The Last 25%: Final months as a NSF (Part 2)

By the time this post is out, there’s actually less than 20% remaining in my NS life. Here’s Part 2, where I would cover all I can recall from the past 6 months and what lies ahead for me in this remaining 20% (16% by the time this post is out LOL). A mix of the past, present and future, as well as this post not being a complete rant and not a complete focus solely on army life. After much delay, may I present to you the second part of this shenanigan, where this should be the last post regarding army life. (I know somehow this will end up as a ranting post, so bare with the blocks of words LOL)

it will come, sooner or later

it will come, sooner or later..

Unit life has continued to be uneventful, and if you asked me what has happened to me in camp for the past months, I can’t give you an answer, because there’s simply nothing to be talk about. The things I look forward to everyday seems to be indicated by meal times: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tuesday is when the new Running Man episode comes out, and Wednesday is nights out, not forgetting the all important BOOK OUT DAY on Friday. This lack of direction during my NS life continues as the things I wanted to do inside were never done. My runs in camp has been becoming less and less productive (which I will touch on later), and I did studied a little in advance some accountancy related stuff, but then I was getting judged from left to right so there wasn’t a follow up. Reading didn’t happen much as I was too addicted to my phone, and the only time I actually read quite a bit was outfield during Thailand, which also only happened because I had to save battery on my phone (I’m too reliant on my phone hah). The follow-up to me learning Korean, zero progress as well… as I never had the self-discipline to study the language. It also doesn’t seem right to be spending money to go for external lessons when I should be saving for university-related matters. Sometimes when you’re stuck in camp, you start to think a lot how life outside would be much better but when you’re actually out, those thoughts never materialize. Along with some sleepless nights, that is how I rotted week after week until I went for course, which is a good avenue to get some distance away from the unit.

The reason why I’m glad I’m not booking back into camp for the next weeks? Well let’s start the beginning. The platoon had a discussion/argument with the sergeants regarding the ‘atmosphere’ of the platoon as it was obvious that everyone wasn’t happy with each other. The main lesson I learnt from it isn’t the arguments itself, but rather that one must learn how to take criticism. It’s never easy to admit that you are wrong, but one must understand that his view is not always correct and the only way to improve and sort of grow of a person is simply just to listen. What you think may not necessarily be on the same line as what others think, so I’m in favor of talking it out, but sadly in the end we steered very off topic and no conclusion was drawn out. Fortunately I read the email that one of the sergeant sent out, despite everything that we said, oh what a fucking backstab. Some people just never learn right? In the unit, none of us are really happy as it’s always the signal branch doing the most work and getting arrowed the most, and it’s obvious that the work is not evenly split among us despite our large number of people. Some people’s aim is just to avoid as much as they can, while there are the workaholics whom I have no idea why work so hard, I mean why work hard in the army when it’s better off channelled somewhere else. For me, I just continue to fulfill the basics: turn up for any activities, do any work delegated to me, help with area-cleaning, be punctual for first and last parades, really just the mere basics. You will be surprised how people can be so lazy to not even be bothered to do the above.

*BEWARE RANT AHEAD* Let us proceed to the commanders, and I only really liked one of my sergeants, the others are just meh or dislike. Onto the officer whom we were under for most of our NS life… Yes, you may be a good officer, one which even earned some Commander’s Coin (which imo you seriously don’t deserve), but are you really a good leader? As said many times, take off the rank and see how people treat you differently. If it wasn’t for the rank, no one would be convinced to listen to you at all. There is zero interaction between officer and man, and it is evident that our batch is not as close as the previous batch, maybe because we are a much larger group, but one of the reasons we are like that because they have a commander who was more of a friend to them, and we have one which is just undesirable. Every time he sits with us for lunch, there’s just this awkward silence. There is completely zero common topics for us to talk about, which is rare give how we are actually of the same age. The most irresponsible thing he did (imo) is how he arrowed people to go for certain activities without even asking. Is it that hard to ask? Your form of communication is hilarious.. forever using WhatsApp when the guy is like a few metres away from you, can’t you just walk out and talk to someone in person? Me knowing that you arrowed me to go Thailand from my friends rather than you telling me yourself just shows how responsible of a person you are. I know that no one wanted to go and you had no choice but to arrow people, it really irks me the fact that you didn’t even bother to inform me in person for such an important matter. This all boils down to the point of what a commissioned officer, after 9 months of hard training, is now “deemed suitable” to delegate tasks to others? You really need to go through 9 months of shit to do that? I still remember the funny scene where you angst at our sergeants over counting strength, like c’mon really? That was where the joke came about where how many commanders are needed to account strength for 11 man? 1 officer, 2 sergeants and 1 captain. I’m glad I’m not seeing your face anymore, just leave and enjoy your post-ORD life. *end of rant hahas*

