Posts about military

The last 12 weeks

This entry was supposed to be published last week but I didn’t manage to complete the draft until today.

Unknowingly, 12 weeks seems to have come and gone in a flash. It wasn’t too long ago when I had to carry loads of personal stuff and prepare to stay in camp for the duration of my ground school course. I was apprehensive and doubtful if I’ll be able to survive and pass the 7 modules (8 papers) as laid out.

At least for the moment, gone are the days of mugging for exams over weekends and late into the wee hours if the paper is on a weekday. I dread of the many presentations that had to be prepared and research on, not to mention the tight deadlines. Certainly, there are advantages of living in camp and cool moments. This includes being able to wake up at a later time and avoid the morning rush hour traffic to work, group discussions and studies, LAN gaming and the list goes on.

It has been a great experience and most importantly, an accomplishment to have successfully cleared all modules and pass out from the ground school course. Although there might have been bad days and rough times, I’ve managed to overcome it with the help of my fellow course mates. On second thought, this is the just the beginning of my Basic Wings Course. There’s still a long way to go but before the next phase, I hope to be able to take a good break and gather my thoughts.

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I'm infected

Barely less than 10 hours ago, I wrote about how my colleagues were infected with conjunctivitis one after another.

This morning, as I struggled to open my eyes, I realized that my left eye was covered with a think layer of “eye wax”. It was sore, red and painful but my right eye was perfectly alright. I hesitated for a moment before deciding to visit the doctor.

When the doctor examined me, it turned out that both my eyes were infected except that the right eye was not infected as badly as the other. Now that I’m down on 2 days of medical leave, this is certainly most unwelcome and has certainly spoilt my day and weekend!

Update: I was curious what kind of conjunctivitis I’m suffering from and how to prevent it from spreading to the others. It seems that I’m suffering from bacterial conjunctivitis. For those whom are interested to know more about it, you can read more about it from the vision guide and here.

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Conjunctivitis

The remaining few fighting fit colleague of mine and myself were forced to take half-day leave for today and tomorrow as there was an outbreak of conjunctivitis among us and around the workplace.

It started on Tuesday when one of them was on medical leave for sore eyes. Then somehow, one of them got infected it didn’t take too long for the others to start rubbing their painful, reddish and tearing eye — all of which are symptoms of conjunctivitis.

This incident reminded me of the SARS crisis which Singapore experienced a few years back. It also serves as a reminder to everyone on how vulnerable we are when exposed to the unknown in the air. Lesson learnt from this episode: Never fail to maintain personal hygiene at all times because when the unknown strikes, it’s fast and can be deadly within seconds.

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The torture machine

I went for my second G-Fet (G-Flight Environment Trainer) habituation today and to my surprise, it feels much better as compared to the previous 2 sessions. Today’s profile includes a gradual onset to 8G environments as well as a rapid onset to 6G environment that lasts for 40 seconds. Luckily, both profile allows the use of a G-suit since the G-Suit will greatly help to reduce the amount of physical straining on my part. I doubt I’ll be able to sustain 6G for 40 seconds without the help of a G-Suit since it can be quite tedious and tiring for my muscles, not to mention that I’m not exactly that strong and physically fit.

Till now, I’m still uncomfortable with the idea of being spun around like being in a washing machine. What makes matter worst is the tumbling effect that one will experience during the start and end of a session, normally just before the machine comes to a complete stop. Furthermore, there’s always a risk of losing consciousness while executing a profile and this equates to more sessions with the torture machine. I dread of every session but still, I have to overcome my fear and get used to such training.

I’m currently experiencing the side effects of sustaining high G’s. This includes G measles appearing over my arms, legs and abdominal as well as muscle aches over areas where the straining occurred. It’s not a big deal but the G measles can get quite ugly as it looked like one is suffering from some skin disease or bad skin rash. Hopefully, this will heal within the next few days but it wouldn’t be long before I’ll experience the effects once again.

