Two Weeks

Dear Readers,

I would be blogging less due to National Service and other commitments. I thank all loyal readers for their support and if possible, I’ll like to see myself blogging weekly, if not, bi-weekly.

I have nothing much to offer within this short weekend except an essay about 2 weeks of my army life, required for submission.

The next entry will definitely share no relation to National Service and that’s a promise.

Daylon Soh

The transition from an ordinary civilian to a disciplined soldier was no doubt an arduous one. In order to adapt, sacrifices had to be made. In order to excel, change had to be embraced. All in all to become a better soldier and a better man, one who will truly appreciate his civilian life when he returns back home.

During the first few days, I had difficulty trying to do things efficiently and make the best use of the admin time given to us as it was a bad habit of mine to drag my feet and do things slowly. An example would be bathing and doing laundry.

I used to take long showers and hardly ever wash my own clothes, even when I was away from home. But the activities and drills instilled discipline and made us think fast and act fast and gradually I developed a personal system of handling task like these efficiently through experimentation.

Initially, without the internet and newspaper, I felt a little disconnected from the rest of the world at first. But as I got to know my bunk mates better, there was much to learn from their lives. They talked about their hobbies and computer/video games I never came to heard of, it opened up my perspective just like how the internet did back then.

A typical training day consists of two physically challenging activities and three square meals in between with lectures and admin time filling up the spaces. While having night snacks as a fourth meal, we bonded with our commanders and with each other.

There are also daily responsibilities like area cleaning and water parades, which helped fostered teamwork and coordination among us. Sharing the responsibility to keep our bunks clean equates to taking care of each other’s well-being and taking initiative to recite the SAF 7 Core Values as a single voice before drinking a full bottle of water together reminds me we’re in this together.

Strength training, sprinting, long distance runs and route marches put not only our bodies but also our minds to the test. Testing limits and moving beyond comfort zones has definitely made me a more confident and physically fit person.

The mark of receiving one’s rifle was a great responsibility to shoulder, from a carefree youth one has to quickly take on the role similar to that of a man to his wife and a father to his children. It was then I realized I could no longer adopt the same attitude and mentality towards things as before. The BMTC experience is not as bad as I initially thought and I’ve had my fair share of fun training to be a soldier and the quote below sums up my thoughts on BMTC for the first 2 weeks…

“We don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. Freedom is like that. It’s like air. When you have it, you don’t notice it.” – Boris Yeltsin

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