Saturday, November 18, 2006

A charmed (NSF) Life: After BMT

Many of my platoon mates suspected I am a white horse because of how well my superiors treated me, but they don’t really understand I don’t get punished because I simply fall in on time and follow instructions. Soon even my specs were spooked and believed the rumors that I am a white horse.

This persisted even after BMT was over and postings came. Ok, I admit, due to a relative, I had a choice of vocation after BMT:

  1. Vehicle mechanic
  2. Medical orderly
  3. Driver
  4. Signaler
  5. Rifleman (which I was supposed to be…)

I chose driver. I wasn’t very surprised when postings came and I was to be a driver. Ok, please don’t be pissed with me!

My charmed life continued in STC (Supply Transport Centre, formerly known as STTS or Supply Transport Training School), when on the first day, we were given survey forms asking questions about computer skills. This was my field man! Little did I know, out of about 400 or 500 privates in that hall, me and another guy was short listed to help out in the CO’s office!

We were attached to the CO’s office, under the label ‘CO Project Team’. STTS just had a new CO at that time, and he was implementing sweeping changes to the loggies, like making drivers stay in even when on course, etc. He was a nice guy. The SSM (School Sergeant Major) was another story. He was an imposing person, but after several weeks of making his morning coffee (2 bags of coffee beans, no sugar!), he mellowed.

Being in the CO’s office had its perks. Sure, we had to stay in compared to some trainees who were attached to external units and stayed out, but some of my benefits were:

  1. No morning parade. Immediately after reveille we disappeared into the CO’s office and CSMs couldn’t pick on us
  2. We could have EVERY MEAL at the canteen! Meals were not indented for us and Sembawang’s canteen food was HEAVEN! PRATAA!!
  3. Internet. The little room in the CO’s office had true, fast internet access, and the PCs were modern machines for us to design video presentations and programs.
  4. Lots of offs. Whenever we completed a milestone in a project, or helped out at a function, we would usually be awarded off days. I once spent a week at a chalet, courtesy of the CO (due to a senior officer/WO retreat) and had 4 days off after that. Cannot beat that!
  5. The COPA was virtually boss when CO and SSM wasn’t around. My off passes were sometimes signed by him :P
  6. On the other hand, the SSM was nice enough to give me lots of off passes for doing stuff like photoshopping him into places he did not go but still wanting to wayang to others that he was there. Cool
  7. Being authorized to bring in video cameras, digital cameras and other stuff into camp, since I had a LOA (Letter of Authorisation). Freedom!
  8. The company of lots of friendly people. I made friends with lots of NSF officers, and since I am a computer technician, I often fixed their computers for free meals…
  9. My ‘white horse background’ rumour persisted here. Even the CO thought I was a spy from Mindef sent to check up on him. Soon, NSF officers were jokingly saluting me and addressing me as ‘Sir’.
  10. Tying up the COPA to a rolling chair and rolling him around the HQ block on his birthday, while videoing every moment.

After nearly 3 or 4 months of attachment at STTS, I finally went on my basic vehicle maintenance and driver’s courses.





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14 comments:

crackhead said...

i was at sembawang camp 2 yrs ago 4 storeman course. the prata is excellant! have u ord btw?

Edwin said...

waffak ... o.o

accoleon said...

Yeah, I orded on Christmas 2005. About 2 months before my ORD I visited Sembawang Camp to hopefully taste the prata again (I always eat 4 plaster!) but the other stall owners said that guy hasn't opened his stall for quite some time already :(

Anonymous said...

Nice read!

-4SIR 10th Mono

Anonymous said...

u have a choice due to ur relative, and u still insist that u're not a white horse??

come on, thats exactly the definition of a white horse, someone with close links to such a person.

u have a good army life due to ur relative, just bloody hell admit that.

crackhead said...

my uncle is a regular but my army life was terrible at times.

accoleon said...

My vocation during NS was influenced by someone, yes, but once I was in that vocation, I received no further assistance.

Yes, being a driver is less restrictive than many of the other combat vocations - that I admit, but from the others who had experience with drivers in NS - you think they lead a very easy, carefree life?

Driving is stressful, often being pressured to skip meals or sacrifice sleep to ferry things and people here and there.

Pardon my ignorance, but I've always thought a white horse were sons of ministers or extremely rich folks, both which I am not, having access to the officer cadre, having an extremely sheltered NS life with no one able to bully them.

I was only pushed into a vocation of my choice, but after that, it was only my extreme good luck and the reasonable people around me that allowed me to have a mostly pleasant NS life.

My apologies if I offended you guys. So you guys want me to stop posting completely?

crackhead said...

no dont stop. i find you're posts very funny lol

Anonymous said...

my father was a major, but that did not make a difference.

read that the minimum rank is LTC.

Anonymous said...

Being a driver, is significantly easier than combat vocations.

"Driving is stressful, often being pressured to skip meals or sacrifice sleep to ferry things and people here and there."

The infantry has to carry FBO, march for more than 20km, eat combat rations, carry out section/platoon/company sized engagements, dig trenches, put on camo, stay on 1/3 alert all the time, etc. etc. The list goes on.

Not slamming you or anything, but just be glad that your vocation is one of the 'easiest' in the SAF.

Cherub said...

we are not against the post, but rather against ur views and thinkings.

i hv many drivers' friends..and they all agreed that its a good life.

can u look at urself and say that u rather be in a combat role than as a driver?

silly white horse.

Anonymous said...

BTW is your CO's name Tay Yong Meng?

Anonymous said...

I was just reading some of your comments & though i agree that drivers do have a "better" life then most of us in combat vocations(my bmtc buddy became a driver) they do have their shiong moments. During long outfield their expected to stay awake and drive the OC/CO/anyone else around the training area & long after everyone has gone back to the coy line to wash up the drivers still have to drive back to their camp & wash up their vehicles.(on 1 occation we finished at around 3am after a 3-4 day outfield, my driver friend only got back after 3 plus)

Yes, they may have a more "slack" life compared to those in combat vocations but that's not to say that it doesn't have it's tough moments & not to forget that they get lesser pay then those in combat vocations.

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