Army life (BMT stage)

Oh hell, 9 weeks of BMT is over. FINALLY. POP LOH!!! Now got time to blog. Life as the lowest life form a recruit has been tiring, hectic, fun and enjoyable all at once. Of course you don’t experience all at one shot, otherwise you’d be psychotic, it comes in stages. Hectic lasting through all 9 weeks and enjoyable only at the last week.

Confinement week was probably the WORST week in BMT. Washing and reusing clothes without a scrub.. Homesickness, exclusion from outside world and insufficient hp batteries are just some of the problems we face. The feeling of the first book out will stay with me forever. The excitement and joy will fill you up till you’re on the verge of exploding into rainbows and confetti. The seats in the ferry were probably the only cushioned seats we had in 2 weeks. It was soo comfortable. Everything we took for granted became a luxury. Cushioned seats, air-conditioning, civilian clothing. Even the feeling of being among people (by saying people, I mean civilians) walking around you is exhilarating. And of course, being able to see my dearest after 2 weeks was the best highlight. I missed her so much.

AND, contrary to popular belief, I did enjoy having my hair cut. My section mates will forever remember me for my long hair even after POP. I think I came in with the longest hair. Haha. But anyways, having short hair or hardly any hair in army has HUGE advantages. Especially when it comes to wearing helmet. If I had long hair and wore my helmet for hours on end, I think my brain would’ve fried and died or the sweat would irritate my scalp so bad that I would get leprosy on my head. Speaking of which, sunburnt scalp DOES look like leprosy. Your whole scalp will peel off and you can peel off pieces of dead or fried skin as big as half of your palm. Gross. Thankfully, my sailing experience rendered me impervious to fried scalp and sunburnt skin although I did get a bout of dandruff along the way.

Anyway, here’s a list of things to bring/buy in case you’re a potential recruit to make your BMT life a little more comfortable.

  • 3 Admin tees and PT singlets each
  • 3 PT shorts
  • 1 pair of garters
  • 2 pairs of white socks
  • 3 pairs of green socks
  • Detergent (LOTS of it)
  • Scrub
  • Pens, pencil and ERASER (DO NOT FORGET THE ERASER)
  • Ziploc bag SML sizes(not the NTUC kind, the army BEACH ROAD kind)
  • Black insulating tape (amount up to your discretion)

Ok, pretty much. Can’t think of anything else. Can bring non-perishable foods in AFTER your confinement period but must put in airtight box.

PT in BMT was epic tiring. Although it’s progressive training, meaning it gets progressively harder after each training, we were completely shacked out after each day and we still had to prepare our gear for the next day. Mainly KIWI-ing our boots and other mundane stuff like that. And THANK GOODNESS we don’t have to make our boots shine. So long as it’s black, that’ll do. One of my platoon mates did went to shine his boots till we could see our reflection in them. Took him almost 2 hours. Being in an enhanced leadership batch means only 9 weeks but programmes are back-to-back meaning less free time. But HECK, it’s only 9 weeks. ENDURE!!!!

Field camp… was BAD. But not so bad. It rained, but we had our basha tents to hide under. Lucky my drainage was up and working by the time it rained. Our CSM was walking around in his gortex jacket (heavy duty raincoat) mocking recruits whose tents got swamped with water.

“How much is the admission ticket to underwater world?”

Epic funny, My basha buddy and I were laughing away at all the miserable wet people. Our platoon had the high ground to build our bashas on too. Heehee. Lucky us. Field rations weren’t that bad. Edible. But as a lesson learned, try your very very best to snatch ALL the pasta/noodle/dumpling entrees (main pack). The rice/stews/hainanese chicken rice are just plain awful, ESPECIALLY THE HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE. I was fortunate enough not to get that but from the look of my buddies’ faces, it’s nothing short of poison. The rest of field camp went by pretty painfully. Got screwed here, there everywhere. But we didn’t have to leopard crawl through mud or do anything extreme and we got off after 4.5 days. Gosh we were SO relieved to be back in camp. Our bunk was heaven as compared to basha/shell scrape/groundsheet. We ate at the cook house like pigs and slept like babies. It was good to be home.

And so BMT dragged on and on. There’s the range firing. Methinks I got marksman for that (yeah!) Grenade throwing. I threw the grenade a wee bit too close. Damn, I just wanted to get the grenade out of my hand so I wasn’t paying attention to where it was going. DO NOT LEARN FROM ME. AIM FIRST!! IPPT. I got silver for that one. Shall get gold next time. SOC test. Had to go for 2 remedial trainings before I could pass this one. The low rope’s a tricky little thing. Stupid obstacle burned 2 of my saturday mornings. Otherwise can have more rest or time with darling before/after tuitions. But I did pass it eventually. Cleared with a timing of 6.14 passing time was 7.15 woots! RT paid off!

I have no heck of an idea why I joined the drill squad. It was basically a competition on who could do the best drills and I HATE drills. Bah. Initially, I got picked because of my height and because I wore specs (wth right?) but I was given a chance to opt out. Dunno why the hell I stayed on. But I was glad I did. Made new friends, learned new stuff. We didn’t win in the end so too bad. Suck thumb..

>>>to be continued

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