Monday, June 07, 2004

After the end of a gruelling ten weeks of BMT, it's finally all over for me. Yes! Lame as it may sound, I have just recieved my first promotion in the SAF. I am now a PRIVATE! As I walked out slowly from the jetty, I took one last look at the place that I had spent ten weeks in.
Suddenly, it looks like a damn bloody good holiday resort. The sun, the sand and the sea. As a recruit, all the hustle and bustle and tekkan had left me with no time to admire the island's ahem, tranquility. It is only after everything is over that the mood sets in and the romantic streak of one reveals itself.
I know that in one week's time there is a high chance that I may return back to the island for SISPEC training. That is if you are still in the dark, the abbreviation foe SUFFER IN SILENCE PLUS EXTRA CONFINEMENT. Haha, just joking. Don't charge me MP. It is actually the school for sergeant or if you like to call it, specialist training. Where you train to be part of the infantry and spend the rest of your NS life chiong suan.
I don't really care. If i do really return for SISPEC, then I would pray. Pray that I would return to BMTC school to train the recruits. That is what all soldiers look forward to when they enter SISPEC. To return with pride and glory and tekkan recruits.
Sadistic as it may sound but many consider it to be their only avenue to release stress after 5 months of tough SISPEC training.
Being a recruit is the lowest life form in the army. For ten weeks to sixteen weeks, we book in and book out in army uniform and we have to keep a constant hairlength of 1mm. After recruit, your life would only get better. Unless, you end up as a rifleman. That is another story altogether.
One thing that I would like to warn recruits about before they go in is to be prepared for alot of sai kang or literally meaning "shit work". You will become a sai kang warrior or if you like, a sai kang specialist. A cruel irony when you realized that you are neither trained or given that official title but somehow find yourself extremely good in it.
That is because you will find yourself shifting all the water cans from place to place. You will basically find yourself at the beck and call of all your sergeants. I swept the floor, cleaned the toilets, threw rubbish, move stores, carry all the heavy stuff etc...
My mother told me when I was 5 that if I studied hard and get into JC, I would not have to end up being a rubbish cleaner or a road sweeper. Looking back at those "words of wisdom", I try not to take it so badly on the fact of how ill informed my parents were.
For once in your life, you would serve the nation, do sai kang and wear camo cream and hide in the jungle. My advice for the future recruits? Try to adopt a positive mentality. The shit would be over. I survived and so would thousands of others.
In the distance, I saw a new set of recruits approaching with their parents in tow. My sergeant told me that there are the poly batch. An array of blond, brown and purple hair greeted me. The dragging of their feet showed their mood and their parents had and eternal frown plastered on their faces.
I recalled back and realized that I was no different, coming in and looking like a lost sheep and not knowing what would be expected of me. I looked at myself now and I cannot help but say WELCOME TO BMT, RECRUITS! I LEFT YOUR BUNK IN TIP TOP CONDITION. ENJOY YOUR STAY!!!

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