Saturday, May 07, 2005

Men of 46 SAR ('94-'96) Part 2

One main reason why mono-intake is more siong that BTS may be because the unit is self-contain, i.e. no holds bar when it comes to tekan sessions. TSR, rules against excessive push-ups within a certain time period, recruits must sleep before certain time, no duck war, no change parade etc. were completely unknown to the recruits of 46 SAR. Unlike BTS where the rules were followed strictly given the set-up of the schools, the officers and specialists take orders from the CO. And if the CO and OCs gave the green light to whack, you can imagine how the recruits would be treated…

Til this day, many men still do not understand the mentality of those specialists who trained them during BMT. They comprised of the so-called “roving team” that moves from one armour unit to another, training men from BMT to trade courses, and the PTIs who were totally insane, sadistic and hao lian due to their supposedly excellence physical strength. It just seemed like every specialist, once given the license to whack, would vent their frustrations with NS (having to serve in a faraway, super wooloo place like Sg. Gedong), with their love lives (e.g. kena jilted recently; cannot get it off during make out; kena rejected when tried to make out), or life as a whole.

Day in, day out, recruits were yelled at, kicked at, slapped, for no apparently reasons, even if there were no cock-ups. One can imagine how much psychological stress they were subjected, not to mention the physical strain. Here is one memorable tekan session.

Ali Baba” was considered chicken feet after the entire platoon had gone through several hours of “Ali Baba”- the locker version. Warning, you may puke just by thinking about it. The usual “Ali Baba” punishment is to order every recruit to empty their belongings from their lockers, throw everything into their duffel bags, run down to the parade square, toss everything into one pile, and then proceed to sort everything out again and lay them out for inspection. All this is usually performed wearing parade 4.

The 46 SAR version was, instead of duffel bags, the recruits used their lockers instead. Hey! Isn’t easier since you don’t have to toss things into the bag? Yeah, right. They “simply” have to carry their lockers down to the parade square with everything in (wearing parade 4, no less). Also imagine the mad rush when the entire platoon tried to get this done within an impossible 15 minutes, thus jamming the stairways. Oh, and not forgetting the poor platoon that stayed on the 4th floor!

After the usual tekaning in the parade square, what followed will be standby-bed. So now, the poor recruits would sort out their belongings, carried their lockers back up into the bunks, cleaned the bunks for inspection within a “reasonable timing” of 30 minutes. Sure, the bunks would be cleaned, but then the specialists would start knocking recruits down with push-ups for wrinkled or sweaty parade 4. Hey! A good soldier should be able to do all physical chores and take all tekans, and still look smart and smell good, right?

More shit to come in later posts…

15 comments:

crackhead said...

that's really mean man! its insane! i had a stand by universe in BMT. the PS even check behind the cupboard! we didn't even know about it!

jk said...

haha that means check EVERYTHING!!!

Hai~Ren said...

I had a stand by universe in BMT... the whole platoon was frantically cleaning away for 2 hours, then just as we were preparing to stand by, they cancelled it. WTF...

Hai~Ren said...

Oh, and I agree, punishment for mono-intake is a lot worse and more sadistic than in BMT. Probably because the CSM has more freedom to tekan like siao, and there's no OO like they have in BMTC. I have quite a few tales to recount, since I was posted into a mono-intake battalion after my BMT.

chrischoo said...

I recall a friend who told me about "stand by cup". Basically as someone who worked for an over-zealous chief clerk who refused to knock off after work and stayed till late, he would have to accompany her in the office and wait until she left before he could go home himself. After having completed all of his tasks he asked if he could take his leave, but instead of letting him go she asked him to clean the cups in the cabinet because she wanted to conduct "stand by cup" later.

It's something I will remember for quite a while since I've never experienced something quite as absurd although my experience of having to clean the undersides of ceramic pieces in the middle of urinals probably ranks quite high on my list in area cleaning nightmares.

I've got to hand it to the mono intake people if they've been subjected to the treatment you described in this post. I don't think all armour battalions experience it in quite the same way since I've seen glimpses of how some of them train (e.g. SOC rundown) as well.

kureshii said...

ahh, the behind-cupboard check...usually the instructors' last resort. you msut have felt really honoured to kena that one.

you haven't seen OCS stand by universe...field pack, SBO, helmet, everything you have that belongs to the SAF will kena check. depending on which wing you're in (like BMT Coys), the standards vary. They will go down to small details like how you arrange your towel/vest/pt shorts in your ziploc, and the colour of your toothbrush (what colour is the army? then?), labelling (yes, labelling) on the fieldpack ziplocs, etc. try that on for size.

Agagooga said...

It's just meant to torture you, break you and wear your spirit down.

Mono-intake BMT has OOs; I know 42 had one during the last BMT.

Washing cups in urinals?!

Hai~Ren said...