For those who have no idea how a G-Fet machine looked like and is interested to know more about it, I’ve managed to find a copy of the article from the Singapore Armed Forces Pioneer magazine which featured on the G-Fet trainer.

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Live long, techie

Lately, I’ve been taking exam papers for my ground school that are of a more technical type and require a little more technical knowledge. I realized that I was able to digest the subjects that were taught at a faster pace and am able to project more confidence during exams. I’m not sure if anyone have experienced it before but for most of the technical and practical lessons, I’m able to somewhat hack it at ease and enjoy the learning journey.

Unlike the more theoretical subjects like meteorology and aerodynamics, I have greater passion for technical stuff. This seems to be true as during my polytechnic days, I hated modules like mathematics but enjoyed software programming and networking. Also, my intern-ship back in the states have also exposed me to a wide variety of hands-on applications and projects which I truly enjoyed working on.

If I were to relate my passion and speciality in terms of technical aspect to the flying industry, I hope that I’ll be able to understand the applications and apply the concepts correctly. However, there are still many other aspects to consider since flying is all about precision, mental capacity and decision making.

Based on what I’ve experienced and observed, I’ll need to work harder to improve my mental capacity. This is because I’ve come to realize that I’m able to study only in an absolute quiet environment and I get agitated easily if I was interrupted while studying. Perhaps this could be one of the reasons why I’m unable to perform during exams while studying in a noisy environment.

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What's been happening lately

So it has been awhile since I last blog. Life have been getting a little hectic these few weeks with the commencement of my ground school studies that consists of endless projects, presentations, reading, physical and psychological training and not to mention, mugging for weekly exams. I had my first paper on meteorology last week and I thought I wouldn’t pull through for part two of the paper as I could barely recalled what I’ve learnt and put it into words. The last time I took geography was in secondary 2 and I didn’t like it much back then.

Let’s see if I could recall what I’ve done for the past few weeks. 2 weeks ago, I attended a course on Aviation Psychological Training (APT). It was interesting and enjoyable, especially the practical session! I gained knowledge on how our body will be affected on extreme conditions in flight and how to manage it. I was amazed by the limitations of the human body in relation to flying. The practical session consists of oxygen system trainer, ejection seat trainer, turntable, vertifuge and centrifuge (also known as Gravity Flight Environment Trainer or G-FET in short). For the majority, you wouldn’t want to experience turntable, vertifuge and the centrifuge. These machines are what my colleague and I deem as “the torture machine” because they will make you puke if you can’t handle it.

I had my first G-FET training last week and I didn’t really like the feeling. It was an exercise to test my personal G-Endurance before weights training and there are many more sessions to go. I was afraid initially because if not properly managed, I could temporarily lose conscious or g-LOC as the aviators term it. To avoid this, I’ll have to hit the gym at least 3 times per week for weights, strength and endurance training. So much for wanting to be a pilot…the training is definitely challenging!

Military aside, I realized that I seem to have lacked confidence and there’s a mixed of emotions within me. I can’t exactly explain the feeling but it’s there. For one, I find it hard to focus and I get distracted easily. My mind is heavy and I feel that it’s preoccupied with unknown stuff and my brain seems to have reduced it capacity by half since it took me quite some effort to study for exams. It wasn’t like this back then when I was in polytechnic where I had an objective, am focused and alert. My driving skills have turned from average to bad and I can’t even manage things properly. There are many thoughts running through my mind and things waiting to be done but I’ve yet to take any action on it thus far. Perhaps, this could be due to stress, fatigue and many other factors. I certainly hope to re-align my thoughts, free up my mind and get myself back in shape quickly.

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Wet Winching

Once again, I had to wake up early today just to attend an exercise. This exercise should have been completed before Chinese New Year but due to bad weather and many other factors, more than half of my colleague and I did not managed to participate previously. It feels kind of lousy having to return to work after a long break but we were left with no choice as this was a one time requirement.

