Discussion on the 2 cases of insensitive remarks made regarding NS


2100

Senior Member
Mar 3, 2004
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#1
I've got some free time here. :sweat: Just sharing the info.



Note: the following letter is written by Bravo OC from 4 SIR. Please read.

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Ever since PTE Lee Rui Feng Dominique Sarron passed away in an unfortunate training incident, there has been a flurry of discussions and comments. I watched first with interest, then frustration, and then finally anger. Anger that we've trivialized the issue. Anger that we are doubting our own in defending our home. And anger that we perhaps do not appreciate the work and sacrifice our citizen soldiers do.



It is my duty to speak out for them.



I am a Company Commander (OC) of Bravo Company, 14th Mono 4SIR, a sister battalion of 3SIR. Although I do not know the soldier personally, I can understand the loss of a soldier. Because the soldiers we have are the toughest, most motivated and most committed bunch of people I know. The things they've done, just like the things countless soldiers have done before, nobody will understand until they've been through it.



Just take the smoke grenades. My soldiers don't just throw one. They don't throw a few. In an urban break-in fight, they throw a BARRAGE of smoke grenades - all coordinated to create a huge smokescreen to disorientate the enemy and provide some concealment. What for? Because in a real battle, they will be charging in the face of deadly bullets, fired by enemies entrenched behind windows and mouseholes. Without fear, but with courage of a warrior. The smokes give them a fighting chance to survive. We train as we fight. Is this weak?



Our unit just came back from an training stint overseas. Part of it, was a 8-day outfield evaluation. 8 days, 3 missions, all out in the field. 1st mission - 30km tactical walk in one night, up and down undulating terrain, carrying packs up to 15kg. And at the end of it, at daybreak, violently and aggressively assaulting an objective. No rest right after that. Transit to 2nd mission of defence. 2 nights. Little sleep, watchful eyes, valiantly defending what we have captured. And 3rd mission. 20km. Mountain hook. Climbing an altitude of 500m. And then down. And at daybreak, violently fighting, again.



And in a Battalion of 500-odd soldiers, number of soldiers who gave up or fell out due to injuries? ZERO. BIG FAT ZERO. All of them had the look in their eyes. Is this weak?



And these doesn't happen overnight. In 2 active years, they train hard for this, so that they can walk, they can last, they can fight. And in the 2 years, they do more than just train.



In Homeland Security, for 4 weeks over Christmas, New Year's Eve, New Year, Chinese New Year, while the rest of us celebrate, our soldiers stood guard in Jurong Island, Changi Airport and Sembawang Wharves. Live 5.56mm rounds in magazines. Live 7.62mm rounds on MGs, mounted on patrol vehicles. With watchful eyes, they deterred any aggressive action in the economic and strategic centres of our country. And 24/7 our citizen soldiers are always there. Is this weak?



Our soldiers participated in bilateral exercises with our neighbours, promoting friendly relations and peace. They stood shoulder to shoulder with professional armies, and guess what? Our citizen soldiers impressed. Is this weak?



Our soldiers went on standby. In short notice, they will be weapons drawn, ammunition loaded, vehicles revving, ready to respond to any call of duty the nation requires. Yes, Mas Selamat and a Tekong robber was probably the highlights in the last decade. But do we want more to happen? Are we glad our soldiers can respond, even to the smallest threat to our nation? And 24/7, citizen soldiers stand by, ready to respond, while the rest of us sleep. Is this weak?



Do not be mistaken. Our training is tough. There are always risks involved in training to fight. To say we can erase the risks is to say lets train a paper tiger, an Army with no aggression, an Army that cannot last, an Army that cannot defend. But what we do is to mitigate and minimize these risks. Have the safety systems in place. Train progressively. Condition the body. And most importantly, take care of our people. But the risks will not disappear. This is the cost our society needs to pay for its own defence and survival. Are we prepared to continuing saying yes, or hide behind our cowardice and pray someone will save us one day?



Are there near-misses, definitely. I was in Officer Cadet School before this, training Officers, training leaders. The training is tough, because we need to ensure these young boys can lead, and these young boys will never give up in adversity. I will always remember G, who collapsed during training despite our watchful eyes. I will never forget the safety rover speeding and swerving through traffic to get him to a doctor. I will never forget his eyes opening and closing, his speech slurring, his body shaking. I will never forget holding his hand, keeping a strong face, and keeping him awake. I will never forget in desperation to get him to respond, I recited the Officer's Creed. And I will never forget, in his semi-conscious state - he repeated - "I am... an Officer... of the Singapore Armed Forces... My duty... is to lead... to excel... to overcome... I lead my men... by example... I dedicate... my life... to Singapore..."



G commissioned, became a Platoon Commander, and was a great leader of men. Is this weak?



