Yo, I am planning to jump ship and skip town to Australia to further studies. However, I have a real serious reality problem. With the administrative paperwork not sorted out yet with the proper authorities of all countries, I am planning to default the NS system, as in escape/ evade/ skip/ desert NS. Then I will have another problem, I will be an illegal immigrant of sort due to my country's international passport problem/ expiry date, I will then later be a fugitive and consider to apply for asylum to escape to Australia/ America, I will have to go through the countries' Department of Customs, Immigration and Border checkpoints. How?
Think about it...
If you run away, not only you, your parents pay the price too.
$75,000 of their money will be forfeited and gone to Singapore's $ State Reserve Fund.
The bond amount is $75,000 or an amount equivalent to 50% of the combined annual gross income of both your parents for the preceding year, whichever is higher.
You will not be able to travel to Singapore, even while on transit/ connecting flights...
If you want to meet your parents/ relatives living in Singapore, either they take a flight to visit you or both parties travel to neighouring Malaysia's Johor state to meet you.
Your honourable parents to lose their $75,000 retirement money just because their ungrateful son's immature, unfilial, foolish and cowardly impending thinking and action.
We dare you to skip town altogether. Let us see who have the last laugh then.
Inspiring stories of the sons of Singapore returning to Singapore to dutifully serve NS:
The advice before you even think twice and thrice about this is take a good look at your parents. They will be penalised severely by all the government agencies and their CPF retirement fund will be greatly forfeited to be reduced to peanuts for their old age maintenance... Look at this very seriously unless your parents truly give you blessings and forgiveness if they have the guts and money to throw away for donation to the government coffers/ bank vault as thank you for your contribution to nation building. Change very single biological stuff such as your name, fingerprints, cornea/ iris, hair and all other biometric body parts that the checkpoint authority will scan at the borders should and if you are granted Australian/ US green card.
If you are
between 13 and 16.5 years old:
You need to apply for an exit permit if you intend to travel or remain overseas for 3 months or longer. If you are remaining overseas for 2 years or longer, your parents/guardians will also need to furnish a bond, in the form of a Banker's Guarantee of S$75,000 or 50% of the combined annual gross income of both parents for the preceding year, whichever is higher.
If you are above 16.5 and have not enlisted for NS:
You need to apply for an exit permit if you intend to travel or remain overseas for 3 months or longer. Your parents/guardians will need to furnish a bond, in the form of a Banker's Guarantee of S$75,000 or 50% of the combined annual gross income of both parents for the preceding year, whichever is higher.
Those who require exit permit of 2 years or longer will be required to furnish a bond. This bonding requirement is similar to the current arrangement where security in the form of Banker's Guarantee must be furnished. The amount of the security bond is S$75,000 or 50% of the combined gross annual income of both parents for the preceding year, whichever is higher. The monetary bond requirement for male citizens who accompany their parents on overseas employment may be waived and they be bonded by deed with two sureties.
Why must MINDEF impose exit controls on NS-liable
Exit controls are necessary to ensure that NS-liable males who have gone overseas to study or reside at a young age return to fulfil their NS responsibilities.
Will young males aged 13 to 16.5 who fail to apply for an exit permit be sentenced to imprisonment?
The penalty for exit permit offences of young males aged 13 to 16.5 will be a fine of up to $2,000, with no custodial sentences. They will however be subjected to harsher penalties should they continue to breach of the Enlistment Act after age 16.5.
Males above 16.5 years who travel and remain overseas without applying for an exit permit would have committed an offence under the Enlistment Act. They will be liable upon conviction to a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or both.
Those who are liable to serve national service but refuse are charged under the Enlistment Act. If convicted, they face three years' imprisonment and a fine of S$10,000.
In parliament, Defence Minister provided some illustration of the punishments defaulters would face:
Each year, a small number of people are convicted for their failure to enlist or refusal to be conscripted. Most of them were Jehovah's Witnesses, who are usually court-martialled and sentenced to three years' imprisonment, but they are usually held in a low-security detention facility and separated from other conscription offenders. The government does not consider conscientious objection to be a legal reason for refusal to serve NS. Since 1972, the publications of Jehovah's Witnesses have been outlawed in Singapore. This is commonly misinterpreted to mean that Jehovah's Witnesses themselves are outlawed in Singapore.
National-service-liable males who migrated from Singapore before
age 11 and have not enjoyed significant socio-economic benefits of
citizenship (e.g., applied for a Singapore identity card or studied
in Singapore beyond the age of 11) are allowed to renounce their
Singapore citizenship, but not before they turn 21.