Anyway, I did manage to get winched this time round. It was one in a kind of experience being in the open sea, waiting for the helicopter to pick you up — just like in “The Guardian” if you’ve watched that movie. We’ve been warned that the down wash created by the helicopter would be painful but I felt otherwise. In fact, it feels just like a big shower-head splashing water over you and I simply love that kind of feeling.

The downside is the dirty and salty sea water which I almost gulped down my throat while jumping off the boat. Not forgetting how tedious it was for the logistics support, which is to launch and de-launch the boats, especially during low tides.

PS: I’ve found out a quick and effective way for one to get tanned easily.

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Life without glasses

Is simply fantastic! It has been a month since I went for my PRK surgery and the experience is unique and satisfying. During this one month, I realised many benefits of not wearing spectacles and this includes:

  • No worries about glasses fogging up when leaving an air conditioned room/bus to a warmer environment.
  • No more cleaning of glasses and worrying about scratches, fingerprints.
  • Losing of spectacles, damaged etc. and many more.

However, I must admit that I felt a little uncomfortable initially without spectacles as my eyes are small and most of my friends noticed that. Furthermore, I have the habit of feeling for my glasses to make sure they are still properly fitted as well as adjusting it. This caused me to feel for my spectacles every now and then before I realized that I’m no longer wearing one. The only short-term hassle I face for now is the need to apply eye drops every few hours to aid the recovery and avoiding glares.

Nonetheless, no words can describe how amazing this surgery has done to my life. I cannot be more thankful to the doctors whom have made this possible, in particular to Dr. Lim from my air grading course as well as god for his guidance and arrangements.

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Time's up, now get back to work

Having spent 2 weeks at home from my PRK surgery medical leave, honestly, I dread of going back to work tomorrow. Although these 2 weeks have been a stay home to rest boring period, I appreciate the break and personal time I’ve gotten. I wonder how much have I missed out from work during these 2 weeks since my fellow course mates must have studied quite a bit from the thick stack of notes for ground school — not that I’ve missed out a lot since ground school have not officially started.

Gone are the days where I’ve been sleeping past 7am on weekdays for the last 2 weeks, taking afternoon naps and not having to think of what to expect for the day while on the way to work. It was definitely great though I feel that I’m getting lazy and unfit — things not within my control since I can’t take part in any strenuous physical activities and that the weather is not favorable anyway. I hope tomorrow will be a great day as my colleagues have been telling me there are many changes (again) to the work environment and have advised me to sit tight for the changes.

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Just some thoughts and updates

It has been almost a week since I last blog. It could be plain laziness or simply because I’m too occupied with other issues on hand, which I have no idea what exactly it is. Somehow, ideas and thoughts have been popping up in my head and I have been trying to write it without success.

Recently, there have been many changes in terms of regimentation and environment at my workplace. In the past, regimentation was not really enforced strictly and the way of life is very much relaxing and easy going. However, we have been told that things are tightening up due to that fact that someone apparently “burnt the bridge” and pissed off some senior folks. This in return sparked a chain of events that led to everyone’s dissatisfaction and frustration. So, what exactly has been enforced at this point of them? In short, here’s a list of some of the changes:

  • Marching from point to point, includes booking in or out of camp
  • Half-marching when moving within buildings
  • Wearing of head-dress within buildings, etc.

If you have not realized, these rules actually mimic the standards of OCS. As a cadet, I’m so used to such regimentation that it does not really affect me when the rules were being enforced. Of course, this does not necessarily means I like this kind of regimentation having seen a place that was once so carefree turning into an OCS like. Still, there’s still more freedom as compared to OCS. I felt that perhaps it was time for such regimentation to be enforced and serve as a form of wake-up call for those who thought that military life is easy-going and slack. However, there must be a balance between the need to strictly enforce the rules and go by the book as well as knowing when to have fun and relax. If you try to rule like an iron fist, not only will your ideas backfire but people will also rebel — part of human nature.

Likewise, as the course sergeant major, discipline comes under my watch — not that I’m perfect but it’s my duty and I try to perform it well. In one of my previous entry, I mentioned about the dilemma and difficulties faced as a course in-charge back then. Somehow, this seems to have returned now that I’ve being appointed with a new role to play and at the same time, the need to maintain interpersonal relations among colleagues and yet being professional while serving my duties. At times, human just can’t seems to understand the rational of things being done and make things even more complicated than ever before!

