Upon the completion of the 38-week Officer Cadet Course (OCC), 250 Officer Cadets from the batch of 110/17 graduated from the Officer Cadet School (OCS) on 15 September to be commissioned as officers of the Singapore Armed Forces. Though the journey was tough, one source of support remained constant for the newly minted officers — their buddies. We spoke to three pairs of buddies to find out more about them and their OCS journey.
For 2LT Gerald Gwee Tian Lin and 2LT Yeo Wei Sheng Elwin, Infantry and Artillery officer respectively, they were able to rely on each other as sources of motivation. 2LT Gwee felt that 2LT Yeo was always there to help and support him when the times were rough, saying, "He gave me peace of mind during our exercises and training as I knew I would have someone to rely on, and such selflessness made me want to improve myself." On the other hand, despite being a man of few words, 2LT Yeo thought of 2LT Gwee as a man of action. 2LT Yeo expressed, "He would always step up and complete the assigned tasks, no matter how tough it is, and constantly maintained a positive attitude regardless of the situation."
2LT Gerald Gwee Tian Lin (left) and 2LT Yeo Wei Sheng Elwin (right)
To 2LT Eberendhu Igwe and 2LT M Gandhiban, both Infantry officers, it is the tiniest of actions that mattered the most. As 2LT Eberendhu puts it, "I don't remember a single time when my buddy hasn't motivated or supported me." He then explained how 2LT Gandhiban motivated him to strive for the "Best Physical Training Award", which he eventually clinched, "He inspired me to strive on, and in the end, I managed to beat my personal best Standard Obstacle Course timing." This sentiment was also echoed by 2LT Gandhiban, who recounted their navigation exercise together, "Our section was lost and exhausted, but my buddy stood up and continued to look for a way to get to our checkpoint."
2LT M Gandhiban (left) and 2LT Eberendhu Igwe (right)
For 2LT Indra Shafiq and 2LT Lucas Lim Wei Xin, both Infantry officers as well, their teamwork and synergy were tested to the limits throughout OCC. 2LT Lim reminisced about the time when 2LT Indra's grit and determination shone through, saying "The sling for the dummy Man-portable Anti-Tank, Anti-DOoR (MATADOR) snapped, making the already heavy dummy MATADOR almost impossible to carry. However, my buddy picked it up without hesitation, slung it over his shoulders and ran with it." Similarly, 2LT Indra was inspired by his buddy's sheer resilience. "He makes me believe that anything is possible as I always see him pushing himself to be better," he continued, "Despite everyone being exhausted, he willingly helped the platoon to do a water run, carrying the jerry can of water up a steep knoll to pass it to the rest of us."
2LT Lucas Lim Wei Xin (left) and 2LT Indra Shafiq (right)
As the old adage goes, "Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light". Indeed, the stories shared by these buddies bears testament to the power of the human spirit. The Singapore Army once again wishes the graduands all the best in their future endeavours.
To Lead, To Excel, To Overcome!
P.S. We put some of our interviewees to the ultimate test — an entirely impromptu quiz aimed at testing how well they know their buddies. Stay tuned for the video to see which pair of buddies emerged victorious!
Written By: PTE Teo Hao Yu
Photography By: LCP Cyril Tang