Until then, they are required to register for national service with Central Manpower Base and apply for a deferment.
After turning 21, they are then eligible to renounce their Singapore citizenship.
Generally, those who left Singapore after the age of 11 will be deemed to have enjoyed the socio-economic benefits of Singapore. They will not be allowed to renounce their Singapore citizenship without fulfilling NS obligations.
Singapore does not recognise dual citizenship. If your son decides to retain his Singapore Citizenship upon reaching 21 years of age, he is required to renounce his foreign citizenship.
Enlistment Act, NS-liable persons are enlisted at the earliest
opportunity upon turning 18 years old. For those who are studying,
MINDEF does allow some flexibility for them to complete their
full-time studies up to the GCE 'A' Levels or Polytechnic Diploma
(or their equivalent), both locally and overseas, before enlisting
for NS. Those who have already embarked on their full-time studies
but who do not meet the deferment conditions, will have to disrupt
their studies and be enlisted for NS at the earliest opportunity
scheduled by the Central Manpower Base (CMPB), including those who
take up Singapore Permanent Residency in the midst of their
Local Studies in Government Schools
GCE 'A' Level Studies and International Baccalaureate (IB) Studies
NS-liable persons will be granted deferment for GCE 'A' Level and IB studies (and their equivalent) at Junior Colleges/ Millennia Institute/ Integrated Programme (IP) schools if they are able to commence the course* before 19 years old (for Secondary 4 students) or 20 years old (for Secondary 5 students), as at 1st January of the course commencement year.
* For NS-liable persons who are pursuing their GCE 'A' Levels or IB in the IP schools, the deferment cut-off age will apply to the 5th year of study.
Exceptions may be considered for students who do not meet these deferment cut-off ages, but are able to gain admission into Junior Colleges/ Millennia Institute/ IP schools.
NS-liable persons who are returning from overseas and who wish to pursue studies in Junior Colleges/ Millennia Institute/ IP schools must seek prior approval from CMPB. They must do so before applying through the Ministry of Education (MOE)'s School Placement Exercise for Returning Singaporeans - Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute (SPERS-JC/MI), or before applying directly to the Junior Colleges/ Millennia Institute/ IP Schools. Persons who are deemed to have already attained a first education bar qualification (defined as GCE 'A' Levels, Polytechnic Diploma or equivalent qualifications), be it locally or overseas, will not be granted deferment to pursue another first education bar qualification or another qualification below first education bar.
Persons who have failed their General Paper (GP)/ Knowledge & Inquiry (KI) or obtained less than 3 H2 passes (excluding KI) in one sitting of the GCE 'A' Level examination will be considered for further deferment to repeat their GCE 'A' Level studies on a full-time basis, subject to one repeat only. Persons who have failed to attain the IB qualification will also be considered for further deferment to repeat their IB studies on a full-time basis, subject to one repeat only.
Polytechnic Diploma Studies
NS-liable persons will be granted deferment for Polytechnic Diploma studies (including Polytechnic Diploma through the Polytechnic Foundation Programme) and its equivalent qualifications (e.g. courses at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) or the LaSalle College of the Arts) if they are able to commence the course before 19 years old (for Secondary 4 students) or 20 years old (for Secondary 5 students), as at 1st January of the course commencement year.
NS-liable persons who graduated with NITEC/Higher NITEC qualification from ITE Colleges will be granted deferment for Polytechnic Diploma studies and its equivalent qualifications if they are able to commence the course before 21 years old as at 1st January of the course commencement year. Applications for deferment from ITE graduates who are above 21 years old as at 1st January of their course commencement year will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
NS-liable persons who are returning from overseas and who wish to pursue Polytechnic Diploma studies and its equivalent qualifications must seek prior approval from CMPB before applying for their intended course of study. Persons who are deemed to have already attained a first education bar qualification (defined as GCE 'A' Levels, Polytechnic Diploma or equivalent qualifications), be it locally or overseas, will not be granted deferment to pursue another first education bar qualification or another qualification below first education bar.
Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Diploma Studies
NS-liable persons who completed NITEC or Higher NITEC studies at ITE Colleges, will be granted deferment to pursue the Technical Engineer Diploma (TED) or Technical Diploma (TD) programmes at ITE Colleges if they are able to commence the course before 21 years old, as at 1st January of the course commencement year. They will be granted deferment to complete the academic phase only, and will be enlisted for full-time NS at the earliest opportunity upon completion of the academic phase. Deferment will not be granted for work attachments and internships. Applications for deferment from ITE graduates who are above 21 years old as at 1st January of their course commencement year will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
NS-liable persons who are returning from overseas and who wish to pursue ITE Diploma studies must seek prior approval from CMPB before applying for their intended course of study. Persons who are deemed to have already attained a first education bar qualification (defined as GCE 'A' Levels, Polytechnic Diploma or equivalent qualifications), be it locally or overseas, will not be granted deferment to pursue another first education bar qualification or another qualification below first education bar.
NITEC and Higher NITEC Studies
NS-liable persons will be granted deferment for NITEC or Higher NITEC courses at ITE Colleges if they are able to commence the course before 19 years old (for Secondary 4 students) or 20 years old (for Secondary 5 students), as at 1st January of the course commencement year.
NS-liable persons who graduated with NITEC qualification from ITE Colleges will also be granted deferment for Higher NITEC courses if they are able to commence the course at ITE Colleges before 20 years old, as at 1st January of the course commencement year.
NS-liable persons who are returning from overseas and who wish to pursue NITEC or Higher NITEC studies at ITE Colleges must seek prior approval from CMPB before applying for their intended course of study. Persons who are deemed to have already attained a first education bar qualification (defined as GCE 'A' Levels, Polytechnic Diploma or equivalent qualifications), be it locally or overseas, will not be granted deferment to pursue another first education bar qualification or another qualification below first education bar.
GCE 'O' and 'N' Level Courses
NS-liable persons will generally be granted deferment to pursue GCE 'O' and 'N' Level studies at government, government-aided or independent secondary schools.
An extension of deferment may be granted for those who wish to repeat their GCE 'N' or 'O' Level studies on a full-time basis, subject to one repeat only.
Local Private Courses
NS-liable persons who graduated before September 2011 may be granted deferment to pursue full-time studies (up to the GCE 'A' Levels, Polytechnic Diploma or equivalent qualifications) at private institutions registered with the Council for Private Education (CPE), if they are able to commence the course before 18 years old, as at 1st January of the course commencement year. NS-liable persons graduating from September 2011 onwards may be granted deferment to pursue full-time studies (up to the GCE 'A' Levels, Polytechnic Diploma or equivalent qualifications) at private institutions registered with the CPE, if they are able to commence their courses before 19 years old (for Secondary 4 students) or 20 years old (for Secondary 5 & ITE students), as at 1st January of the course commencement year. The higher cut-off age will apply to courses commencing from 1st January 2012 onwards.
Deferment for private courses will be considered on a stage-by-stage basis (i.e. a Certificate course and a Diploma course, if packaged together, will be treated as separate courses for the purpose of granting deferment). A new application for deferment must be made before the commencement of a new stage of studies. Deferment for the new stage of studies will be subject to the same cut-off age stated in the preceding paragraph.
NS-liable persons who graduated before September 2011 may be granted deferment to pursue full-time overseas studies (up to the GCE 'A' Levels, Polytechnic Diploma or their equivalent qualifications) if they are able to commence the course before 18 years old, as at 1st January of the course commencement year. NS-liable persons graduating from September 2011 onwards may be granted deferment to pursue full-time overseas studies (up to the GCE 'A' Levels, Polytechnic Diploma or their equivalent qualifications) if they are able to commence their courses before 19 years old (for Secondary 4 students) or 20 years old (for Secondary 5 & ITE students), as at 1st January of the course commencement year. The higher cut-off age will apply to courses commencing from 1st January 2012 onwards.
NS-liable persons will be required to apply for an exit permit for overseas trips of 3 months and longer and will be required to furnish a bond of $75,000 or an amount equivalent to 50% of the combined annual gross income of both parents for the preceding year, whichever is higher.
Application for Deferment
NS-liable persons may apply for deferment online at the NS portal (http://www.ns.sg) during NS registration and pre-enlistment documentation.
Those applying for deferment to pursue local studies may be required to furnish documentary proof for verification upon CMPB's request. Upon CMPB's request, they will be required to submit to CMPB a letter from their school certifying their enrolment, their course of study, as well as their course commencement and completion dates.
Those applying for deferment to pursue overseas studies must submit to CMPB a letter from their school certifying their enrolment, their course of study as well as their course commencement and completion dates. In addition, they must submit their parents' Income Tax Notices of Assessment (both local and overseas) for the preceding year.
Those who subsequently wish to pursue or switch to a new course or institution must seek prior approval from CMPB.