Enough of regimentation said. On the brighter note, I finally secured my first IPPT silver award today. Surprised you might be but I’ve got to admit that this is my ever first silver award attained in my life. I’m proud of this little achievement as there is some form of significance in it. For one, this will be the last IPPT I’ll be taking at least for the next few months due to the fact that I’ll be going for my eye surgery (vision correction) next week, and will be barred from participating any form of physical activities for at least 3 months. Yes, it is going to be miserable as I can’t swim and I feel crippled without exercising.

I hope the surgery will be a smooth process and hopefully, things will change for the better when I return to work in the next few weeks.

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One year as an officer cadet

Today marks my one year as an officer cadet. You might be wondering why am I still an officer cadet after a year when one is supposed to have commissioned within nine months of training. Actually, I was supposed to have commissioned as an officer three months ago but because I joined the Air Force midway during my professional term back in Engineers, the plan was abandon. As such, it’ll be a long time for me to officer-ship — not at least until I’ve completed my Basic Wings Course.

Reflecting upon, this one year has been tough until I joined the air force and pursue my passion. I’ve been through high and low moments and the numerous tough training which I did not appreciate, especially during my infantry service term back in the Officer Cadet School simply because I wasn’t interested in the stuff I was doing and found it to be off no beneficial to me in future. This was also one of the reasons why I choose to give up commissioning with the rest of the folks in my cohort and join the air force to do something which has always been my child hood ambition.

If you were to ask me have I ever regretted having not chosen to commission as an officer before joining the air force, my answer would be no. I believe that it is more important to pursue my passion and enjoy doing what I want to do rather than charging up a hill or forcing myself to go through the motion. In this manner, you would find that whatever you set out to do would ripe fantastic results and you’ll find that you are actually enjoying the process.

To sum it up, life is pretty quiet now though it could get quite hectic at times due to work. I pretty much enjoy myself although I will still be a trainee and officer cadet for at least another year and a half. On the other hand, I’ve learned to accept things or ideas with an open mind and tackle it one step at a time, thus filling my life with excitement!

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Bowling

One of the most talked about activity in the organisation I work for is Team Building, Team Learning (TBTL). In fact, I would say it is such an important foundation as many missions or even simple task could fail without teamwork. Thus, every now and then, there would be activities organized to foster team cohesion and bonding.

It was supposed to be an outdoor activity with the senior course today at East Coast Park but due to the unforeseen whether, the organizers decided to activate their wet whether program, which is bowling. Initially, I was apprehensive about it as I’ve never bowled before in my entire life and this would be my first time. Anyway, I decided to give it a shot as I’m keen to see if I’ve aptitude for bowling.

In my opinion, there’s always a first time in everything. I’m glad I’ve opened up my narrowed-minded-vision and have the dare-to-try attitude — all within safe and comfortable zone. Many times, I realized that one dare not accept a challenge as it is always preferred to stay within one’s comfort zone. However, if we dare not step out and get our hands and feet working, there’ll always never be the first time and frankly speaking, how many chances do we have in life? I always believe that once you miss something, there may or may not be another opportunity.

Reflecting upon, since this year, I’ve managed to pick up, try or even learn something which I’ve always wanted to but never really go beyond the first step. Now that I’m still young and full of energy, I hope to be able to try as many things that are within my limits and through this “searching” process, hopefully, I would able to set my goals in life and do something which is meant for me in life.

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Patroit's walk

As part of the four days Common Officer-ship Training (COT) course after the Air Force Service Term (AFST), one of the key highlights for the course was patriot’s walk. In short, it was an event that requires us to walk through the Singapore Civil District in small groups and learn about our past. Initially, I thought it was just another boring walk and a waste of time as not only do I have to arrive at camp earlier than usual, the subject just doesn’t seems interesting at all.

