8 things Singaporean men hated in the army but will pay to enjoy in civilian life

We confess 8 things that were paid for by the army that we hate, but enjoy a lot more when we pay for it ourselves in civilian life.

Jonathan Lim| May 04, 11:34 AM

When it comes to smart spending, nothing beats enjoying an activity which is paid for by someone else. So during NS and reservice, we actually get paid to do a lot of “fun” things for free. Girls can’t understand why guys complain when we get to do such activities, for free, especially since many of us pay money to participate in such activities in civilian life.

Here are the top ten in our list for the Army, though equally applicable for both the police and civil defence as well:


1. We hate live firing, but enjoy paying for paint ball!


Somehow, paying $50 a person to shoot paint balls in civilian life is a lot more fun than dragging yourself up at 4.30am to go to range and firing a real weapon. The ability to shoot the crap out of your friends could best explanation.


2. We hate physical training (PT) in camp, but enjoy paying for gym memberships


Not many people like doing PT in camp, be it endurance training, speed training, weight training or even close combat training. Finding a workout buddy willing to tag along with you for additional training is like finding a needle in a haystack filled already with small and sharp objects. You even get a very, very motivating physical training instructor yelling at you to do more.

Yet in civilian life, the same people who avoid working out are paying upwards of $100 to gain access to equipment provided by gyms. A good majority of these male gym goers had never set foot in the gym at their army camps.


3. Cookhouse food sucks, but the same stuff from some central kitchens delivered to food courts is ok

You will pay for the food supplied by one party but will refuse to eat the same food provided by the other for free. No prizes for guessing which is which.


4. We hate having lights out but crave for sleep in civilian life

Lights out at 10.30pm was way too early in the Army. Yet in the real world, we crave for the day an early night's sleep. At 10.30pm, we know of many friends who are still working hard at the office. If you want to find such people, just ask your company’s auditors next time they are ransacking through your files. They will love to have lights out at 10.30pm.


5. We love wasting time in army, but demand productivity and efficiency in civilian life

Rush to wait, wait to rush. Time is money, and walking slow and taking hours to do the simplest tasks mean wasting time and hence, money. Unless of course, you are in the Army. And then you will have a lot of time to waste.

Dragging our boots to fall in. Check. Taking a long time to head for lunch. Check. Taking an even longer time to start our IPPT. Check.


6. We hate driving our rugged and cool tanks, but pay to learn how to drive standard cars


If you give a kid the chance to drive either given a tank or a car, most kids would choose the former. It’s cooler and you even get to drive it while using night vision goggles.

Best of all, you don’t even need to pay for your driving lessons and driving tests for the tank.


7. We hate the manly Standard Obstacle Course (SOC), but will pay for things like the flying fox/megazip


Scaling walls, climbing ropes, speeding through the Jacob's ladder and jumping off ramps all sound like fun. But not when you're weighed down by a helmet, rifle and webbings. And of course, you have to complete it under 10 minutes.

Best of all, attempting it is free. And you can have a go at it over and over again, for free.

A lot of Singaporean guys dread it. That breathless, choking feeling that we all have while running to the finishing line. The priceless look on our buddy's face, as we pop out from the final corner, willing us forward, the triumphant collapse as we finally reach the finish line.

However awesome the feeling of adrenaline and euphoria was to conquer SOC, you know you won't ever want to do it again.

On the flip-side, we'd rather pay $85 at the Megazip at Sentosa. It's essentially the same thing yet we're happy to part with that cash.


8. We hate outfield navigation exercises, but love hikes

Not many of us enjoy the outfield navigation exercises that we went through during our time in the army. Finding checkpoints secured to random trees in the middle of the night can be close to impossible and extremely frustrating.

However a night hike with a bunch of good friends from university under a starlit night is a completely different experience. And while we have to pay more for equipment, drinks, food and transport for such a hike, it is somehow a lot more fun than the real thing we experience in the Army.

Did we miss any other such activities that were provided for free by the Army and which we hated…only to completely lose our minds and love it in civilian life? Tell us if there were other activities you hated in Army but ended up paying for in civilian life!


Top photo from here

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