Becoming a Guardsmen II

In the last post I stopped when I was talking about Physical Training. Potential Guardsmen will surely be concerned with the level of fitness required during the course. Let me just say that it will be tough, no doubt about it, but it is definitely manageable.

I do recall many different types of physical training which focused largely on the abs area. An example of a particular exercise is to raise our legs up whilst lying down and move your left and right name alternatively up and down. After a while your abs would be very tired, and you can’t put down your legs till everyone’s legs are straight and at a 45degree angle. This is a test of endurance as a team. If there are some jokers who do not comply with instructions, everyone suffers. This allow you to find out if your friends are really trustworthy in times of need.

After a few weeks of running and training, your fitness will definitely improve. By the way, the IPPT system for Guards is different from normal infantry. To get a Gold, you must get an A in all the 5 stations, plus running time for 2.4km be less than 9 minutes and 15 seconds. To get a general feel, for a Pass in Guards its like a Silver in Infantry. One level up.

As for SOC, there is no major difference, except that the passing time is not 9.29 and below but 9.14 and below. The 15 seconds is for pride issues. At least you can tell your friends that you passed the Guards SOC. I did, and I cleared it in 9 minutes 7 seconds after many tries.

In the next post, I will talk more about the stuff that I did. However, they will not be detailed and certain parts will not be said because certain stuff are sensitive information.

Becoming a Guardsmen 1

A few days ago when I was on my way back home on the MRT, I overheard a brief conversation between this girl and this guy before they left at Jurong East. All I managed to cover was two sentences.

…every weekend you go to log-in?…
Me:Isn’t it book in? Hmm

…I hope my brother won’t get into Guards. This intake…
Me: Yep. Talking about NS..

There have been plenty of instances when people around me have shown the common mentality towards serving National Service. The best case for them is to get a slack vocation, best if you get to go home every night. Hence, being in a chiong-sua unit is very much frowned upon. Not to mention being in a Guards unit.

I have had the same problem before. When I was first posted to 1 Guards in 2005, I prompty googled Guards and tried to find any information that I could have helped towards my understanding of becoming a Guardsmen.

Hence, I decided to write a few blogposts about my path of becoming a Guardsmen.

On the day that I graduated from Sispec (School of Infantry Specialists) from ASLC (Advanced Section Leaders Course), I received notification that I was posted to 1st Battalion Singapore Guards. I was naturally afraid and I was so turned off that I was badly demoralized. Why not send me to BMTC (Basic Military Training Center), I thought. Everyone wants to go to a slack place and enjoy their NS life, but it is not my choice to make. The worst thing is, its Guards. I would have to go through the dreadful GCC (Guards Conversion Course)! I would have to continue being a trainee again! Not to mention that everyone has the common feeling that GCC is a sick and tough course which is difficult to pass. The problem was also that my fitness was not the best as compared to the rest, so why am I posted to Guards, an elite infantry unit?

The next book in day I proceeded to my unit and saw many familiar faces, fellow ASLC trainees that were also sent to Guards altogether. Everyone was having that sick feeling in their guts (not a pun ok?), and we were jealous of friends who were posted to BMTC, or even Infantry units.

When I went there, the GCC wasn’t going to start yet, for we were waiting for the officers to come. Depending on the requirements, you can either go for a mixed course (with officers and specialists), or a separated course. Mine was a mixed one.

The days went pass and we started knowing who’s who in our battalion and we began some physical training and skills training before our GCC. Training was tough, but they emphasized on team building.

How was training like? I think I shall leave it for the next post.