However, when I arrive at the City Hall area, it was a completely different atmosphere and setting. Never have I stepped into the city area so early in the morning and it is a total different kind of feeling. The city is quiet and peaceful, the sun is rising and it’s amazing to see the city and people awaking to another day in life. Nonetheless, the activity soon kicked start and each team started buzzing off to their respective trails and checkpoints.

Along the way, I realized that it could be a fun and interactive activity after all. Although I’ve participated in many excursions and visits to historical sites and monuments during school days, I’ve never actually spent my time walking around the city area to check out the monuments. In fact, I think it is a creative approach to learn and actually see the history rather than reading facts from books. Furthermore, it has helped to bond better team excellence and forced us to know others from the various vocations, which was one of the main objectives of this COT.

All in all, though I felt a little tired towards the end of the activity, I guess I pretty much enjoy the trip and it was definitely fulfilling and enriching way of learning about our past. Maybe, this could be a form of out of classroom learning based concept, which the government has been placing emphasis on it over these few years. What do you think?

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Back home

The past ten days or so seems like a dream but in reality, it is one of the most physically and mentally challenge I’ve experienced thus far. I wasn’t really looking forward for this trip as mentioned in my pre-departure post but I thought it would be a good experience and I might as well learn something out of it. Furthermore, I was mentally prepared for the environment and living conditions that I’ll be expecting based on past experiences. However, this time round, things were not as bad as I thought. Instead, we had a warm welcome from the host and it was a smooth transition except for the delay in our luggage.

Most of the exercise went smoothly and I’m glad I was excused from having to skin a quail. It’s part of the requirement but the team of instructors were compassionate for that I’m a vegetarian and my religion does not permit me in doing so. Anyway, I managed to survive 4 days 3 nights out in the field with no fresh water and food. Even then, though my stomach groans now and then, food didn’t seem to cross my mind. The only thing that demoralized me was the constant rain in the area where we were inserted for survival training.

I realized that I was very lucky as I just managed to scrape through and pass the requirements. I don’t really wish to elaborate on what happened but all I have to say is that I’ve learnt many valuable lessons and seen what true friends are from this exercise. Nevertheless, I’m determined not to let past mistakes happen again.

To sum it up, I’m glad everything is finally over and I’m home safely! Right now, there are many things on mind which I hope I’ll be able to get it done as soon as possible and take a break from everything else.

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Surviving Brunei, once again

I’ll be away from Aug 20 till Aug 30. During this period, I will not be able to update my web log as I have no access to an internet enabled computer. Though it’s only going to be a short trip, I’m definitely not looking forward to this trip as eight months ago, I told myself during one of the exercise back then that no way am I going back to Brunei jungle again.

This time round, the training is going to be more challenging as I’ll be attending a Jungle Survival Training and surviving without food and fresh water for 4 days. Furthermore, we will be given minimum equipment in our field pack to survive out there and we are expected to build an a-frame, a fire place and a trap — all of which using raw materials like vines and tree branches. The so called finale of the jungle survival phase will be escape and evasion. This phase requires us to form a group and navigate our way out of the jungle and back to base camp. Imagine the amount of effort and energy required since we have not been given food for the past 3 days and Brunei’s jungle terrain is not friendly (steep knolls and plenty of thorns everywhere). I hope I’ll be able to survive that!

Looking at the positive side, I think this would be my last outfield. After which, I’ll be able to “archive” my field pack and other outfield related items as I will no longer need them. Hope I would be able to endure the gruelling 8 days and return safely. Till then, stay tuned for post-trip updates.

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Another chapter closed

Today marks the end of my seven weeks of Air Force Service Term (AFST) training in the Officer Cadet School (OCS). I must say time passes very fast and seven weeks just seems to vanish at the snap of a finger. This training is one of most enjoyable and memorable one as compared to my pre-infantry training back in OCS last December. Not only have I made a bunch of new friends from other vocations, I’ve also learnt many values, leadership qualities and how to handle various situations as well as to lead a team of people and get things done.

