I’m back!

After the three weeks confinement period in OCS (which wasn’t exactly 3 weeks since there was Deepavali celebrations last Wednesday), I am now going to book out at the end of every weekend!

My body’s been aching a lot, probably due to the different softness of the pillow at home and in camp. The neck is always aching so i bought some Salonpas patches in case things get bad. When you get older, you start to feel that you are not in your prime when aches keep coming to you.

I had my IPPT test again and this time round there is a reasonable improvement. I had 10 chin ups as usual (4 points), but my shuttle run improved to a 10s which is 5 points, standing broad jump to 239cm (4 points, from a usual of 225cm), and my sit ups were maintained at 41 (5 points). This would mean that I’m in the running for Gold if I could run 9:44 and below. However my timing was 11:22 a week ago, and meeting that is impossible.

But, setting a goal is not something that is impossible, as long as it is reasonable. My first goal was to hit less than 11:20, but the other goal that I would really like to hit was less than 11:00. So I kept running, trying not to slow down. I tried breathing techniques, landing on the balls of the feet etc, and I am fairly confident that by the time I completed my 2.4km, it is a little below 11:00. The official timing given was 10:39, but they did clarify that a mistake was found, so I am expecting something close to 10:59 instead. I will know on Monday!

OCS has so far taught me many things which were different from the NS experience. It wasn’t taught to me in the classroom, but more of a constant reflection process where you try to think of what you observe, and what could be the reason why some things are done by other people. And then you wonder if there’s a difference in mentality and then you find out why. In a way, the training to become a specialist and an officer is vastly different, I find. Specialists are trained to micromanage; we take care of the men and talk to them a lot. We make things happen on a day to day basis, and make sure that everyone is always ready. Officers do a lot of planning and give much thought to everything that is being done. There is more responsibility and matured thinking involves that is different on a specialist level. In a unit the officers probably don’t mingle with the men as much as the specialists do; they just let the specialists run the show. It is indeed interesting to see things from both points of view and it is indeed a character building process where you transform from one to the other.

However sometimes it does feel anguishing when the younger people think differently from you. It is more of the opinions and attitudes kind of thing, and it is something that is hard to bridge, considering you alone have 6 more years of experiences dealing with people, and that includes more years of serving in the SAF and working in the unit way. There are still many people who live by the mantra “suck it up” instead of trying to make things happen to improve the organization. Perhaps one day when they mature, they would slowly begin to change and then the organization will also prosper at the same time.

I do realize that this post is just a collection of random thoughts, which I was rather lazy to sort out into a proper post with proper structure etc. But I guess what matters is that I wrote how I feel so that I can come back to it in the future to kick start my reflective process of OCS training.

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