Hello Everyone,
this is a post ORD blog entry and in this post, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone whom have made my National Service (NS) experience a rather meaningful and a positive one.

I enlisted into NS on the 14th of September 2010 and was assigned to Whiskey Company, Basic Military Training (BMT) School 3. Thereafter, I was posted to Hotel Wing, Officer Cadet School (OCS) to undergo the 82/11 Officer Cadet Course. Due to an injury sustained during training, I was put out-of-course and was attached to the Human Resource Shared Services Centre where I performed administrative roles. Subsequently after a ligament reconstruction surgery, I was posted to the Commandant’s Office, SAFTI Military Institute where I served my NS till I ORD-ed.

+For foreigners whom are reading this blog, ORD stands for Operationally Ready Date and it is the day where National Servicemen whom are serving full-time National Service complete their 2 years of National Service.+

There are really a lot of people that I would like to thank personally and it is difficult for me to recall the names of everyone whom I’ve met and interacted with during the course of my NS. Hence, this thank you note is really meant for everyone whom have contributed one way or another to my NS experience; whether commanders, fellow peers, or even the canteen aunty and uncle.

NS is something that many male Singaporeans dread because it means a loss of 2 years worth of time that could otherwise be put to good use. I can truly understand the sentiments on the ground especially when we male Singaporeans tend to lose out to the ladies and also to the foreigners in terms of job, finance, and education. Time is truly money and it is also a resource that can never be gained back. So, since NS is compulsory, I thought to myself, why not make the best out of the 2 years? Yes, people can question, “Will serving NS equate to higher pay after ORD? Will serving NS help to secure a job in the future? Will serving NS guarantee a place in University?”, so on and so forth; but really, the only reason why we can sleep soundly in our beds every night is because of the dedicated service men and women whom out of their conviction chose to serve in the military, the best that they know how.

Personally, I have a rather all-rounded NS experience and although I sustained a permanent wrist injury during training, I have never regretted giving the best that I’ve got to offer. Yes, I’ve heard of cases where people went AWOL (absent without official leave), malinger/feign illnesses (also known as “keng”), and do all sorts of funny things to evade NS but honestly, NS is something that we cannot run away from and it is something that we have to face one day.

During the course of my NS, there were quite a number of training incidents/mishaps that resulted in deaths and although I do not personally know any of the servicemen whom passed on, I can understand and feel the pain and burdens that the respective family members have to shoulder. These training incidents/mishaps ought to be a constant reminder to all of us that safety during training ought to be accorded the highest level of consideration and priority. However, we also will have to know that no matter how stringent the safety requirements are, there are bound to be processes that are beyond the control of the commanders and there will definitely be risks involved even if its minimised. On a separate note, I personally feel that there are a few admin lapses that SAF needs to address [especially with regards to the recent spate of events] or citizens might just lose their confidence in SAF. More importantly, I think there ought to be some form of sensitivity especially when it comes to communications [names ought to be spelt properly, and you don’t address a letter to someone who’s already passed on do you?]

I know everyone’s probably wondering what all these has to do with me writing a thank you note but I’m highlighting these issues because they encompass my NS experience too! Anyhows, for those of you whom are still serving, keep on pressing on for you shall see the ORD drawing closer and do remember to train safely; question your commanders if you’re unsure of any orders/instructions and always sound out if you’re not feeling well. For the commanders whom are reading this blog entry; thank you for working tirelessly in ensuring that standards are met and for exemplifying the SAF core values, you are greatly respected for your utmost dedication in keeping our country safe and I salute you in doing everything that is possible to provide a safe training environment. For those of us who have ORD-ed, thank you for your utmost commitment to the defence of our country; now that we’ve tasted the freedom of being a civilian once again, let us not forget the core reason why we served NS and as we move on to pursue our own individual aspirations, may you all find success in all that you do. Last but not the least, ORD LOH!

From Personal NS Experience

God bless!


Melvin is an Entrepreneur, Life Coach, and Chinese Metaphysics Practitioner. He holds an EMBA and he is a passionate and engaging teacher, known for his unique combination of science, research, and spirituality.


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