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What's so bad about sending ours sons to NS???

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local lad
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Postby local lad » Fri, 16 Jan 2009 5:57 pm

andy21 wrote:I enjoy disparaging the Singapore armed forces anytime I can, and call it a waste of time amongst other things.

But it has to be acknowledged that Singapore's defence force (with a shocking lot of offensive capability of course) is pretty well-oiled, funded and trained and which I have no doubt is capable of inflicting tremendous damage on any of our neigbours if they ever present a clear and present danger.

That said, I am not proud of being in it (a highly unmotivated and poorly trained member of it I am). I see absolutely no reason why I, or anyone for that matter should be trained in the art of killing or maiming anyone else, directly or indirectly.

I take no pride in being a citizen of this country, and find it strange that anyone should feel otherwise about theirs, regardless of what country they come from.

It is true that 2 years is not that great a deal of time to 'waste' considering one's entire lifespan, but I feel it certainly is 2 years (2 half in my time) that no one should need to waste unless they choose to.

My most recent 2-week coerced internment for my reservist training went something like this:

Sit around, lie around, do nothng. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

Have a 1 hour lecture on Singapore's new G3 army, and everyone's asleep by the time the poor major from G-something branch of the army is done that it takes 10 secs before any applause begins.

Sit around, lie around, do nothng. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

Prepare to go to the field for a couple of days (that part does suck!). Go there, be extremely uncomfortable for the time, hope you don't need to do a big one.

Sit around, lie around, do nothng. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

Attend some change of command ceremony for some incoming and outgoing person of some sort of rank. No one knows who they are, what they command, but apparently, they are worthy of our congratulations anyway.

Go home.


So for any of you who have always wondered what your friends and colleagues go trhough when they leave the office for their in-camp training, this is pretty much it.

Unless they're officers, in which case they have a whole lot more to do, and an extra 10 years of service to enjoy.

Being an officer used to mean something imo, now it's pretty much a joke. 2 years of service. 3 months spent in basic training, 10 months spent being trained to be an officer. 9 months of actually being an officer. Something just doesn't add up.

The other thing that really makes me want to puke each time I go back in though, is not so much the huge sums of money being spent on the SAF, but the way it is spent.

Catering contracts go to Singapore Food Industires. Any kind of computing contract goes to SCS/NCS ad nauseum. The SAF simply condenses everything I intensely detest about the ruling body of this country.

And well, alot of regulars (the people who have signed on to serve in the armed forces as a livelihood) are in my opinion, people of extremely low calibre and competence. Which does explain perfectly why they're in there as well. When you have trouble filling your ranks, you really can't be too picky.

Once upon a time, commanders of armies in many places were rewarded with tracts of land, women amonsgt other things to ensure their loyalty to the monarch. Not always successfully. It is sort of reveresed here. Here they serve their time, loyally and dutifully, and they are rewarded with cushy civil service positions upon discharge. Core competence in their area of industry is not required, often undesired. Sort of like the position of President of Singapore.

SMS. 'the NS network is as good if not better than the "Old school tie" network ever though about being. As yes, if you have enjoyed being brought up in the relatively safety net of Singapore and have enjoyed the schooling and other socio-economic benefits then yes you owe it to the country as a matter of debt. '

I agree with the NS netwrok part, in many cases it is as powerful as the old school tie network you speak about. As for the second, I suppose I am only half in agreement.

It is a little bit like expecting one's children to take care of oneself in own's old age. Not quite fair imo. Myself, I plan to make sure my infant son will not be in a position where he has to do NS whether or not he likes it. I believe that a child properly raised, at 18 is fully capable of making choices for himself or herself.

If he chooses to do so, by all means. It might be good for him. Or it may not.

Rambling and at parts incoherent I believe. Apologies.


I do not know which reservist camp you go to but sure it is a opposite feel for me. I was in the Armour unit and there was always things to do. I was an NCO in charge of logistics. First few days were packed with planning and such. The main body , which consists of troops or personnel who are not key appointment holders are to report later in the week. By the time they arrived , my unit swing into full force :- Grange shooting , Proficiency test ( fitness test ) , weapons retraining or new weapons orientation. It was very packed and to be completed in a week. Second week usually involves planning and preparation for out-field exercises. So many things to do for everybody:- from my CO to the last man in the platoon. On the second / third week , exercise starts where everyone was excited because they can see the end is near ( exercise usually takes 3-4 days ) At the end of it, everyone will be busy again return stores , cleaning of equipments and settling any logistics matters.

I can tell you one thing about my unit. Time passed by really quick . We seldom have a chance to sit the whole day idling in our bunks staring at the ceiling or chatting amongst ourselves. Except for rainy days.

Somehow, all of us feel we were not wasting our time there. In-camp training is holiday camp you say? Not for my unit.


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