Update: Hello, new readers to this blog post in 2016! You may also wanna watch Kim Huat's take on his NS Days in this video: https://youtu.be/ZjxSh4bdJMg
There is a delightful thread on Sammyboy.com about how you can tell you are getting old, based on your National Service days. I added some of my own to the list. The Lau Peng amongst you, feel free to add to the list in the comments section. I also added some photos from my Army days in my Flickr below.
You know you are getting old, if during your NS days:
- You were trained to use M16 and have no idea what SAR21 is.
- You used an AR-15 before.
- You used a metal tray for meals, and you had to wash them after use.
- You were "served" by army regulars (who will show you a f**k face and scold you for not holding your tray properly) during mealtimes in cookhouse.
- You joked about having ice cream for lunch in the cookhouse... and now they do.
- Your cookhouse food was cooked by actual army cooks.
- Your sergeant was simply known as "Sergeant", and had only 3-stripes.
- You did not hear of any NSman "dying suddenly".
- You were known as the "second-generation thinking soldiers".
- You had to do "area cleaning" every morning.
- You were ferried from one place to another in 3-tonners, not air-con buses.
- Your 3-tonners sat more than 30 people.
- You had to queue to use the public phone whenever you have to make a call.
- Your combat rations consisted of "dog biscuits" + canned sardines + canned pork cubes.
- You wore dog-tags because you were told to do so and had no choice; not because it was "fashionable".
- You were issued those cheapo China-made black PT shoes (and yet you were able to pass IPPT using them).
- You ogled at the canteen Ah Soh with lust because she was the only woman in the camp.
- You even found the Chief Clerk attractive.
- You carried the same made-in-China plastic mug for brushing the teeth, drinking tap water, cooking instant noodles, drinking some lame diluted beverage from the chow line, and slurping up night snack.
- You wore No. 4 uniform that was meant for colder climate and had a rubbery inner lining which caused heatstroke during a 10k run.
- You wore a WW2 American helmet.
- Your Skeleton Battle Order (SBO) was called "the bra".
- Your stand-by-bed had safety pins all under the bedsheet.
- Your S1 office had typewriters.
- You wore green PT t-shirts that expanded after a few washings.
- Your made-in-China PT shorts were all blue and made of very thin material.
- Your swimming trunks were black and look like tight shorts.
- Your Ali Baba bag had no wheels.
- Your Ali Baba bag was a long khaki sack.
- Your boots had to be polished till you could see your reflection in it.
- You used a heated metal spoon and kiwi to polish your boots.
- You know what a Change Parade is.
- Your name tag was handwritten with a black marker and a stencil.
- Your bedsheets had a funky smell even when they were newly washed.
- You got $20 for acing your IPPT, not $400.
- You zeroed your weapon with a Canadian bull (or k*-n*-n*-b*) instead of an electronic oscilloscope.
- You were part of butt parties during range.
- You don't know what ORD is, but you know what ROD is.