Agagooga - He meant washing the little porcelain piece in the middle of the urinal lah.

azzurri81 said...

I remember Stand-by-universe because my sgt took it quite literally. Bunk was clean but. . . why downstairs the basketball court so dirty? Why the sky so cloudy today? Why got so much war in the world? C***bye, knock it down!! It was done in jest and we were laughing as we were doing the pushups. Another one was stand-by-girlfriend. Also in jest, one single sgt, lamenting his single status, wanted each of us to bring our girlfriend to Pasis Ris bus interchange for 'inspection' prior to book-in. "But sgt, I no girlfriend leh..." "I don't care ah, better go find. If not, bring 01 x sister or cousin or classmate or what. Better bring ah!"

46sar said...

1st batch 46sar at Jln Bahar was much better as we did own inhouse SMI instead of SAFTI...we all trained with Taiwan LTCs and man,we were treated like humans!Thank goodness...Cpt Favacho was the best Cpt we ever had!!

Anonymous said...

We were terrified of the corporals in BMT Tekong. When we became troopers in 46SAR, we realised how soft and poorly trained those bullies were - and why in a BMT camp, soldiers and trainers had a healthy respect for any 'unit man' whether he was a rifleman, guardsman, trooper or commando.

In any case, when we were sacrificing the 2 1/2 best years of our youth to S'pore, we felt that -
"We were the Unwilling, led by the Unqualified, to do the Unnecessary for the Ungrateful"

I'm now a father and a husband, and I feel the saying above was true, except for one thing. It was necessary. It still is.

As you read this, there are our young men out there being bullied, stripped of their self-pride and individuality, bitten by mozzies, sweating, maybe even bleeding or crying silent tears as they protect us. Most are there against their will. Spare them a thought.

Anonymous said...

to certify what the above said was true, I'm also here to 'testify' what was described in 46 SAR's tekan session. I was in one of the 'lucky' platoons to suffer the fate of the Ali BaBa bag in parade square thingy. While I remembered me thinking of how 'cham' we were to suffer the fate, I remembered myself getting consoled after seeing another company moving their lockers down. It was madness.

I also remembered doing log PT, which is one of the most sickening sessions becos if we were unlucky, we do not even have a chance to balance out (some times the tall ones gena the short group and its hell) Nowadays I dun see any logs around.

Anonymous said...

that should be the A coy during bmt....the c coy did the NDP instead. Buddy will be tied with buddy at the ankle.So the whole platoon of 40 odd recruits will be paired up. Each set (of buddy)is responsible for one item (say left side of PT shoes for the whole platoon). So the buddy and buddy will run up (bunk) and down the parade square and retrieve one left shoe 42 times (cannot reber the strength of the platoon, but at least more than this figure).
Then lay them down, like falling in. So the coy will be chaotic, ppl running up and down....items buddy have to get down include field bag, left side of boots etc...u name it.

By 4 plus am, the parage set up, the buddies (legs still tied together) will stand in front of their responsible items. The Sgts or roving team will then shout commands. Kekri puseng....the recurits will have to turn items by items left. If the command is "Knock it down 20 times!"....we have to knock the spoon, one by one, 20 times on the ground.....i reber that day....by the time we finished, we have less than an hour rest, b4 gg for range at 6plus am!

Anonymous said...

One horror story I wont ever forget... After a full day and night exercise during trade course, every section in my platoon was ordered to casevac (casualty evacuation) one guy back from area E(?) by foot. It was a gruelling several kilometres and we had to take turns to carry one section mate on our back.

When we got back to company lines, the Platoon Sgt said we lacked team spirit. He got us to line up in two rows, the taller/bigger ones in front. He told us we will do the casevac drill around the parade square. The taller ones got ready to carry the shorter/lighter ones like me (whew!).

To my dismay, those of us in the back row were told to step forward and carry the bigger guys! I had to carry one huge guy who must have weighed like 40% more than me!

We did that casevac drill repeatedly - it was easily over 20-30 times around the parade square! I remember guys crying, others shouting encouragements, cursing and screaming obscenities. I was crying angry tears, and I remember tasting my own tears mixed with my sweat. Salty and a little bitter...

Camaraderie and team spirit soared in those trying circumstances. When one guy collapsed, we shout encouragements, and if he couldn't get up we would pick him up and carry him as the casualty...

When the torture was over in the early hours of the morning, I think it was like 4am, I recall literally crawling and pulling myself up three flights of stairs, then I almost blacked out on the cement floor of our bunk.

It was senseless torture, and it wouldn't be tolerated in our army today. I write this now for all to read, but only whose who lived through such things understand what I mean. There is a deep set bitterness at the memory, and my knowledge that our pampered children will not stand up to this kind of abuse and torture. They may well lose their minds.

Anonymous said...

I hope those tekan-ing mother f***ers have all since died and gone to hell.