G, yes, Officer Cadet, but he's not the only one with such determination. Our mono-intake soldiers - yes, some of them will try to fake injuries, malinger their way out of training. But most - I have to watch them closely not because they are faking, but I have to watch them closely, because despite injuries, these soldiers want to push on. The L9 (undeployable in field) soldier asking me whether he can go outfield. The soldier who sprained an ankle during soccer, with his leg in a cast, apologized to me for not able to train. The soldier, who on the eve of flying for overseas training had stomach ulcers and internal bleeding, asked me whether I can force his discharge from hospital so that he can fly. The soldiers, with back, knee, ankle injuries, that I have to force to sit out. There any many more stories. Is this weak?



Of course, we have our Jeremy Kos. Read it here (J.Ko » Staying alive and injury-free while serving the SAF). His logic is impleccable. Why serve so hard, when you may injure yourself? Do the bare minimum, serve the two years. Flawless logic. But let me ask you, when the first shot is fired, who do you want on the frontline? Our Jeremy, who I suspect, in his flawless logic, will save his own skin first, 'staying alive and injury-free', or my dear G, who I suspect, with bullets lodged in his thigh, shoulder and a sharpnel to his neck, will continue to fight on. Who do you want defending your country?



That is the nature of National Service. We train hard for something we hope we never have to do. But if the button is pressed, we'd better be ready.



But why are they so silent? Why do they not speak up? Why do they allow themselves to be insulted by the minority? Because they are professional citizen soldiers. They serve, so they do not boast. They do what the nation requires of them. They, our citizen soldiers, go on with their duty, 24/7, most of the time. All they ask for, is that their leaders take care of them, their families and girlfriends a little love, and the nation a little appreciation.



George Orwell says - "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Are my soldiers ready to do violence if need be? I bet my life they are.



What is worrying is that these are not career soldiers, signed on for life. These are citizen soldiers, young 18-year old boys. These are our very own people. When we talk "the Army", its not regulars like us, it is these NSFs, and NSmen. Our friends, our brothers, our sons, our fathers, our boyfriends. Has our society lost their appreciation for them? Has our society forget what they have done? Has our society - worryingly - lost the will to defend itself?



PTE Lee's passing is sorrowful. But lets take his passing as an awakening - an awakening to appreciate what our citizen soldiers have done for us for the past 45 years. That there are sacrifices made, be it time, effort, or sometimes - life.



Do share this, to speak out for our citizen soldiers. We all know with social media, the noisiest wins. We can allow the vocal minority to belittle all the sacrifices - including PTE Lee's life - or we can be united, be loud, and be heard. Write your own story and experience, like he did (https://www.facebook.com/notes/nicho...50737962292299). With NSmen like him, I'm confident our citizen soldiers will continue to defend what we call home.



Most of us will die while doing meaningless stuff. But he died while serving his country. Its not what we lived for, but what we die for.

For PTE Lee Rui Feng Dominique Sarron.

SOURCE:
from FB: Yongcong Choy
 

2100

Senior Member
Mar 3, 2004
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#2
To the ladies of Singapore, from an NS girl

I was once in green as well. And though any Singaporean guy can tell you this, I just thought it’ll be good to come out from another girl’s mouth, just so you know it’s not about “weak”ness, male egos and however else females somehow like to insult their brave NS men with So ladies, I know that the NS experience is the equivalent of a fairy story to you. But just so you know how privileged you are –

You may laugh at how funny botak heads and black spectacles look. For a new recruit whose name has become “Eh, Recruit”, and not the name he has had since always and will maybe lose to weird nicknames in the next two years of his life: at the most important stage of his life thus far, that is the last of his worries.

As you wake up leisurely just think about how they wake up, after 7 hours of sleep, to yet another punishing day of physical training.

As you freshen up remember that the amount of toothpaste they put on their toothbrush is one of the few decisions they actually get to make – at every other moment, they are told precisely what to do, and punished for anything short of robotic perfection.

As you choose what clothes to wear, know that he only has the choice between that still-damp-one-I-rinsed-in-the-sink and the-stinky-one-that-I-didn’t-get-to-wash.

And as you miss him, know that he is thinking of you every moment he can, as he does his monotonous physical exercises by each whistle blow, as he digs his shellscrape and the heat rash stings his entire body, as he listens to you say on the phone, “I wish you weren’t there. I don’t think I can do this for much longer”. Because, out of everything they have to endure, the only time I’ve seen them cry is when they think and talk about you. Their family.

Your boyfriend, your male friends, brothers and sons, may dislike the army for robbing him of his freedom and time, even his youth. Yet if you want to support them, don’t just side with them and resent the policy of NS too, just like that. Instead, please do your country a favour and treasure him, because otherwise he’s only got his buddy (and his rifle) and his commanders to watch his back and they’re all in this together; he’s got two years that he has no choice but to make the best of, while you are living your carefree life happily. Please don’t dismiss their efforts, mock the precious life that was lost and everything they sacrifice, to protect Singaporeans like you. And when they have ORDed, when they gang up together in their little huddles and talk about NS, please don’t feel left out.. I hope you feel appreciative. It’s the only thing your country demands of you in its defense.

