Back in one piece, the past 2 week has been a tiring but eye opening journey for this lad.
Firstly, some introduction before I go on. In Singapore, all able bodied males upon reaching 18 years of age must serve 2 years of National Service. After completion of the said 2 years, we will need to come back for in-camp training (ICT) annually after being allocated a reservist unit. The period ranges from 1 to 3 weeks and we must complete 10 cycles aka 10 years after which we will then be released from the force.
During my active days I was doing routine work and had no formal combat training. This in-camp training (ICT) which I attended together with 500 men from all walk of life for was to convert me into an infantry rifleman.
I was glad that the regimentation wasn’t as strict as during my active days. The senior/junior commanders and trainers are friendly and approachable. One particular senior warrant officer left a deep impression on me with his style of teaching and sense of humour.
The first week of training was pretty tough. We have minimal amount of sleep as we have to wake up very early and only get to hit the sack in the wee hours of the morning.
One highlight of training includes a section live firing whereby a section of 7 men gets to shoot live ammunitions in a simulated enemy attack. Initially I was having butterflies in my stomach with the thought of live firing with my section mates so close by my sides. Any slight mistakes can result in friendly fire but fortunately everything turned out well and I enjoyed the experience.
Another memorable experience has me shooting an anti-armour weapon system (rocket launcher). Called the Matador, this new weapon was designed locally and commissioned a few years ago. The sound of the blast and shock wave was earth-shattering. It was fun and a rare opportunity.
So that basically sums up my 2 weeks back in uniform as a civilian soldier. An important lesson learned from this ICT is that having control of one’s own time is a valued liberty. The confinement in camp taught me to treasure my freedom more as we only have one weekend off for the whole 2 weeks. Anyway it’s good to be back. Time to catch up on the things I missed. ^^;