We know this is what we’ll hear if this ever comes to fruition “I serve two years for what, still want me to go to Middle East?”
Honestly, serving National Service wasn’t that difficult, it was tough and almost every Singaporean son has come out alive and moved on with their lives. We still get called back for reservist and we still have to sit for IPPT, but getting deployed to the Middle East in a real war effort, now that’s a whole new ball game.
In days of past, back in 1991 Operation Nightingale was in full swing and a contingent of SAF medics were sent to the gulf to lend support for allied troops. This battalion was made up of regulars, NSFs and ORNS (Operational Ready NSmen), braving Iraqi fire all while tending to the wounded and that wasn’t the last time an NSman was in the thick of an overseas mission.
However a handful doesn’t make a battalion and many of us would rather avoid war instead of getting into the thick of it. So with a possible initiative to allow NSmen to volunteer for overseas missions, it might be a giant hit or miss situation for the Singapore Armed Forces. All of us men look back at out national service with pride and perhaps miss the camaraderie, but how many would leave family and job behind to volunteer to be sent so far away on dangerous missions?