Somehow I just cannot accept the harsh reality of army life. It is possible to enjoy army life. But sometimes there are certain things that make me really feel that army is too harsh a place for me to survive in. It is true that in the army, to reinforce discipline and order, punishments must be given to soldiers for their wrongdoings so that they will not make the same mistakes again in the future. However, these punishments given are not what you will see in schools. When I was a student, from my kindergarten to JC years, punishments given to me were very few, literally zero. I remember the punishments that my friends and I got in Sec 1 when we hit the tables, chairs, and maybe broomsticks to create sounds or rhythmic beats which got our principal so agitated that she complained of headaches. LOL. Well we had to stand in front of the teachers’ room for the whole of our break and we got 10 hours of corrective work to do. In the end I had to help out at the library, cleaning book shelves and sorting out books and books and books. Somehow I did not feel the pain at all. But in the army its different. Very much different.
My bunkmates and I woke up one morning to the sound of Victor’s voice telling us to wake up. I looked at my watch and my jaw dropped. 545am. Isnt it supposed to be fall in timing? My heart started beating so madly that I had difficulty breathing. One small mistake, your weekend is gone. I rushed down with my bunkmates only to find everyone waiting for us down there. We got an extra tml, which is a public holiday, Hari Raya. I expected this weekend break to be one of the best this year, and it got ruined by some fked up mistake by us. Yes it is our fault. But sometimes I feel that the punishments given are too harsh. Maybe we could have been given a lighter sentence like booking in earlier or booking out late. If its school, we will never get to have a burnt weekend for being late for school. The most is first time offender get a stern warning, and third-time offender will get marked in the records with demerit points.So its like in civilian life, it is possible that you will not get punished at all, but in just a few months in the army, you can get one very easily.
I have been having a number of nightmares regarding getting extras, to an extent that I would wake up, sweaty and panting all over in the night, and feeling so relieved that it was all a dream. I seldom make mistakes which will get me punished. I am not a naughty and stubborn guy, but in the army, all these do not matter at all. As long as you do something wrong, there is no forgiveness. This is army, cruel, bitter, and sad. I am trying hard to get used to the life here as a soldier, as an NSF. But it is really hard. Its already my 7th month as an army personnel, but I am still trying to adjust to military life. I am willing to work harder, and make as little mistakes as possible, especially when I am a sergeant, and an MP, which means I have much greater responsibility to take. It is not easy, and mentally, I feel stressed at times. And physically, I am not there yet. But I am trying. I have never broken the 11 minute barrier for my running timing. Finally, today, after my 6th IPPT, I got roughly 10 minutes 45 seconds for my 2.4km, which is a drastic improvement from my previous timing of 13 minutes when I first got into BMT. I am now aiming for 10:30, before slowly reaching my target of 9:45.
I am going back to Pasir Laba Camp on Wednesday for my CAT term. And two weeks later, I will be having my commissioning parade, and I will then officially become a 3rd sergeant. Its really fast, all these time, hoping to finish the course quick. But somehow I feel like I am going to miss the carefree recruits/trainee life where you have fewer responsibilities to handle. You do not have to control your men. Now I am on my own. I have to do something to survive. Its a bitter world out there. But I will make it. 🙂