My BMT Companion

Most people may have thought that my 3 months of BMT (Basic Military Training) companion at ITD (Infantry Training Depot) is my rifle…but the answer is NO. My companion for that 3 months was my portable radio;

It was rather bulky and the tuning of the radio station was difficult with those dial face;

Though it’s called Solid State Radio but I believed it’s a mixture of ICs and Transistors.

Anyway, most of my bunk mates had one each though of different brands  and models. I remember I bought my at the Golden Mile Hawker Centre upper floor where they sold lots of army’s goods. Those army’s goods stalls are still there now. Well the radio was probably our daily night entertainment then while cleaning our rifles and boots.

Compare to my daughter’s MP3 with radio now;

So what is your BMT’s comapnion? Come to think of it, that radio was already 26 years old as I bought it around 1982.

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13 Responses to “My BMT Companion”


  1. 1 Victor Koo Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    My 3-month BMT companion was an SAF woman and I am not joking. You see I didn’t go for BMT as I was base-employed. Started serving in CMPB as a 5-BE from the very first day in June 1975. And I am so proud of it.

  2. 2 laokokok Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Maybe we have met in CMPB Victor. I was posted there after my 3 months BMT in 1982. I was assigned to Air Force Recruitment Centre in CMPB for a short period before my training start in AETI Changi for signed on regulars.

  3. 3 Chandler Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    My BMT companion was my Sony Walkman, circa 1996.

    I’m not as laokokkok as you but getting there liao hahaha.

    Your blog’s a smash, post more old photos of places that no longer exist can? Such as that roundabout at Guillemard which used to display movie billboards, or Kallang Wonderland!

    Cheerios

  4. 4 Victor Koo Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    LKK, how can I be still in CMPB in 1982? Unlike you, I didn’t sign on in the army leh.

  5. 5 profkingsfield2004 Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    First time i came across the word “Solid State” was probably in 1967. I am not sure whether it referred only specifically to STEREO amplifiers only or radio but the set my grandfather bought was a combined amplifier-radio from ONKYO. Before STEREO amplifier, there were those big bulb amplifiers which came with no casing. It reminded me of those Edison light bulbs.

  6. 6 Lam Chun See Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Hey LKK. My BMT companion was also a small transistor radio. But my not as kilat as yours lah .. got solid state FM etc. My was the cheapest, tiniest one. I think it was Sanyo.

  7. 7 laokokok Friday, October 3, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Haha you are right Victor. Come to think of it, I kinda miss the pinball machine after lunch in CMPB.

    Chun See, don’t be misled by the word solid state…the reception is also just as bad.

  8. 8 laokokok Friday, October 3, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Hi Chandler,
    I may not have that many old photos compared to Peter and Chun See. Sometimes I wonder why we always take photos with such close up that we don’t see much background.

  9. 9 laokokok Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Hi Peter, I think the word ‘solid state’ means non vacuum tube types and does not refer to just amplifiers. It may mean IC (integrated circuit) or even transistors. Just my thoughts hehe.

  10. 10 daddyto3 Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Thanks for a fabulous post, LKK! It reminded me of my bedtime in BMT too…. The routine was always to set the mosquito net up, sprinkle lots of cooling menthol powder all over the mattress, tune in on my little transitor radio, snuggle up under the blankets and then, ZZzzzzz….

  11. 11 laokokok Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Hi daddyto3,
    I think most of us will bring along 1 transistor radio to the camp else it’s really too boring.

  12. 12 daddyto3 Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Hey, I noticed you’ve got “broken” Terrazo tiles (I think that’s what it’s called?) below your transistor radio picture. Now that’s also very interesting. It was very trendy in the 70s, but one can hardly find it anymore.

  13. 13 laokokok Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Hi Daddyto3,
    You have very sharp eyes. Yes they are broken terrazo. It was so called quite the norm in the 70s.


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