Thursday, April 21, 2005

In the mind of a “brain-washed” pre-enlistee

I was totally ignorant about national service a few years back. But now I am definitely better informed about it, and it all started with the mini series by Steven Spielberg, Band of Brothers.

I became so interested in military stuff after watching that show, it "made" me to start reading about soldier's gears, rank structures, ceremony procedures, uniforms/fatigues and more. I visited soldier’s blog, different military forums and read news article, and everything seems so “beautiful” and “perfect”.


I am now very ready interested to join the SAF. I can’t really comment about life in the SAF but I sense that it would be rather interesting (many would disagree). How I wish that I would be enlisted tomorrow, I am getting bored with school life already.

Maybe I am just being exposed to too much “SAF propaganda”. (Those “cool” looking posters and recruitment advertisements.)



But of course, they are the fears too, like

  • What isit like living with some other strangers. (Will we 'click'?)
  • Can I cope with the training?
  • Will something bad happen during training to me?
  • Will I lose interest after I eventually see the real thing for myself.


Maybe life just got too bored for me…

…and maybe that why I wrote this.

And oh, sorry for my poor piece of writing, I am trying my best already, ;-) and oh don’t flame me.

14 comments:

azzurri81 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
azzurri81 said...

I going to guess that a number of people are probably going to start flaming you on your idealistic views of the SAF but I am not such a person. Make no mistake about it, I think my 2 and a 1/2 were a bloody waste of time. In NS and reservist, we have this thing called an ABSD survey that surveys our thoughts on the SAF and I always answer 'Strongly agree' to the statement 'NS is a waste of my time'. But enough on me. I do believe that you are already in a good mindset to do NS not because you have read on army stuff etc. but because you have learnt to ask the correct questions beforehand. Those fears that you have outlined are very real issues of concern that people have to deal with in NS. Will something bad happen? Maybe, hopefully not but just take a look outside your window at the average guy walking outside. Whether he is a beng, undergrad, koo-niang, fat man, poor man, rich man's son etc, they all went thorugh it and survived. The greatest skill in NS isn't intelligence but common sense. If something seems really wrong, don't do it. I think the biggest concern for you would be whether you would lose interest after you experience the real thing. All I'll say is prepare for two things: stupidity and unfairness. Stupidity means doing things that do not make sense especially when there's a better way of doing something. And sometimes voicing out this better way gets you in trouble so that's why most people learn to shut up. So what's the end result? A bunch of people doing a stupid way to something although they all know a better way. Unfairness means getting punished for something which isn't your fault. Some say it brings togetherness in a platoon. I say it's implicit communism. It gives no one the incentive to perform knowing they can be penalised like that. The logic is that it gives people the incentive to help their comrades but is this help real? As a platoon sergeant in my BMT company once said,"You do things because you want to avoid tekan, not because you want to do it." If it really came down to the crunch, would people really be helping each other out because of this system? I think if anything, it would give people the incentive to dump their mates who always sabo-ed them. Anyway, I have rattled on enough. If you can deal with these two things, NS would be fine for you. Good luck for your NS!

Agagooga said...

Good for you!

BDSM isn't my thing, so.

Just remember that 3 things have stayed constant in the SAF since its inception: Stupidity, Sadism and Senselessness.

Anthony said...

Hey Edwin,

I think the one thing you need to keep in mind is that what you -think- is the SAF and what -actually- is the SAF are two very different things.

Edwin said...

the world out there is already unfair...

so it is only right that in saf thing is also unfair...

Agagooga said...

?!

Life is suffering.

So it is only right that we should suffer.

Wth.

Edwin said...

oops language always screws me up...

i mean, it will be pretty normal for unfairness in the saf cause the world itself is unfair....

argh,

i hate english... :|

Anthony said...

Edwin,

May I suggest that you just need to go through BMT before making a decision on whether SAF is really as you expect it to be?

Edwin said...

Anthony : sure i will...

On Eagle's Wings said...

You would definitely be a rare breed of 'unusual' recruits. Most of my recruits (including myself) cant wait to get out. Remember the word "record". REC for recruit. ORD for ppl like me. Hahaha.

lun said...

no worries, u're just suffering from a malady termed the In/Out Syndrome. main symptom: when u're not in the army, u want a taste of what its like. once u're in, all u want's out. happens all the time. :)

jmarki said...

Common sense plus lots of teeth grinding is absolutely necessary to survive (not even thrive) inside...

That said, what you will experience inside is nothing like you had before, the whole spectrum from good and bad. Memorable in that sense (both good and bad), but I wouldn't want to repeat it.

kureshii said...

don't compare band of brothers to NS. the band of brothers are fighting a war somewhere back then; here we're just figuring out how we would fight a war if one does break out. and tasting BMT isn't quite the same as sampling what the SAF has to offer - jobs are so varied, it's almost like a mini-government (but most of the jobs are still shit). If you're lucky enough you might get superiors who can really enrich your NS life, if not you can try to be a saint and enirch someone else's ;-)

Jack Chen said...

An army is formed with a purpose in mind. This purpose is so important, that an army will be kept in readiness for the one day that purpose will be realised.

Band of Brothers consisted of men who fought in WWII. Most of this men were volunteers, whose purpose was to stop a war waged by another country. When this war ended, most of them went home to their jobs and families. That was their purpose.

Eisenhower rejected most of the flowery rhetoric offered by his staff on the transmission from GHQ on the surrender of the German forces.

He simply put in words, that the Allied force accomphlished the mission given to them. That's all.

Somewhere along the way, during peace time, and simply too much free time, the SAF became what it is today.I do not disagree with the mission and values that SAF was founded upon, one day when such a purpose is not required, SAF will simply cease to exist. However, SAF is nowadays in serious need of reform. For some reason it's churning out people who are bitter about it all like me, I don't want to be like this, but this is what the organisation has become, I can't help it.