Sunday, January 28, 2007
Yes, I'm soooo sorry. I havn't been blogging for sooo long my backlog is not even funny! I've still got to write about what I did over christmas and new years eve last year, which happened a month ago already!
Butttttt .... I have a valid excuse. Some people may be wondering what it is I do in the army. Well, on most days, its actually rather mundane. I get up at 0630 in the morning, head off to camp and knock off at 1730. I handle mostly staff work, so its nothing exciting really. Progress reports, WITS projects, etc.
It all gets rather exciting however, when we go outfield for exercise. Now, when I was serving my NS back in the day, I went for a couple of these, thinking my days after disruption would be alot more relaxing.
I was wrong. Two months before I am due to ORD (Operationally Ready Date), I get called up by my Captain and asked "politely" if I am available to take part in the coming exercise.
On the spur of the moment, I thought to myself, "Hell, why not!!!???". I'd enjoyed myself previously with my 2IC, Captain Paul Neo (here he is today, third from left. now a major). We've since become really good friends, I lent him my car and drove him around on his wedding day. It was an honour and pleasure to help him out on his big day.
Anyway, my role in the exercise was to be a progress specialist. Esentially, the officers have alot of planning to do. Convoy plans, route plans, deployment plans, operation plans, monitoring charts, reports, the list is endless. Me and a good friend david puff
were assigned to our Officer Commanding and 2IC to help them out. Truthfully, it was tough work. We laboured till the wee hours, and I was sick at one point of time.
Me and david would get up at 8 in the morning and work till 4 in the morning, tweaking every little detail of our powerpoint (A bit like an investment banking job, but without the perks of pay, takeout food, and a cab home to your bed at the end of it).
In case you're wondering how I managed to take so many photos, I was also tasked to be a photographer for the exercise (Something I really enjoy!).
In any case, there were fun times too lah. Such as when we went out one day on a recce. That's me and david in the recce vehicle, a good old trusty army landrover, I'm sure most of you are familiar with.
And lessons like these, in which the commanders are taught buddy aid, so we can pass down the wisdom. Yes, we did go overboard with this guy here. But hey, he seemed to enjoy it.
When you are out on exercise, there are two things that keep you alive and kicking in the field. One is preparation. I always stock up on the essentials. Like this little contraption here, an electronic mosquito repellant ... hey man embrace technology! It emits a ultrasonic sound that deafens the enemy.
My SBO (Standard Battle Order) too is packed with lots of non standard issue that I take great pains to stock up on, so my life outfield is that much better.
Check out my cool half leather gloves I bought from chatuchuk, to protect my hands from rocks and the like when I'm proned with my rifle. And my camo scarf, which besides being the latest fashion accessory is absoloutely essential to cover your face so the enemy does not bite you on your ears and nose and shit (I think you're seeing a trend here).
And of course there's contraband. Hey I'm not talking drugs or shit like that. I'm talking about the odd pack of Oreos here and there. Cause you don't really want to be eating rations. Trust me, the menu sounds really appealing, like Chicken Terriyaki Pasta. But you really don't want to be eating anything that comes out of that green packet (Although it's a tradition I always bring a pack home for my dad so he can reminisce his "good old days")
The second thing that keeps you going though, and this is going to sound a little gay, is the person next to you.
If he's working his ass off in the field, and you're not, you'd better. If he's busting his ass doing a crawl in the mud, you should. Cause trust me, if it was you crawling in the mud, or working your ass off, you'd want company.
Have you ever wondered? Why must we serve? Because we love our land, and we want it to be free to be free! HAHHH!