Notes: The information provided in this website are general guidelines. For further details, you may wish to contact the NS Call Centre at [email protected] or Tel:1800-3676767 (eNSNSNS).
Singapore Statutes: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg
1. The NS Enlistment Act.
2. SAF Act
Absence without leave
22. —(1) Every person subject to military law who is absent without leave from service in the Singapore Armed Forces or from the place where he is lawfully required for the time being to be shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction by a subordinate military court to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or any less punishment authorised by this Act.
(2) It shall be a defence for any person charged under this section to prove that his absence was a result of circumstances over which he had no control.
23. —(1) Every person subject to military law who deserts shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction by a subordinate military court to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or any less punishment authorised by this Act.
(2) For the purposes of this section, a person deserts if he —
(a) leaves or fails to attend at his place of duty in the Singapore Armed Forces with the intention of remaining permanently absent from duty without lawful authority, or, having left or failed to attend at his place of duty in the Singapore Armed Forces, thereafter forms the like intention; or
(b) absents himself without leave with intent to avoid service or any particular service before the enemy,
and references in this Act to desertion shall be construed accordingly.
(a) fails to report the fact without delay; or
(b) fails to take any steps within his power to cause that person to be apprehended,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction by a subordinate military court to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or any less punishment authorised by this Act.
Q12. If MINDEF continues with passport controls, how
many pre-enlistees would be inconvenienced by having to apply for a
new biometric passport every year?
According to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, there are approximately 120,000 pre-registrants (males aged 11 to 16½) and 100,000 registrants (males aged 16½ to enlistment) passport holders. With the passport validity of pre-registrants and registrants capped at 2 years and 1 year respectively, we would expect a pre-registrant to have to apply for a new passport once in 2 years and a registrant once a year. On average, 100,000 have their passports extended annually.
Military Justice System in the
The military justice system in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is expected to treat every service personnel fairly and equally, regardless of race, rank or vocation.
2. Multi-levelled Approach
The military justice system is based on the SAF Act, which was implemented in 1972. All servicemen are subjected to the SAF Act, SAF Regulations, and orders of whatever form issued pursuant to them.
While discipline is paramount in the military, not all offences committed by SAF servicemen are dealt with by formal investigations and charges. Essentially, offenders can be dealt with either by way of informal or formal punishment systems.
3. Informal Punishment System
Commanders are empowered to mete out informal punishments like push-ups and weekend confinement to servicemen who have committed disciplinary breaches, like being late, sluggish, or improperly dressed.
4. Formal Punishment System
If the offence that a serviceman committed is of a more serious nature, he may be formally dealt with by his disciplinary officer by way of a summary trial, or brought before a subordinate military court (more commonly known as the General Court Martial or GCM).
(a) Summary Trial
The offences that can be dealt with by summary trial are essentially military offences, such as absence without leave (AWOL), non-compliance with lawful orders or insubordination.
Depending on the rank of the serviceman in question, and the type of the disciplinary body hearing the case, the possible sentences that may be imposed can vary, and these can include fines or detention.
The summary trial is carried out in accordance with relevant SAF regulations, and the records of the summary trial are sent to the office of the Director, Legal Services of the SAF.
(b) General Court Martial
The General Court Martial exists as a separate forum from that of the summary trial. Unlike the summary trial, the GCM can deal with a wider range of offences, and can impose a wider range of punishments including imprisonment and discharge, on top of sentences like detention and fines. The GCM is also a more public and open forum, and its proceedings are conducted using similar legal rules and procedures as those used in a civil criminal court.
Generally, only serious offences investigated by the Military Police Command, and which are referred to the office of the Director of Legal Services, will result in the accused serviceman being charged in a GCM. In such a case, a military prosecutor will draw up a formal charge sheet and present it before the GCM.
General Courts Martial can be further sub-divided into two categories, namely the Panel Courts Martial - consisting of a President and usually two other members, and Judge Courts Martial - consisting of a single President only.
Currently, the practice is for military offences to be heard by Panel Courts Martial, while civil offences like misuse of drugs and penal code offences may be dealt with by a Judge Court Martial.
The current policy is also for an NSman, who is or was a District Judge in the Subordinate Courts, to preside in a GCM. There are currently 10 NSmen who have been appointed by the Armed Forces Council to perform duty as President of a court martial. They are rostered by the Registrar of the Subordinate Military Court to hear cases during their in-camp training. In the case of a Panel Court Martial, the other two members are rostered from among some 155 military officers appointed by the Chief of Defence Force.
