Here’s Singapore’s worst kept secret – nobody likes National Service. Nobody likes to be plucked away from family, friends, social life, studies and work to be thrown into two and a half years of physical activity, jungles, mosquitos, pain and bruised egos.
Nobody likes to “wait to rush and rush to wait”. Nobody likes combat rations, camouflage paint and extra duties. Nobody likes failing IPPT, nobody likes to attend compulsory RT and certainly nobody likes regimentally conducted physical training on threat of fines and detention.
But you know what – it is a duty and we shut up and deal with it. It is a duty we owe, not to the government, but to our friends, our families, our wives and our children. We owe it to them to be physically fit, we owe it to them to know how to fight, to be willing to fight and to be mentally resilient against all the shit that National Service throws at us.
You know what it means to be a man? It means that you’re strong enough to take the worst that life has to give you and still stand up and return the punches. When push comes to shove, you know how to fight and stand your ground.
If you’re not strong enough to do this, you’re not strong enough to handle nastier things in life.
Today, there’s an axe attack in Germany. Yesterday, it was a truck attack in France. Before that, it was a grenade attack in Malaysia, a bomb attack in Indonesia and another in Taiwan. There are some articles and comments on the internet bitching about National Service and how it wastes their time. But I ask you this: if your girlfriend, daughter or mother got killed on the MRT by a terrorist with an axe, will you not ask for your rifle to go out and hunt the rest of the cell down?
NS and NS liabilities disrupts our lives you say. Of course it bloody disrupts our lives, what did you expect? You don’t throw punches at someone without getting a few in return – that’s life, that’s fighting. Put it in a business context, you don’t make money without losing some.
Whether or not this country is going to be at war, or is going to win a war is irrelevant. National Service reveal who are the men and who are the kittens. You can tell from the way the soldier’s attitude towards their liabilities. Do they take their duties like a man? Or do they whimper and whine their way through it?