Thursday, March 30, 2006

ORD for Dummies

Now that I'm out in society, I realise I was really ill-prepared for civilian life. I was so busy clearing work during my leave period and never realised how much preparation it required to actually transit to civilian life. So, for future batches of NSFs, here's a simplified guide to ORDing, in peace, with a clear conscience and with sufficient funding to last you until you get a job.

Of course, the following advice is for those holding important appointments, such as store i/cs, clerks, officers and the like. Men, drivers etc will probably have a much easier time.

also note that the following points may vary depending on new directives and also on unit SOP. You mileage may vary, please adjust accordingly.

Step 1: 5 months before you ORD
Contrary to popular belief, pre-ORD preparation does not begin 3 months before - it begins up to 5 months before D-day. First things you must do:

a) Start saving up
b) Request for an understudy
c) Plan to clear any outstanding punishments you may have
d) Start planning your off and leave days
e) Begin making plans for handing over (see item b)

More elaboration to follow.

a) Save up. Why so early? Because you will probably need something to the tune of $500 to keep you going for at least a month after you ORD. Of course, if your post-ORD life is going to consist of only sleeping, eating and more sleeping (assuming all for free), then adjust your requirement accordingly. Otherwise, this is a rough estimate.

If you don't think you need $500 to survive, then plan your own requirement. Just keep in mind that many things provided by the SAF are no longer free, such as medical care, food, and possibly lodging as well.

b) See item e.

c) Plan to clear outstanding punishments. Because there might be CSMs evil enough to stop you clearing leave just to clear extras. And also because you need a good COS, and chioning your extras is only going to hurt in the short term. Besides, this shouldn't be too hard, if you haven't been slacking around. If you just happen to have a bastard PS/CSM, then too bad. Shit happens, try to live with it.

Having a clear punishment record will also make it easier for all the other things you need to do, such as applying leave.

d) Start planning your off and leave. More specifically, start finding out when you absolutely cannot apply off and leave. Can't give you any more details than this, use your own discretion. But planning important days in advance will cause less disruption to your near-ORD life, give your commanders plenty of warning (so they don't du lan you), and basically make your life more organised. But leave enough days for you to clear adhoc.

e) Begin making plans for handing over. Because things don't happen overnight in the SAF. Or maybe even within the next month or so.

First thing you would want to do is ask for The Understudy (TM). If he arrives, he will be an extra set of limbs you can utilise for your own needs, until he is capable of doing your job. Ask your commander about this, or if he is the slack type, just ask the reinforcement i/c in MP branch directly (but let your boss know!). Check every week, or every other week, to see if they've acknowledged your info. And never stop asking about your understudy - MP branch gets bombarded with lots of info on a daily basis, it wouldn't hurt to give them a personal reminder service.

Next, draft out a list of your responsibilities. Decide how you are going to hand them over to the understudy. No need for too much detail, just a rough order in which to hand over will do. Specifics can wait another month or two.

Also draft out a list of outstanding tasks that need doing. Routine tasks need not be included, just one-shot, adhoc items requested by people you have met along the way. Start working on the big items, and try to clear the smaller items.

Stay tuned for Part 2, in which I will detail the things that need to be done 4 months before you ORD. Stay well and out of trouble!

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k said...

Well, for officers my unit's SOP was to approach Dy Hd MP for replacement. I dropped her an email 5 mths before ORD, no reply.

When everyone else's replacement came 3 mths before ORD, I asked her again and she asked me, "did you drop me an email?" My jaw droped and I told her I sent one out 2 mths ago. She said, "can you send me that email again?". So I did.

Supposedly my ORD was supposed to be his commissioning day. He's still not reported yet. Luckily there's another officer to stand in for me.

On hindsight I should've chased her more often regarding hte matter, hence the above advice.

When you want to leave the unit is up to you - I personally was quite at ease in my unit, and if not for my pathetically incapable transport supervisors things would've been quite perfect. I couldn't leave too early and leave my drivers in the lurch, with no one to settle admin for them.

So call me dumb, but I actually stayed all the way until 1 week before my ORD, though my last 3 weeks in unit were in civvie - I was officially on leave and had flexible hours.

incognito said...

i feel that we should be able to choose our understudy so that we don't get someone incompetent. unfortunately, i was given a rather useless one by my RQ. he just slept and smoked in the store all day and got away with alot of things. thank goodness now with a change in S4, he has been charged 3 times already.

Jeromie said...


I am currently temp pes E9L9, going to ORD soon, early next year. What will happen to me after I ORD?

1. Will I up pes back to my original pes after I ORD? Then get a new vocation for my reservist?

2. If I am to up pes back, for my reservist, can i try to down pes permanently? Because my leg still hurt currently but the doctor insist that it will recover, just a matter of time. How do I ask to down pes permanently?

Thanks for reading. I really need some good advise.