5. Ways to Seek Redress
There are numerous safeguards and avenues set out in the military justice system for an SAF serviceman to seek redress if he is unhappy about the punishment imposed on him.
Generally, a serviceman who is dissatisfied with an informal punishment meted out to him may request a higher level commander to review the punishment, or request for formal disciplinary dealing.
In the case of a summary trial, a serviceman brought before the disciplinary officer may elect instead to be tried by a court martial. Alternatively, an aggrieved serviceman may request that his conviction or punishment imposed at the summary trial be reviewed by MINDEF's Director Manpower (a delegated authority of the Armed Forces Council).
In the case of a GCM, a serviceman may choose to be represented by a lawyer or an SAF defending officer if his case will be heard by a court martial. The SAF has about 200 trained defending officers. While an SAF defending officer comes free to the serviceman, he has to bear the cost of engaging a lawyer. At the end of the trial, a serviceman who is dissatisfied with the decision of the court martial may petition the Reviewing Authority (the AFC or a committee of its members) for a review of his case. The serviceman can also appeal to the Military Court of Appeal (MCA) for a reconsideration of his conviction, or his sentence, or both.
The MCA, when convened to hear an appeal, sits as a panel of five members. Heading the MCA is a President, who is appointed by the Chief Justice. By law, he must be a person qualified to be a Judge of the Supreme Court. The current President of the MCA is Justice Choo Han Teck. Four other members - two civilian members who are qualified legal practitioners with at least five years experience each, and two senior military officers - make up the rest of the MCA. The MCA is the highest court in the military justice system.
6. Impartial Hearings
It is important to recognise that the GCM and the MCA are tribunals headed by presidents who are outside the SAF chain of command.
Being an "outsider", the president of these forums will hear the case impartially like any other civil criminal case. The proceedings in the GCM and the MCA are also heard in a public forum, and these military courts adopt many of the same legal procedures and safeguards as that used in the civil criminal courts. All servicemen formally charged with an offence can bring their case to these forums.
Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command
(SAFMPC/ æ–°åŠ å�¡æ¦è£…éƒ¨é˜Ÿå®ªå…µå�¸ä»¤éƒ¨)
The formation is headed by the Command Headquarters which oversees its daily operations, and supported by four units specialising in the various specific operational responsibilities of the SAF MPC.
The four units are:
Military Police Enforcement Unit (MPEU): The unit consists of the Law Enforcement and Ceremonial Company (LECC), the Security Operation Unit (SOU) and the Special Security and Protection (SSP) Branch. It is the active wing of the SAF MPC and executes most of the operational and ceremonial duties and roles carried out by the SAF MPC.
The LECC was formed by combining the former Active Provost Company (APC) and the former Zone Provost Company (ZPC). Its duties include most of the important ceremonial duties required within the SAF as previously handled by the APC, and a traffic platoon which ensures the compliance of traffic regulations by military personnel on the road as well as performing escort duties. It also performs regular raids for contraband and/or miscreants on various camps of the SAF as was conducted by the ZPC. Enforcement Platoon (also known as Platoon 2) performs regular operations in residential areas, workplaces, and many public places such as shopping centres, clubs and eating outlets to apprehend deserters, AWOLoffenders, drug addicts and other military criminals. They work closely with the Singapore Police Force and are often in very dangerous situations and are extremely well trained for handling the varied scenarios that they find themselves in. This is also the platoon that enforces the public image of the SAF by booking offenders who smoke in uniform and commit other offences in uniform while in the eye of the public. It is worth noting that they perform undercover security operations for high-key events like the National Day Parade and the Youth Olympic Games. The security of Mowbray Station is overseen by a platoon who is also in charge of registering and detaining suspects and offenders of military crimes in holding cells. The station is similar to a civilian police station and it is usually the first stop for detainees before their transfer to the detention barracks after conviction in military courts, or a temporary holding cell for servicemen placed under Closed Arrest. The investigative branch for the SAF, the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) investigates higher-order military crimes that requires specialised handling. Since 31 December 8, MPEU has heralded the inclusion of a new branch within its ranks. The Security Support and Protection (SSP) Branch is involved in sensitive operations so no further information is available.
SAF Detention Barracks (SAFDB): Headed by a commandant, DB consists of MPs in charge of supervision of detainees of the SAF who have been convicted in military courts.
Military Police Training School (MPTS): Formerly known as the School of Provost, MPTS is in charge of equipping trainees with necessary and fundamental military policing skills as well as instilling in them a high standard of discipline through the vocational courses and specialised courses such as the Silent Precision Drill Courses. MPTS also legislation courses for senior commanders all over the SAF. In addition, the SAF Military Working Dog Unit is a wing under MPTS and it is in charge of all dog training and doctrine matters of the SAF.
