitter. Swam and had pizza. Life's great then. And it's back to hell again.

From day 5 onwards it's just blocks of 6 hour missions including planning and execution, 4 missions in 48 hours.Most importantly, there were no more FRESH OUTRATIONS :( eating combat rations which essentially are compressed food ziplocked and airtight. Wow, I was freaking shagged out for these two days, especially when one of my sectionmates lost an equipment and we had to march back to find it. Fortunately we did, but at the expense of our rest time. Just glad someone din't have to serve extras for losing it...

Penultimate day we shifted camp site so that we can be tested on another aspect. Less tired, may be because it was the last day? Marched to parade square at BMTC School 1 parade square and everything out-ed for inspection. Dinner was awesome because IT'S BACK TO FRESH RATIONS. So hungry and elated that I finished two boxes of fresh outrations XD

Last day before going back to HQ. So looking forward to it then BAM! Charlie Mike (continue mission in again laymen non-NS familiar term) Did 6km, ended up so damn tired that I slept my way back to wingline. Post admin back at wingline was just back-breaking rifle maintenance.

----- Wednesday to Friday -----
GPMG practical handling and test the whole day. The only interesting thing was we got fucked so bad because our wing commander received a message complaint that we marched like shit. All hell broke loose on us. We, Platoon 3, had to suffer shitloads of parade drills, PT, being screamed at. In essence, it was a total mental and physical torture only with one purpose - to break us down completely as punishment for not being disciplined. Thursday we had No. 2 uniform sizing which again being in Platoon 3 caused us to not have fitting attires to impress our dates as the other platoons took all the good fitting uniforms already zzz such perks of being in the "last to get everything" platoon.Had 6km fast march, Holy shit, what a painful march for my legs... Had to camo on midway during our rest because again we did not clean our helmet straps free of camo and it stained our faces. Hate the unnecessary camo-ing but oh well, suck thumb. The limelight is already on us; we have no say even if the officers are pissed at us and want to discipline us. Hope we prove them wrong and regain back their faith and confidence of us. Friday hopefully a chill day and yep, BOOKOUT DAY!