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1 in the Bucket List

For running, my form has just gone downhill ever since Sundown and I could feel it myself. 1 month after Sundown, I went for a 10km run which Dillon and Peishan were also running, and I could recall how I completely struggled and burnt out during that run. At the same time in camp, I wasn’t running on a regular basis and just kept going for runs without a concrete objective and much motivation. Although the unit was conducting running training for the Army Half Marathon (which I wasn’t participating due to BK), I couldn’t maintain a good pace for most of the runs and ended up just walking and not achieving much from these runs. Going to Thailand for 3 weeks didn’t help my conditioning at all, and after coming, even a simple easy run made me breathless. 2 weeks after returning back to Singapore, I went for a 10km run with my sister and mother since Adidas KOTR got cancelled due to bad run (I actually saw this as a blessing in disguise as I was nowhere prepared for that). For that run, I struggled even more and completed it with an unconvincing time, a good 10 minutes from my personal best. Only after I did a more focused training regime, my form started to improve, just in time for Newton Challenge 32K which I fared way beyond my expectations, so all is good for running. Hopefully I keep this up not only during the army phase, but also post-ORD (although I won’t be able to go for as many runs as I wanted to), but I have no idea if time would permit so it’s another see how things goes.

For now, I’m away from the unit on a driving course. Everyone in this course are liking it and thinks it’s heaven, but for the 3 of us who got arrowed into this course, the course was like hell and unit life was like heaven. Personally for me, I think it’s a good break away from the unit and at least I’m doing SOMETHING rather than just waiting for everyday to pass. (From what I have been updated on, unit life after I went for my course isn’t all that smooth, so all is well haha) Although the course overall seems gloom, as always, try to make the best of the situation since complaining more will just make yourself feel more miserable. Imagine yourself driving this 30 year-old jeep, without any windows and any air-con, and only capable to drive at the speed of 50km/h. If you can drive this piece of junk in public, you should be fine with any vehicle. I must say the public driving during this course has helped built a lot of confidence when I’m driving my sister around during the weekend. Even parking wise, when I park outside it has been much smoother than before, since for our parking test we need to go out of the jeep 4 FREAKING TIMES for parallel parking and 3 MORE FREAKING TIMES for vertical parking. It’s been a while since everyday is a tiring day for me as I’m sleeping much less as I could in camp, but it would be good training for life as a student in the future right? Imagine 6 days in a week waking up at 6am and forever trying to sneak in power naps during theory lessons without getting caught. By the time I get back home, my eyes are already half-shut and I can’t do much for the night. My running plans have been scaled down to suit this course, but it’s the trade off I suppose in exchange for me getting to go back home everyday. It is like trainee mode again and I am reminded yet again how much of a burden this green uniform is, civilians shouting at you and the only thing you can do is to keep it in and suck thumb. Fortunately I had some driving background, or else I would have struggled a lot in the course. The course is really demanding that they are asking A LOT, which they should remember the fact how some have only been behind the wheel a few weeks ago. But what to do? It’s the freaking army: don’t question, just listen and do. 2 more weeks till the end of the course, and I can start to go into the ORD mood.

So what’s up for the remaining 16%? Hopefully all goes well through my driving course and it’s 9 days in Taiwan! After arriving back in Singapore it would be the Standard Chartered Marathon (which I expect that going on holiday right before it is suicidial, so I won’t be unfortunately at my best condition). Go back to camp for a few days before clearing my off, leave as well as taking out one side of the wisdom tooth (prepare to be eating some liquid food hah!). For 2014 it’s Ex Thunder Warrior for roughly 3 weeks then I can starting counting down to getting that the pink IC. I won’t talk about post-ORD life yet, but as for now, I’m just really looking forward to just escaping the grasps of the army. Will I miss being an NSF? I think the concept is similar to being a student. As a student, you don’t miss the studying, but you will miss your friends and the environment which allowed to be so carefree. As a NSF, you don’t miss most of things related to soldering, but you’ll miss doing everything with your platoon mates, the chill sessions at bunk which you would probably never get to experience at the outside world, and simply just the “camaraderie” (I find this word overused but still it’s applicable).  ORD seems a little over-rated, but I can’t tell whether I would miss it until I move onto the phase of life. For these final few months, just continue what I have been doing, and in a flash all will be good and I will transition back from an NSF back to civilian, and after a few months back to student life, but now in a whole new environment!

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just a few more months, fighting!!!

(P.S: regarding you, I’m still hoping that answer somehow magically appears right in front of me and tells me what to do, but it doesn’t. So what should I do now? Haha someone help me please T_T)

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