Three Lessons from Basic Military Training
Marching, shooting, & throwing a grenade
I spent 1 year and 10 months in the Singapore Army. It's a rite of passage for every Singaporean son.
Here’s what I’ve learned during my nine weeks in Basic Military Training (BMT), the time when you convert from a civilian to soldier.
1. The Importance of Sleep
When you think of army life, it's discipline, shouting sergeants and a strenuous day. But sleep was serious too. Most nights, I got 7 hours of rest (time in bed with your eyes closed). If not, I get punished with weekend confinement and my commanders got extra duties.
The only exception I experienced for this rule was if you’re out training in the jungle.
2. The Importance of Running
I entered BMT as a run-when-convenient person, but I left as a run-for-fun person. Hours spent putting one foot in front of the other turned therapeutic. And it's a healthy way for us to compete with our former selves.
3. Do New and Difficult Things to Bond
There were 14 people in my bunk. We came from different schools, prayed to different gods, and celebrated different holidays. But we left BMT as one section.
That's because we did so many new and difficult deeds together. None of us had ever marched 24km (15 miles) with our rifles, slept in a shell-scrape in the jungle, or stripped a rifle as a test. As the saying went, bond with your buddy so well, that you always know the color of his underwear. We didn't do that, but we got close.
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That’s all from Incandescent. See you next week!
- Guan Jie