Story 1 - The attempted suicide
Private Bang was a HQ clerk, enjoying the perks of being Chief Clerk's pet--staying out, lunches out of camp, doing duty in air-con comfort, frequent tea breaks and report sicks out camp (i.e., get MC from GP). This office slacker riled the feathers of the other more 'on the ball' clerks in the office, misplacing faxes, 'forgetting' important messages and more often than not, getting other clerks into hot water. One fine day the Hd MP (Head of Manpower) CPT Yap (CPT = Captain, one rank higher than Lieutenant) announced that Maintenance Company OC (Officer Commanding aka boss of ‘fix anything that’s broke’ company) has been repeatedly knocking on his door for a clerk and told the gang to 'choose' a volunteer. Guess how the voting went?
So hapless Bang was sent to the company line by the wet gap, a dusty, hot and mosquito infested pre-WWII concrete hangar. The CSM (Company Sergeant Major), a certain 2WO Boh aka Lao Boh (2WO = 2nd Warrant Officer, the 4th highest NCO rank) took one look at him and knew he was trouble. So he resolved to 'train' this soldier--Chief clerk let you stay out? Ok, book in 7 a.m. every morning. Chief lets you lunch outside? Don't let me catch you or you'll sign 7! Want to report sick out of camp? No way! You come back to camp and let MO (Medical Officer) examine you! Late to fall-in after lunch? Sign 2! Too free in the office? Go get my coffee and OC’s newspaper. (FYI: Signing = Committing in writing to perform extra weekend duties)
Pretty soon, the lazy bugger began to feel the heat, both literally and metaphorically--the mosquitoes were eating him alive during duty, the heat emanating from 40 cm thick stone and mortar walls was unbearable, and all his usual 'kenging' tactics were useless with the CSM. He began plotting a return to his fairyland HQ, writing petitions to Hd MP, calling Chief Clerk to help 'persuade' the boss, deliberately messing things up at the Company to make CSM so frustrated with him he'll post him back to HQ, and requesting an appointment at Woodbridge, citing intense psychological stress. But nothing worked. Time for the ultimate trick.
One fine day, after yet another sign-extra session in Incik Lao Boh's office, lazy Bang started crying and banging his head (lightly) on the table, crying 'I want to go back HQ! I want to go back HQ!' CSM, experienced soldier that he was, sat in his chair, waiting for the show to unfold. Bang, fearing his antics were not working, upped the ante by using 2 chairs to strangle himself, making horrible gurgling sounds and getting his face all red and puffy. By now, a couple of senior NCOs had gathered and a few attempted to save him but CSM just calmly raised his hand to stop them. The wimp, after several minutes of playacting, noticed that nobody was coming to his aid and quietly quit his act. CSM, by now totally pissed off, gave him a tongue lashing "CCB, what the F do you think the SAF is? Your mother's army? My surname is not Boh if I don't charge you!" Eventually though, the charges were dropped when Hd MP took pity on him and posted him back to HQ. The bugger's replacement? Me.
Story 2 - An SAF Guide to changing a Jeep's battery
Sergeant Ng, a regular, had just graduated from the automotive technician course. The newcomer was given an easy task. Sign a battery out of the charging room and install it onto the jeep. Easy enough for a man who had just gone through 6 months of training, right? Wrong. The sotong proceeded to shove the battery head in (for those who have never seen a car battery, the top with all the connectors is wider than the bottom, like an ice cube. Batteries are always placed tail first.). No surprise that it didn't fit into the holder, so what did the bugger do? Call for help? No! I am mechanic, I'll figure it out. "Bang, bang." Two blows with the sledge hammer cracked the battery seal. Still don't fit. How about sideways? Another 2 blows fractured the casing, releasing a dangerous arc of concentrated acid that burned mored than one hole through his coverall. His shouts got the section IC running over. "What the F do they teach you at OETI?", he shouted at the by now thoroughly red-faced sergeant. The battered jeep had to be sent to the machine shop so that a new battery holder could be welded in, the electric wiring replaced and rusted components replaced. Damage? A cool few thousand dollars.
Training to be Soldiers
Training to be soldiers, fight for our land
Once in our lives, 2 years of our time
Have you ever wondered, why must we serve?
Because we love our land and we want it to be free, to be free yeah!
Stand up, be on your guard
Come on everybody, do your part
Come on every soldier, soul and heart
Do it for our nation, do it for our Singapore yeah!
Looking all around us, people everywhere
Children having fun, while we are holding guns
Have you ever wondered, why must we serve?
Because we love our land, and we want it to be free to be free yeah