Saturday, May 21, 2005


Had our range this week and was somehow termed bobo for a day. Now, I have no idea how the term bobo came about to describe firers who can't hit their targets. Was it termed after Zoe Tay in the then SBC (now Mediacorp) show, Pretty Faces, but seemingly since it could have been a term that was coined earlier than before the late 80s, the term bobo might have well been a deviation from the now extinct dodo bird.

Well, before you get the wrong impression, I'm definitely not a bobo shooter, or rather believe I'm not that bad, the 1st day of range and I found out that my wife (read: rifle) was in a sense not the best of rifles. Actually, it was more of a problem with the bolt carrier group; resulting in endless IAs (immediate action). As one of the warrant officers who tried to get me out of my IA fix put it, "You bolt carrier is f#cked up!"

Normally, carrying out my IA drills and carrying on shooting proved little hassle for me, but this time around my bolt carrier group was really so f#cked up that the bullet usually ended up in a vertical position, leaving my magazine stuck, and by the time I got it out all the targets would have said adios. As it is, fedup with all the IAs, I only managed to hit 8 out of 17 shot effectively, with 11 unexpended rounds, still in my magazine of course.

As such, I had to go for a reshoot the next day and this time I borrowed my friend's bolt carrier group (his didn't IA a single time the day before). I managed to hit 10/16 for the day shoot and got 7/9 for the 1st 3 magazines of the night shoot, so I didn't really didn't bother much about the IA for my final mag so effectively hitting 17/25 isn't so bad in my opinion.

The friendly banter between our range CSM and this Indian guy from an external unit certainly sparked our exhausted minds the 2nd day (having had like what 4 or so hours of sleep?), so much so that the CSM dubbed him Bobo, and at one point of time radioed over "Bobo clear!" much to everyone's laughs. Well unfortunately at the end of the day, despite the CSM giving him special invididual reshoots and training, everyone except for Mr. Bobo passed.

As reflective of my fortune over the past week or so, I returned from range to find the money from my wallet had been stolen. Apparently, the thief had somehow figured out I had left my key in my beret, which happened to be snuck under my pillow. Sadly, I don't have a habit of leaving my key there other than when we were going outfields for long periods of time or during close combat training (which cites that we can't bring hard objects along). Fortunately, the thief had decided my Nokia 3120 was not worth the effort, for my friend had it worst, he lost money and his Samsung mobile phone. Then, it hit me that back when I first came to Jurong camp to undergo the engineer course, I was scolded once by my sergeant for leaving my key under my pillow. I probably didn't learn from the scolding then, and subsequently paid $30 to learn my lesson.

A piece of advice to everyone out there, NEVER leave your key anywhere in your bunk, for its akin to not locking your cupboard.

Before we fell out from the range, there was the routine everything-out inspection. Now, the range CSM called for detail 3, firer 5 to step out, and somehow one of my platoon mates (who happened to be detail 3, firer 4) raised his hand and stepped forward. He had unwittingly put himself as one of the lucky two to be randomly stripped searched! Needless to say, my other friend who was the actual detail 3, firer 5 was laughing all the way back to camp.

Happened to see one of the toilet construction workers use the toilet without flushing and subsequently left without washing his hands ... such is the irony that he constructs our toilets.

This has just been another boring and uneventful week in my army life.

Linus' Daily Antics


Terrence said...

bobo was derieved from wowo, which stands for wash out. or so I read from the NS 35 year Journal thingy that I got whilst I was still a slave/NSF/conscript.

jly69 said...

Bobo is an adulterated version of wowo. wowo stands for washed out, i.e., hopeless in shooting (like our national soccer team), can't get a single hit. During those days, there were the english educated and the chinese educated. There were even the Hokkien platoons (where they can't even converse in Mandarin). There were malay, tamil and other language speaking soldiers.

Those days ===> 60s and 70s. We wore name tags with different coloured backgrounds from 1975. Green for english, orange for mandarin, red for hokkien, yellow for tamil, blue for malay and purple for others (like teochew speaking). The background colour is for your main language. It would be green if you are english educated. Then, if you could also speak mandarin proficiently, a little orange colour is added to the right end of the tag. You could add several colours if you speak several languages proficiently.

Back to bobo. As the chinese helicoptered (derogatory term to describe the chinese educated by the english educated) usually mispronounced english terms, they pronounced wowo as bobo. We used to joke about it but somehow the term appar to stick since.

Trust me. I enlisted in 1973.

Jack Chen said...

yah, I used to be puzzled until I read that it actually meant "Wash-Out". This is an American term for no hits on the board at all.

Anyway, the information about the nametags is news to me, I guess it lost it's use as literacy rate and the use of English as a medium went up. However, my father enlisted in '71, was an Air Force Officer, he learnt most of his english there. They used to have english enrichment programs. I guess nowadays it's BEST programs.

I was a 'Millenium Soldier', that's what the PTI like to hear us shout when making us 'HOLD IT THERE', first batch to POP in the new Millenium.

-[mY.AnGeL]- said...

BoBo shooter!!!!

Heard it from pals in the army.

Nice derivation. ^^

nerdblogger said...

It tot it was suspose to be a bomoh shooter. coz the target still magically goes down even when u miss it.