Please do not take them for granted.

May PTE Lee rest in peace.

MELISSA SNG

*The above was first published as a note on the writer’s Facebook

From Temasek Times.
 

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2100

Senior Member
Mar 3, 2004
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#3
I don't frequent other forums, just sharing it here. HWZ too messy anyway.

I'm surprised that training is still very tough and "maintained" nowadays, at least for the siong units. Dunno....MR for quite a few years already.

I'd be the first to admit that i hate NSF/ICTs and never liked IPPTs. But still made the effort to train, i had big issues with standing broad jump (frigging hell could only jump 203/207 when the passing is 216 and later 212 when Cat Z)....I HATE NS. But I still never missed a single ICT and passed IPPT (merely passed IPPT).

And once i even had to give up taking a couple wedding and "reimbursed" them by forking out 200 bucks because i had to pay for another of my friend to take (more expensive and somewhat last min booking). But bo bian coz weddings are like all round unless if it's Lunar 7th month (my Flight doesn't do ICTs during 7th month). My section mate wasn't even there for the wife when she gave birth to their first child....out field exercise also takes time to come back mah.


But then i see the remarks also blood boil liao.... KNN. Just further confirms my view regarding a steady growing group of young SG girls and their upbringing nowadays...... (hopefully NS helps the guys somewhat)
 

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2100

Senior Member
Mar 3, 2004
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#4
If you ask me again, I still hate doing NS/ICTs. But if the SAF100 come, I will still LL go do it. When i was young and still going for pretty gals only for looks, i didn't understand WTF NS was for.

The threat to SG is very real and SG is just a small dot without any resources. I'm doing biz in Indo and it's not a bed of roses there as compared to here. The younger guys here must remember it.
 

shierwin

Senior Member
Dec 29, 2008
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#5
I was inducted into NS because I was in tertiary institution and later served in the Reserve, and subsequently as a volunteer, for 23 years. Had ORD 12 years to date and now my son is serving.

Till today I still believe of the importance of NS in the defence of the country. We have decades of peace and this, unfortunately, lead to the belief that NS is a waste of time and resources.

I had visited Israel and the country is always in a state of war. I saw men going out on dates with their girl friends in uniform and rifles. NS men in Israel are, as they said, having 11 months leave from military service provided the country is not committed to a war (Not the other way round as we see here in Singapore).

I do not wish to discuss the time spent and the financial cost to me.

But Just Remember This Saying.

人无威不立 国无威不存
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#6
having served as well, i find that it does serve its purpose. though i myself was injured in the process and had to undergo surgery, i still pressed on till i ORD-ed.

to all those out there who think NS is a waste of time, it isn't.

here in Singapore, it's 2 years (plus 10 years doing something that's different for a couple of weeks). it sure breaks the monotonous life and gives you a chance to relax from the rat race.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,353
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#10
When I was serving NS, there were deaths. That is part and parcel of soldiering. So what's the problem?
We do not have a system of a separate armed forces and a civilian population. Like say, the US.
NS is crucial to national security. We have no choice. This is a dangerous world. We have to repel potential violence with a threat of equal or greater violence.

New male citizens (from other countries who take up Singapore citizenship) who are young and medically fit should also serve NS. They should be in a fighting combat role and not be given obvious soft options like "psychological defence" or some other limp excuse. They should show us they have the RIGHT stuff.
 

#11
National Service is important to Singapore's independence.

I think that Singaporean girls who are of the right age, should also serve NS, but not in the warfront (unless they sign on), but in other capacities such as paramedics, nurses, care-givers etc. it could be a short stint of 6months to 1 year, just to get the girls ready, in case there really is a crisis.
 

theRBK

Senior Member
May 16, 2005
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#12
National Service is important to Singapore's independence.

I think that Singaporean girls who are of the right age, should also serve NS, but not in the warfront (unless they sign on), but in other capacities such as paramedics, nurses, care-givers etc. it could be a short stint of 6months to 1 year, just to get the girls ready, in case there really is a crisis.
agreed... to add on, maybe also teachers (or at least teaching assistants) and social workers... this would also help to reduce our dependence on foreign labour in these areas, and may also promote these occupations to persons who might not have been drawn to them in the first place but who might become interested after their attachments there... :thumbsup:
 

#13
theRBK said:
agreed... to add on, maybe also teachers (or at least teaching assistants) and social workers... this would also help to reduce our dependence on foreign labour in these areas, and may also promote these occupations to persons who might not have been drawn to them in the first place but who might become interested after their attachments there... :thumbsup:
Gd point.

Anyway, these r jus for discussions. :)
 

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