NSFs complete 12km route march instead of 24km, some happy, some not so happy

This does not happen everyday and it is not the NSFs' fault.

Belmont Lay | March 11, 2019, 07:08 PM

National Service obligation in the news

The latest batch of 3,500 Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) army recruits completed a shorter 12km route march on Saturday, March 9.

The usual distance is 24km.

How did the NSFs feel about it?

Full-time national servicemen (NSF) were either disappointed that their final route march was shorter, or happy that it was not the full distance.

What was the feedback?

According to The Straits Times, one of the recruits, a 19-year-old named Lim, said: "Some of course want to do the full distance because they want to graduate like every other Singaporean son, and don't want to be ridiculed because they did something less."

He added: "But there are others that are fine or even happy with what happened."

Who are these NSFs?

This group included those who enlisted in January 2019.

The recruits were from the Basic Military Training Centre.

Their parade was still held at the Marina Bay floating platform, but the route march was not the usual 24km distance.

The Singapore Army said in a Facebook post on Saturday that the recruits were unable to complete the required build-up training in time.

What is the normal training?

Recruits undergo BMT training by starting at less than 5km before progressing to a 24km march.

Why was training tempo reduced?

Training for national servicemen was affected after a two-week timeout was called.

This occurred after the death of actor and operationally ready national serviceman (NSman) Aloysius Pang in January.

He suffered serious injuries during an overseas military exercise.

The timeout was from Jan. 23 to Feb. 6.

It was progressively lifted from Feb. 7.

In-camp training (ICT) sessions were either shortened or cancelled as a result.

What other areas were affected?

The Singapore Army said in a Facebook post it cancelled ICT for three NS units.

The ICT sessions for these units fell within or immediately after the timeout.

There has been no other cancellation of ICT for NS units.

The Individual Physical Proficiency Test for NSmen has also resumed.

The cancellation will not affect the fulfilment of their operationally ready national service training cycle.

This year's Safra Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon has also been cancelled to allow the Army to better manage the year's tempo.