SAF MP Command Head Quarters (HQ): The Head Quarters of the Command comprises various branches, namely the Human Resource (HR), Intelligences and Security Branch (ISB), General Staff Branch (GS), the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) and Logistic Branch. Each branch is headed by a branch head who serves concurrently as the Command's Manpower, Intelligence, Ops and Training and Logistics Officer.
NS have counselling hotlines for you to call if need
The counsellors are experienced professionals.
You can call them at the following counselling hotlines:
If you think you have been treated unfairly, you can bring up the case to your Commander. We will listen to your case. Do remember to bring along all facts and supporting documents.
We will do our best to address your concerns. Servicemen are to seek redress through proper channels. Together, we can address your issue more expeditiously.
The SAF seeks to promote the well-being of every serviceman
counselling support for those whom might be facing difficulties coping with their
personal or work/training related problems. Servicemen who are experiencing
difficulties can seek help through the avenues described below.
Commander interviews of all recruits are conducted within 48 hours of enlistment into full-time NS. Regular interviews are subsequently conducted on a monthly basis during the PTP/BMT phase. Special interviews are also granted upon request. Servicemen can highlight their difficulties during these interviews for assistance.
Orientation Officers identify, assist and counsel BMT recruits with adjustment
and/or other personal problems.
NS SAF Counselling Hotline is a 24-hour confidential telephone
counselling service provided by the SAF Counselling Centre. Manned by
trained counselling personnel, the SAF Counselling Hotline offers a crisis
and telephone counselling service to all servicemen. Callers may
choose to remain anonymous. Face to face counselling is also available
at the SAF Counselling Centre upon request/referral.
SAF Paracounselling Scheme complements other existing counselling
services and provides another avenue of help at the unit level for those who
need help to deal more effectively with their problems. Paracounsellors are
specially selected, trained by and work closely under the professional guidance
and support of counsellors from the SAF Counselling Centre. Paracounsellors
can be identified through their identification badges as well as through publicity
posters displayed in their units.
Being psychologically prepared is all about knowing what to expect and being prepared for it.
To be better prepared, you can participate in Total Defence activities and Open Houses organised by the SAF/SPF/SCDF.
Perhaps you should also talk to your family members and friends who have lived the NS experience. The more you discuss with others, the more comfortable and mentally prepared you’ll become.
Because NS life is different from civilian life before enlistment, there are many adjustments you need to make.
A good way to cope is to get support from your buddy and fellow recruits. They are going through the same tough training as you, so talking to one another will help relieve some tension.
In most evenings during your leisure time, you’ll also have some time to call your family or loved ones to talk. They can give you emotional support during NS.
You can have a one-on-one interview sessions with your officer to highlight any problems you may have. If you have a personal or family problem that need to be addressed, do let the officer know—he may be able to give you some advice or time off to settle your problems.
Life in NS revolves around structure, routine and discipline. This helps us stay united as a uniformed organisation as well as imparts the rigours necessary to protect our nation and citizens.
This does not mean there is just work and no play. In fact, after a few weeks in NS and you’ll find new friends and new reasons to smile!
As a soldier, one of the biggest adjustments you’ll have to make quickly is in regimentation and discipline.
Being in a uniformed organisation, you’ll have to obey orders from your superiors. Thus some of you may feel a sudden lack of freedom to do what you want and you may find yourself having difficulties accepting authority initially.
Regimentation and discipline build strong character and toughness, so that you’ll be tough enough to handle difficult combat, crime-fighting or rescue situations without giving up or breaking down.
When you first enlist into NS, you may have concerns of being in a new territory, with new faces and new things to do. But don’t let this get to you. Just remember the saying that “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going”.
Following are some tips on what you can do to prepare yourself psychologically:
You can also speak to your friends or family members who have been through NS. Ask them to share their stories. The sharing will help you reduce some of your fears, uncertainties and doubts.
During NS you’ll be living with different people.
Because these people come from different backgrounds, they may not think like you do or react to situations like you would. Instead of trying to select your type of people, you should cherish the diversity. This is a chance for you to learn more about your fellow mates and their cultures.
You’ll find that you have many opportunities to absorb the different cultures—during training, eating, chatting or just seeing and listening. Take these opportunities and learn from people around you, you’ll have a much better appreciation of Singapore’s cultural diversity.