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Apparently, they never think also

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Tablet of Freedom

This blog post is brought to you by the letters ‘O’, ‘R’ and ‘D’.

Woohoo! Finally, after enlisting three years ago, I’ve     gotten back my pink tablet of freedom.

 Wait… Seems like I’m not that free after all… My NS unit, 788SIR, is gonna have an alert amber manning this year in November… Dang…

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Final Countdown

14 days to ORD!

Finally, after enlisting three year ago, I can take back my pink IC and freedom back (well… at least most of it…) for real. Come 2nd of August, I will no longer be a NSF. Woohoo!

Clearing my leave now, till the 29th of July. I can’t clear my leave all the way till my ORD date since there is some stupid rule in the unit that servicemen cannot clear their leave 5 days prior to their ORD. But nevermind, they can have it their way, I just want to take back my pink IC on that day.

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News

Good news and bad news…

First the good news.
Whew… After worrying for a quite a while and craming like crazy for my exams, I managed to clear my current semester.

Bad news?
My CAP has dropped to quite low, thanks to Maths and Electrical Engineering… Not rock bottom yet, but at 3.06, I can’t even fit into a honours classification…

Anyway… A friend of mine whose in the same course as me is trying to find out if we can transfer to a three-year course… And judging by how things are going… Hopefully we can…

Its been 2 weeks since I’ve re-enlisted and I haven’t blog about it yet, so here goes…

As what Guo Wei had said, I was posted to S2 branch and was quite surprised to see a familiar face there, 1SG Yeap. Dunno why everyone don’t quite like him but to me, he’s quite a nice guy. Just yesterday, he treated us to KFC, w00t

In terms of office space and manpower, the S2 branch is quite small. Two officers, a couple of Int Specs and an Int Clerk (excluding me… I’m just an extra there). Quite a nice place to be at, the people are great and the workload ain’t too much (well… at least for me =P). The only bad thing to be posted to S2 branch was that they’ve been assigned to plan a NDP event, the Dynamic Defense Display, for the Army side. So with my diploma and undergrad studies in a computing related field, I’ve been assigned to do some map drawing on the laptop in the branch. Sometimes I do feel I’m back in Support Coy… With all the cancelled and recalled night’s out due to the NDP event.

Went to the NDP site twice during the past weeks and all I can say is that the seating area is really small… And its kind of weird with all the constructions going on at the background of the floating platform. Think I’m gonna go back there again on the coming Wednesday for the rehearsal. So close to civilisation and yet so far…

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On Government Service

If Singapore was still a crown colony, it would be On Her Majesty’s Service, which sounds nicer… But I digress…

Anyway, gotta re-enlist tomorrow… Going back to 3 SIR (Silent and Effective!) to serve out the remaining of my NS liability. Heard from Guo Wei that it’ll be stay-in and that I’ll be posted to S2 branch. To do what you ask. I’m thinking I’ll be there pushing papers, but then again, I might be wrong and they might get me to go chiong sua… To milk me for all I’m worth… (In the sense of paying me combat allowance…)

And because over a year ago, some idiots posted some videos and pictures of army camps taken from their cameraphones on the internet. The SAF, or more specifically, the MSD (I think), decided to come down hard on cameraphones… And I, on the hand, have hunt for a non-camera phone to book-in into camp… Bummer… Bought a Motorola W220 today, after searching high and low to borrow from friends and relatives…

Quite a nice phone, simple and no frills. Very loud, and I do mean very, ringtone also. Still can’t quite get used to the small screen though… Since all my previous phones have quite a big screen… Well… High resolution to be precise.

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O, R and D

Quite a few of my army buddies are ORDing these couple of days. They are from the BMT batch and not from the PTP batch like me, so they get to enjoy a two month deduction from their NS liability.

Anyway, all the best to your future endeavour, and we should meet up sometimes, ya? And hope I get posted to the same NS unit as you guys. You people are wonderful, don’t think I want go to other units.

As for me…


Bummer…

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Feelin’ Pink

Woohoo! Finally got back my pink IC! After spending almost two years in a cold dark room in CMPB, it’s finally back in my wallet.

Went back to camp today with Desmond to finalise the disruption paperwork. Bought some curry puffs there also to treat the guys who are still stuck there. To say that 3SIR is a screwed up battalion is an understatement… A whole bunch of people are gonna disrupt today and the S3 ops spec is nowhere to be found plus the entire S2 branch is missing. How the hell are we gonna disrupt if the important people are missing? Good thing the S3 clerk and Dy S1 could stand-in for them and handle the returning of camp pass and signing of clearance form…

Took a cab down to CMPB straight away and exchange our 11Bs for our pink ICs. I could say that I’ve never been happier seeing a small pink card and for the green one… They can lose it for all I care…


My precioussss

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FFI

Went to back to camp today to do my FFI and also hunt down signatures for my clearance form.

