BMT (Basic Military Training), or  “Better Make-it Training”, is the very first part of every Singaporean Sons’ conscript experience. As Pes A, B, C or E personnel, you can never escape from the clutches of enlistment and BMT (assuming that you don’t MC all the way la). During this phase, you get to meet people from all walks of life, some of which you may never see or hear from again. So if you think that you’ve seen it all in school,  think again because you’ve just taken your first step into the real world.

Thus, for all the recruits-to-be out there, we will describe the commonest types of people you will meet. This may sound overly exaggerated but enlistment tends to warp the minds of recruits and strange things do happen to people. This article will be useful and prepare you for what’s to come.

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Presenting to you:

7 Types of People You Will Meet In BMT

1) Joker

Let’s start with the better ones. Somehow or rather, there will always be a couple of jokers around in the platoon or section to brighten up your 5.30am reveille every morning or pathetic 6pm Sunday Book-ins .  They are the ones who usually pull pranks on others and are also the butt of their own jokes. In such a grim environment, their much-needed enthusiasm and optimism is infectious; they are the ones which make the entire BMT experience more enjoyable.

2) The Samaritans

Their hearts are made of  pure gold. These Samaritans are always the ones volunteering to help the entire section to do sai-kang which others evade. For example, they will gather the entire section’s water bottles to refill one by one for water parade in the afternoon.  So, if you are fortunate enough to have them as your buddy, treasure them and treat them well!

3) Muscular Genetic Disorder Guy aka Johnny Bravo

It’s not a real genetic disorder, but these people (normally bodybuilders or canoeists) have biceps the size of your thighs. One plus point is that they usually have extensive knowledge about fitness and nutrition and they are the ones you should turn to if you help with IPPT. During my BMT days, I was too consumed by jealousy and missed this rare opportunity to learn something.  If they can get ripped then so can you!

4) Wayang Guy

Unlike me, many of my platoon mates already had a clear plan for their entire army stint. Some wish to serve as normal soldiers while others wish to adopt leadership positions and become Sergeants or even Officers. These command positions require you to excel in all aspects during your BMT phase, otherwise there will be little chance of you getting shortlisted. This explains why all the Wayang kings always put themselves in the spotlight, hoping to impress the superiors and reserve  themselves a slot in command schools. Unfortunately, most of these Wayang Kings normally turn out to be irksome and unnatural.

5) Chao Keng Boss

I used to be one of the unfortunate recruits that had a non-existent partner because my buddy belonged to this category; Chao Keng. As they frequently feign illness, Chao Keng bosses regard the Medical Centre as their second home and seem to perpetually sick/ injured (especially when there is a high-key event).  You will be taken aback by the number of sick and weak when they sit at one corner while rest are training.

6) Blur Boy

Sergeant Poh: “All of you have to do 20 push-ups in this station. Do you understand?”

Crowd: “Yes Sergeant!”

-1 minute later-

Blur boy: “What did Sergeant say ah?”

This is one of the common tell-tale signs of a “Blur Boy”. They always zone out when your commanders give out instructions and end up screwing up the entire training session. The result?  is a repeat and all your previous efforts are for naught.

7) Vulgar Orator

Vulgar orators are multi-lingual yet they can’t complete a sentence in the same language; their entire vocabulary consists mostly of swears in the various languages.  They may sound crude and caustic, but don’t worry, they are usually honest and easy-going  which make the best of friends. However, don’t pick up this bad habit of spewing profanities as and when you like!

BMT may be a grueling training phase for us all, but it is also this time that we forge many precious friendships and memories.  It is only in retrospect which you realise that BMT is not as bad as what others make it out to be.