The Straits Times reported yesterday that Singapore’s army aims to recruit more women. It was
a blatant advertisement for SAF alright, except for the last sentence which seemed to put to rest any dispute regarding the role of women in the army.
But Col Gan, the only female colonel in active service now, said: “We are not about to put a woman in a job or promote her for the sake of doing so or to make a statement. It is about who is the best man for the job.”
Was it a cute Freudian slip, or was she simply unaware of gender bias in language? In any case, this is another winner for the image of the SAF.
My question has a very simple answer: NSFs. Otherwise known as Full-time National Servicemen.
Some NSFs follow automatically like dogs to a master. Some NSFs need carrots, others need sticks.
A few will never follow, and they can be divided into two groups. People in the first group are sent to the detention barracks, unfortunately extending their service.
People in the second group feign stupidity for a few months and screw up repeatedly, tolerate some horrible scoldings, then liberation – relieved of all important responsibilities because the “leaders” give up scolding them. Some from this group can end up having a pretty good time in camp.
So yes, every soldier is a leader, but some soldiers can only lead a bunch of temporary staff who work for about two years.
PS. The main copy reads “Army Open House @ Our City”. Can’t you say “F1 Pit” instead of “Our City”? Where on earth is “our city”?
Looking at the recent NS45 ads reminds me of United Colors of Benetton, which is famous for ads featuring people of different races. We, the racially-varied people of Singapore, are supposed to be one big family, proud to serve NS and defend Singapore.
Ask those serving full-time NS if they feel it can be a waste of time and if they have to do a lot of stupid things. I’m confident many will say ‘yes’ to both questions. When I was an NSF, I always had doubts about the idea of defending Singapore. ‘Defending’ Singapore is not as simple as it sounds. If I were to ask -
Who is willing to fight for Singapore?
I guess many people would raise their hands. If you have a family, some property here, and a little bit of national pride, you would fight for Singapore.
Who is willing to die for Singapore?
Fewer people would – not due to cowardice, but because to them, Singapore is not worth dying for.
Who is willing to kill for Singapore?
Because defending Singapore really means killing our enemies.
Or can I ask a very situation-specific question – Who is willing to kill Malaysians for Singapore?
The SAF does its own surveys to find out. I cannot say for sure that people answer honestly. If Singapore has a large number of unwilling soldiers, the idea of getting every Singaporean son to participate in NS simply creates an illusion of military strength.
And speaking of illusions, I must come back to the Benetton ads. Do they represent a race-blind ideal, or are they meant to perpetuate an officially approved illusion?
You don’t know what you’re getting into. Modern Warfare 3? Think again.
The bottom photo is a screenshot of some unbelievable SAF propaganda – Every Singaporean Son.
Do what you want to yourself, as long as you don’t hurt others
Do what you want to others, as long as they can’t hurt you.
Posted in Army
Tagged saf, wisdom
Just what the heck is Air Power Generation Command?
Sounds like some wind energy generator…
Posted in Army
Tagged rsaf, saf