When it comes to BMT, most people would be posted to BTS in Nee Soon or Tekong. However, there are those who were “fortunate” enough to be sent to units directly as part of a “mono-intake” scheme.
Armour battalions usually fill their ranks with such intakes. The rationale? To foster camaraderie and unit cohesion since most men would spend their first day of army “career” together and ORD together, and even ROD together. Perhaps some combat engineer units and artillery units adopt such schemes too. Perhaps someone care to comment?
Anyway, back to Armour battalions. In 1994, a batch of A-Levels recruits (guys aged between 18 to 21 from JCs and Pre-U institutions) was drafted into 46 SAR in the infamous Sungei Gedong camp. The subsequent three months of BMT would forever change their lives, their perspectives, and foster great friendships. There are tales that many still cursed about, bragged about, and laughed about whenever they meet over a platoon mate’s weddings, kopi/togo sessions, and of course, ICT.
This same batch of men subsequently earned themselves into the history book of SAF by winning the best NS Armour Unit three (or is it four?) in a roll as 466 SAR. Of course, for those know the inside story, this achievement is somewhat dubious (;p). At this time, the original cohort from the BMT of 1994 is approximately 50% given the usual “attrition” rate from downgrades, overseas postings and studies. But this does not take anything away from this fabulous bunch of men who know when to play hard, and when to fight smart (well, almost everyone, except one particular company :D), and watch each other’s back.
The BMT experiences really cement the unit. It was pure hell during these gruelling three months. Whenever the recruits met up with their counterparts from BTS during the weekends and compared tales and treatment, Nee Soon and Tekong instantly become paradise, or luxury camps in the eyes of the men from Attila, Bronco, Cheetah, and Scorpion. There was simply no comparison in terms of “siong-ness”, level of tekan-ning (physically and psychologically), and intensity of vulgarities.
In the next few posts, incidents during BMT will be described to illustrate the experiences that many men still talk about. Stay tune…