I mentioned in one of my posts that this service term training would be a good break from my previous routines and I aim to give my best. In every course, there would be ups and downs but I’ve not really seen any major issues in this course except for the occasional miscommunications and debates. I guess the Air Force culture is different and the people have a set of positive mindsets and thinking. The way things are done are more professional and efficient and this could be one of the factors why my stay in OCS Air Wing is enjoyable. The trainees are given more freedom and say in terms of the way things are being run and executed and this has greatly helped in many areas.

I’m not sure if the rest have this feeling in their hearts but honestly speaking, I’ve never felt “sour” when it was time to hand over the bunks and leave the place. Air Wing has more or less became my second home over these few weeks. Nonetheless, I guess it’s time to move on to the next chapter of my training back in Air Force School. Before I end, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the instructors and fellow course mates whom have made my stay in OCS Air Wing an enriching, memorable and enjoyable one.

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Rock climbing

Today was the first time I ever attempted to rock climb in my life! All these while, I thought rock climbing was an easy task until I actually starting climbing up the artificial rocks. Though I did not managed to completely climb up to the top, I guess it was enjoyable and a great experience. Not only have I learned more about rock climbing (the equipment, safety requirements etc.), I’ve also understand the importance of teamwork, especially your buddy at the bottom holding on to the rope that’s attached to my safety harness.

Every step that I take is physically challenging. I realized that it takes a lot of determination, analytical thinking, proper coordination between the legs and hands as well as muscles to reach the top. There were moments where I was really exhausted and my forearms muscles were screaming in pain. By right, I should be using more of my legs to assist me in climbing instead of using arm power. I guess with more practice, I will be able to complete the entire climb without much effort.

Coming Thursday would be the last exam for this service term and Friday would be the IPPT test. I hope I’ll be able to do well in both and at least improve on my results as compared to the previous ones.

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Time travel

Last week, I wrote about feeling anxious, excited and yet looking forward to attend my AFST back in OCS after a long wait. Little did I realize that one week came and went at the blink of an eye and not only have I made new friends, I’ve was also elected to hold wing appointment for a week. Being a senior cadet (I crossed over to Air Force after completing my infantry service term), I was prepared to hold wing appointment having heard from my friends that Air Wing practices a cadet management system. Naturally, I was appointed as a Cadet Squadron Commander for a week — the role is similar to that of a sergeant major [1].

Typically, holding an appointment means more workload and responsibilities. Nevertheless, I’m grateful to be given an opportunity to prove my abilities and apply leadership qualities which I’ve learnt. Though there are times I’m in a dilemma or being thrown a difficult situation to resolve, I have learnt how to strive a balance between friendship and duties. All of these are part and parcel of the core value lessons that were taught to us.

Life in OCS Air Wing is different. The atmosphere, environment and approach of working and resolving issues are different as compared to the others. Lectures makes up about 80% of the training program while the other 20% consists of physical, team bonding and sports and games activities. I would say that there is a difference in culture among the tri-services in the armed forces though we share the common goal — that is to defend our country.

In 6 weeks time, I’ll be leaving to Brunei (yet again) for JST. By then, it would have mark the end of my entire course and I would have completed the identity transformation.

[1] Sergeant Major — Refers to a non-commissioned officer (NCO) who ensures discipline among soldiers and conducting parades.

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Identity transformation

For the next 8 weeks, I won’t be able to write as often as I’ll be going back to the Officer Cadet School (OCS) for my Air Force Service Term (AFST). This means I’ll be staying in camp on weekdays and only return home during weekend. Frankly speaking, I look forward to attend this course as it’ll be a good break from my usual routine for the past 4 months, as well as undergoing some form of identity transformation from an infantry trained soldier to an air force trainee.

I’ll try to keep this web log updated whenever I have extra time to spare or manage to secure an internet connection. As compared to the last 2 months, though things will be a little quiet here, do remember and continue to visit this site for updates!