Had an appointment for the dental FFI at 1015 but when I got there, still have to wait for almost 30mins before the dentist took my case… Wonder why one must still go through all the trouble to book and stuff like that when you still have to wait when you get there… “Is the SAF an efficient organisation?” Kinda dumb question to ask during surveys… The dental examination was real quick, just need to sit down on the chair and let the dentist inspect the teeth. Told me that both my wisdom tooth are gonna grow out soon, especially the one on the left. Hopefully it isn’t gonna hurt…

Went down straight to the medical centre to register for my medical FFI. Was told to come back at 1400 to register… WTF? Refer to the previous survey question…

Meanwhile, while waiting, went to hunt down the signatures for clearance… Manage to get all except those from S1, S2 and S3 branch… The Ops Spec went for urgent leave so we can’t get his signature… Talk cock with GuoSheng while waiting for time to pass… What a waste of time…

The medical took about 5 mins to complete… Waited 3 hours for a 5min medical checkup… (Third reference to the survey question…)

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Survivor: Pulau Tekong

Outwit, Outplay, Outlast

Nope, I didn’t join any reality tv show but I’ve just complete my 5 day Combat Survival Training Package. (Its interesting on how they come out with words like “Package” etc to make it sound nice, but I digress…) Like what I’ve posted previously, it involves a nav-ex, POW training and living-off-the-land. And for the skinning part last friday, I decided to kill an eel instead of a frog. Less tedious when gutting, but still as gross…

The whole thing started off on Monday when we went down to SMI for some basic tracking lessons, some interaction with the tracking dog and attack dog from SAFPU and a lesson on escape and evasion and resistance to interrogation. The tracking dog they sent was a Labrador, a young and playful dog and the attack dog was a Belgian Shepard.

We went down to Tekong after dinner and spent the night at the shophouses near Eastern Pier. Since it was a clear night, the sky was filled with stars. Didn’t know you could see so many stars in Singapore, although its not on the Singapore Mainland and Tekong is a restricted area.

The next day was the start of the navigation exercise, Escape and Evasion, a scenario play where our assault boat has capsized while in transit to a landing beach. We have to topo to a Partisan Point to link up with local resistance (the scenario play is that Tekong is an ally and has been invaded by the Redland Army and we are there to liberate them, “De oppresso liber“), find a checkpoint, a log point, before proceeding to the end point at Eastern Pier. It was quite easy for my team as we had a commander who was trained in SISPEC Tekong, so he knew the place like the back of his hands. Throughout the entire nav-ex, there were enemies ambushing us and there was suppose to be tracking dogs but they didn’t come until my team reach the endpoint…

The next scenario play is that while we were being trooplifted out of the battle area, we were ambushed and taken as Prisoner of War and thus began the most miserable 12 hours of my life. (Kiefer Sunderland had his 24, I have my Resistance to Interrogation…) We were first “herded” into a holding area to await processing. Next, we were being processed, where we were asked basic questions like rank, name, serial number and unit. We were then given a prisoner number, blindfolded and handcuffed. When they’ve finished processing us, we were gathered at an area for stress positions. This where they order us to stand, kneel and bend our back and at the same time stretch out our hands. This is suppose to maintain blood circulation or so they say, but I’m thinking its to keep us awake for the entire night. One by one we were called into the interrogation room where the interrogator will grill us for various information. Some were called once and some were called twice. I personally think that being interrogated is better then being outside doing those stress positions. Because we were all blindfolded, we didn’t know the time and whats happening around us. At first it was still ok, but as the night goes on, fatigue sets in and it really screw your head. You totally felt like shit during the last few hours… The POW ended with the rescue by SOF of our army. Some story, huh?

The training phase next transit to the so-called R&R, Rest and Relaxation. We were assigned to our own site where we were to build our own survival equipments, stuff like A-frame to sleep on, fireplace, trap etc. Base on how well you built the equipments, you’ll be given food rewards. For the two nights, we were given whole spring chicken and sweet potatoes, which were raw and for the first night, we had prawns for dinner. I have never tasted such sweet chicken soup in my whole life, must be due to the hunger and lack of food. We ate so much sweet potatoes that I’m kind of sick of it… And cookhouse fresh ration never tasted better.

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Killing for a living

So I’ve just went for the CAI (Computer Aided Instruction) for my CST (Combat Survival Training) at PLC (Pasir Laba Camp). (What’s with SAF and abbreviation?)

Basically for CAI, its just sitting in front of a computer and going thru lessons in the computer. For the CST course, the lessons are basic survival skills. Stuff like what to do and what not to do. Now, the highlight and the most interesting part of this CAI is the Skinning segment where they show videos of actual skinning. In the video demostration, they demostrated how to kill the animals and skin them. Pretty gruesome I must say. You either twist their head off or just simply wack them on their head… Afterwhich you’ll have to gut them and remove the gall bladder. Pretty gruesome I must say. Most of them time I’m wondering, why don’t they just spare the animals the misery and just decapitate them instead of breaking their skull… Could be that in a survival situation, you may not have the correct tools… Well… I don’t know…

And the actual skinning is gonna take place on Friday… I wonder how am I gonna do it…