BMT to ROD

BMT; ROD; 11B; Loose it and you’ll sign the 1206; Drop 10; Book in by 2359; etc…. What’s all these? SMS jargon? For those who have been thru the National Service will know very well what I’m talking about haha. These are the things that most of us wouldn’t like to hear it…. lucky for me, I’ve already completed my Reservist cycle 5 yrs ago.

A recent visit to the NS40 exhibition at the open space near Tampines Mall had prompted me to make this post. Of course the visit brought back many beautiful memories of my army days…

The first thing we received from the 1st booth is this NS40 booklet which you have to get it stamped when you visit the other booth. Upon completion, you can redeem a mini Ali Baba bag! My goodness, I’ve been waiting for so many years to get rid of that bag, and now my wife and kids are trying to get a few more Ali Baba bags….

Here is the NS40 booklet; look like our Reservist Booklet right;

My real Reservist Booklet when I started using it in 1988 till 5yrs ago;

Here is the inside of the NS40 booklet;

While this is the inside of my reservist booklet. Every time I attended my reservist training, I’ve to get it signed and stamped – else….. ;


Many things have changed…even ROD (Run Out Date) has been changed to ORD (can’t remember what it stands for, sorry). National Service was implemented in 1967;

Credit : Straits Times, SPH

Saw this No.3 uniform in the exhibition, which I think should be about 1 ‘generation’ before me;

I didn’t get the chance to wear this No.3 during my army time but was wearing such during my school’s NCC (Air) time.

I was enlisted into the army in 1982. I remember I was picked up by buses at the Geylang Serai (at Haig Road near Blk.1) Community Centre. I was rather nervous (my parents were not there to send me off and I was all alone) as no one brief me what will be happening to me during my stint at NS. We were then taken to CMPB (Central Manpower Base) first and then to our training camp ITD (Infantry Training Depot) at Sembawang.

I didn’t know that the first chin up I was told to do was to sort list me to the respective fitness category – for me it’s Delta (the worst one). Since then, I hated this chin up bar – we had to do chin up before every meal;

Above shows our platoon waiting to do our chin up before a meal (1982).

Though life was though or rather training was tough then, but luckily we had a very good PC (Platoon Commander) who was also going to ROD soon. So he treated us very well even though he was strict at times. The most memorable time during BMT is night time when the laundry van came. The laundry girl was everybody ‘dream girl’ at that time as one hardly find any girl in the camp. I even managed to make friend with her and invited her to my 21st Birthday party at my home – she did turned up…but with her boyfriend…sigh…

My PC always like to have our photos taken whenever there was a chance. So our platoon, D14 was probably the most “switch off”. See our No.4 uniform also different from now;

Here is another one showing us all cramped on board heading towards Pulau Tekong for a 3 days field training;

Of course the most memorable training was at the “Pencang Hill” where we were told to infiltrate thru the jungle. My buddy and I were taking our own sweet time as there were too many papaya trees for us to enjoy. Not to long after that, we were lost in the track and almost ended up trying to take a bus with our rifles! Luckily we didn’t and lady luck really on our side – our camp 3 tonne truck happened to past by and we took a lift. The whole camp was punished by doing extra exercise while waiting for us and until now I still don’t understand why my buddy and I were not punished…

Very soon 3 mths BMT training for us were going to end soon.

Wait before we end the BMT, here are some little things for you older guys to reminisce about…

See that P.T. shoes on the right side? It’s really a far cry compared to the current ones the army is using. Below shows the real bunk during my BMT in 1982;

It’s one of our favourite past time – cleaning our rifles (M16 at that time).

The P.T. shirt and shorts were the same but the underwear given were green in color;

This is what we used to contain our meal;

Of course after eating, we had to clean and wash it very clean before returning the tray!

What I wore during BMT;

Just before completing our BMT, they had those recruitment excercises for the 3 forces. I signed up 6 years with the Air Force and ended up as the 6 DE (Direct Entry). If I knew earlier, I should have signed up earlier so my BMT will became SBMT (Shortened to 9 weeks only).

These were what I wore then (exclude the Good Service Award of course). The pair of aeroplanes were wore on the collars;

Even the Name Tags have been changed since the day I joined the force. From top to bottom – Orange side bar for Mandarin and Green for English spoken;

A group photo of us during our training at AETI (Air Engineering Training Institute) at Changi in 1982/83;

After completion of training, I was posted to Paya Lebar Airbase. As a Air Communication technician, I was posted to the base to service the aircrafts’ communication sets used by the pilots. At that time, some of the planes were S211 (for trainee pilots), Stridemaster, Skyvan, Hercules, A4 and then later F5. After a year, I was then posted to Tengah Airbase where F16 and A4 became the ‘norms’.

My Awards after 6yrs of regulars and many years of reservists’ cycles;

and not forgetting the Swiss Army Watch that I don’t wear at all (given to me upon completion of my reservist cycle);

Finally upon receipt of the above, ends my Reservist Training cycle at the age of 40.

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7 Responses to “BMT to ROD”


  1. 1 Victor Koo Monday, May 21, 2007 at 11:03 am

    “ORD” stands for “Operational Ready Date”? I think the change came at the same time when the term “reservist” was renamed “Operationally Ready NSman” because he could be called upon to fight a war anytime alongside with our regular soldiers and full-time NSmen.

  2. 2 laokokok Monday, May 21, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Thanks Victor. How come these never register in my mind??? Haha.

  3. 3 profkingsfield2004 Monday, May 21, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    Is the exhibition still on?

    I cant recall the army giving us any underwear.

    My cousin also signed on (after BMT) in the air force (6 years) and was posted to Seletar, Changi (Skyvans) and Keat Hong. he was telling me that after 1700 hours when there were no military flights, they could walk across Runway 02 at Changi or do jogging up and down the runway.

  4. 4 laokokok Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at 7:43 am

    Hi Peter,
    The exhibition at Tampines was over quite sometime. Nothing really fantastic really. Your cousin must be direct entry batch (for those Poly guys) right? Guess it depends on which airbase they are posted to and when. For my 6years stint with the force, I’ve seen changes in my OIC every now and then. So every new boss take over, new policy again.

  5. 5 HamBearGer Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    You still have a watch when your reservist cycle ended. My battlion was the first reservist unit to go 13 year cycle. After 13 year, I got nothing! Guys nowadays are even more lucky. They go for IPPT test, they get money. During my time, no money for passing IPPT, fail and you get RT. I passed every single IPPT and I got nothing!

  6. 6 Lam Chun See Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 10:30 am

    After i finished 13 year cycle, I was ‘recycled’ to go to SCDF until 50. After 45, IPPT no longer involved 2.4 km run but cycling on stationary bike. You have to maintain a steady speed for a certain period of time. It was not as easy as it appeared initially. Both the doctor and medic reminded me, ‘don’t force yourself if you think can’t make it’. As it I looked so unfit meh!

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