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One year and moving on

During this time last year, I surrendered my pink identity card [1] in exchange for a green identity card (IC) [2]. My rather short hair was completely shaved to about a centimeter as I began another journey of my life. Gone were the days of personal time and freedom in exchange for a rather regimental routine.

Today also marks the day where I’m suppose to commission as an officer with the armed forces. This dream have been put on hold as my path changed abruptly when I crossed over from Combat Engineers during my professional term in Officer Cadet School (OCS) to join the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) as a Pilot Trainee. Many have asked when will I commission and my answer is no definite timeframe. This is because unlike the normal officer cadet training in OCS, I’m not guaranteed an officership until I’ve successfully completed my Basic Wing Course which will commence in June 2007, lasting between nine months to a year. Thus, I’ve sort of taken a risk by foregoing my previous training in OCS to pursue my childhood ambition.

I’m not due to return to civilian life as per planned because of a bond I’ve signed. Although there are moments I ponder if I’ve made the right choice, especially after seeing the insights of the organisation I work in. Nonetheless, the choice has been made and I hope I’ll be able to complete my course successfully because of the many sacrifices made.

[1] Pink identity card — All Singapore citizens holds a pink colour identity card as a form of identification.

[2] Green identity card — All Singapore military personnel surrenders his pink identity card in exchange for a green identity card (11B) as a form of identification.

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Back in shape

My fitness have more or less gone back to the pre Tamworth trip level after one week of self motivated workout sessions. Just before I left for air grading, I did not managed to clear my IPPT. Hence, I was determined to push myself harder and clear my IPPT because this will indirectly affect my career progress. I’m glad my determination rewarded me duly as I’ve cleared my IPPT today. Though it’s just a “pass”, it’s definitely a big improvement as compared to previously.

Coming next week, I’ll be on one solid week of annual leave and I’ll consider this a reward from clearing IPPT. I’ve got a list of things lined up during one week of break and I hope I’ll have the time to complete and update some of the existing features I’ve long wanted to implement on this site!

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Inconvenience of 2 cell phones

As the military camp does not allow the use of camera phones, I have to resort to switching between my old Nokia 6610 on weekdays and my camera phone on weekends. Not only does this bring great inconvenience everything I make the switch, I have to ensure that my contacts on both phones are synchronized. This can be a hassle as I have to manually take note of which contacts have changed and copy it to my SIM card so that I can recopy it to my camera phone while making the switch.

Thus, can anyone please advice if there are any other easier methods? Note that most new phones store its contact information on the phone instead of the SIM card. Yes, I can still view my contacts from the SIM card but it is more troublesome.

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Heading home

On my way back to Singapore, I saw this interesting signboard at Sydney international airport

Interesting signboard in Sydney International Airport

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End of course

I’ve come thus far and today officially mark the end of our air grading course. I must say I’ve learnt and increased my knowledge on what flying is all about during this trip and it had definitely been a memorable and wonderful experience – in terms of both flying as well as social life!

It was a blessing that there wasn’t any major disciplinary issues throughout our stay and apart from this, we were blessed with a good course commander whom is someone really more than an instructor. Though the time spent here isn’t that long, I guess somehow one will feel a little sadness in the air after spending sometime in the environment. But life still has to move on after all.

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Air grading final test updates

After committing a critical mistake during yesterday’s sortie, I was determined not to do so during sortie 14 as well as during the actual test. This means that I have sortie 14 to iron out any other outstanding issues I’m facing before my test, which so happen to be on the same day (just 30 minutes apart). Luckily, sortie 14 proved to be a rewarding sortie as I performed up to standard.

Unfortunately, I felt that I did not perform as well during the actual test sortie. It could be due to mental fatigue or even over-confidence and this led to a poor sortie. I missed out a few procedures but the test instructor was kind enough to point it out and get over with. My flying skills were generally alright except that I was constantly reminded to trim the aircraft so that it does not yaw as much due to strong winds and occasional turbulence. Overall, I was graded a low average but he commented that I need to know how to appreciate the situation and this will help to make me a better pilot (thinking pilot)!

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