Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"Lowest lifeform in the Universe"

Partially inspired by Mr Wang's entries on NS, as well as Oikono's piece about conscientious objection, I logged on to Amazon last week to buy "The SAFTI Military Institute (Singapore): To Command".

I love those pictures - they remind me of the time when I actually believed in National Service (and sweated out in the field); and the whole shebang about Duty, Honor and Country. I only have one photo from my NS days. The formal one of my BMT platoon. And no, I don't intend to wear my No.4 ever again.

Can you imagine saying something like this?

The Preamble

We are Officer Cadets of OCS
To inspire us onwards as officers to be
We now state with reference and respect

The Officer's Creed

I am an officer of the Singapore Armed Forces
My Duty is to Lead, To Excel and To Overcome
I lead my men by example
I answer for their training, morale and discipline
I must excel in everything I do
I serve with pride honour and integrity
I will overcome adversity with courage, fortitute and determination
I dedicate my life to Singapore

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"You there, cadet."

There are some things you just can't forget. Oh yes, the book serves as a good talking point to my fellow grad students. It presents a sanitized view of a part of my NSF stint.

There was one issue Mr Wang's readers did not address. That of the different kinds of privileges given to NSFs, depending on their rank. Having different messes in camps - for officers and WOSEs, and you can really see the difference between the two. If we are all conscripts, why do we get accorded different levels of privileges based on our ranks?

Like what a friend said during our previous meet-up when I was in Sg: "Bloody hell, outside I am a lawyer called to the bar. While in the camp my CPL rank means that I can't sit with my colleague during meal times because he's a LTA."

Technorati: Singapore, NS


smazh said...

You were an officer? Guess what it feels like to be a PTE with few privileges... :)

takchek said...

"You were an officer?"

Thankfully, no.

*The Lunatic Fringe* said...

Welcome to Planet SAF.

Peacetime military more focussed about the granularity of privileges between Officers, Warrant Officers/Specialists and "men" than about real combat abilities.

ROD and MR loh!