Bmt Field Camp Experience Essay

The good ol’ BMT field camp is most NSmen’s introduction to the lovely word called ‘Outfield’.

Recruits are put through 5 or 7 days (depending on which era you come from, of course the older and more garang people did 7 days) of mud, sun, and sergeants shouting at you.

We were also introduced to this novel concept of powder baths. Who knew Prickly Heat powder could feel so shiok?

But other than that, spending days in the wild will do things to your mind, and you start to crave for very simple pleasures of life. Here are 10 of them:


1. Fast food


Versus This:

It’s not hard to imagine why we crave for nice glorious oily fast food when all we can enjoy outfield are combat rations. Remember Braised Duck Rice? How about Satay Pasta? Or Chestnut Rice? Yum yum?

I guess the only highlight were the packets of Maggi Mee and Pocari Sweat powder with half a bottle of water.


2. An epic shower

Try going just 24 hours without showering in Singapore and you’ll start to be very self-conscious of your armpits. Now do that for 5 to 7 days in the wild with a cake of camo-cream and powder on your skin.


3. A nice big soft bed

Did you have the fortune of sleeping in your own shell scrape or Basha tent as it rained? Then you’ll definitely understand the ultimate fantasy of falling asleep in the soft comfortable bed.


4. Our girlfriends/love interests

Because, what else can we do outfield with 100 other really chao recruits?


5. Some form of anti-commando mosquito protection

Ah… Tekong’s commando mosquitoes. How on earth do they bite through our uniforms. More importantly, how do we sleep when they are constantly buzzing beside our ears?!


6. A proper spade or just an excavator

Do you prefer to dig your shell scrape or fire trench with this:


Or this:

Who wouldn’t dream of a better digging tool after hours of hand-numbing digging? Sucks to be a tall person when you’re digging a shell scrape.


7. Fresh dry socks

Nothing hurts more than marching around with wet socks and blisters.


8. The ability to wear something other than the No.4

Actually you won’t know how much you stink until you reach home and start to do your laundry. Some times, it gets so hot outfield you wish you can wear the vest/slack combi.


9. A locker to store our ‘wives’ at night

I know, I know, we must take care that our rifles are not stolen by our enemies during war-time. But we can still daydream about keeping it somewhere safe while we sleep, right?


10. Marching back to the Company Line

Suddenly, falling back at the company line is not such a bad thing. Field camp is fun at the end of it all, but seeing our bunks and beds after 5 or 7 days in the jungle was something strangely comforting.


Top photo from Mindef.

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My most defining moment in BMT was at the end of field camp, when we return back to school. It was the first time I witness the morale of my platoon being so high. Everyone is literally cheering at the top of their throat and we didn’t mind our sergeant asking us to do our water cheer again for water parade. I am very touched being part of a platoon with such high morale that I wanted to shear tears of joy.

Although I am physically and mentally tired from field camp, looking at my school just give me the adrenaline to push myself. This means that I have the ability to be stronger, but my mental barrier is obstructing me from pushing my own limits.

Our sergeant said: “Guys, field camp is not over yet, you guys are still carrying your field pack, you are equipped for field camp and we can march for another field camp again.” *Platoon groans* A short moment later, Our sergeant said:”Platoon 3, everything off.”

I took off my equipment so quickly that I shriek in pain when my ILBV scrubbed against my heat rash. I have never endured pain and discomfort for so long in my life, heat rash is a totally new experience for me. That was the moment where I really want to thank my buddy, section, platoon and commanders for encouraging me not to give up despite the pain we are going through and the pain is worth it. Without them, I would have given up on myself and not able to enjoy this defining moment in BMT with my platoon mates.

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