(Caption of photo above) Our midshipmen received their ceremonial swords and letters of appointment at a commissioning ceremony held at SAFTI, OCS
(Photo courtesy of OCS Media Team)
They came, they saw, and they conquered their Midshipman course.
The 89th batch may have started as strangers from different walks of life, but over the course of 38 weeks at Midshipman Wing, they learnt the importance of team spirit, and grew stronger together as a batch.
Although COVID-19 introduced many changes to their training curriculum, they bravely adapted and took the changes in their stride to stay safe. Instead of a parade, these 42 midshipmen received their commissioning in a simple ceremony to mark this milestone in their navy journey.
"Bond well with your batch, they are the ones that will get you through the toughest of times." - 2LT Chen Jia Wei, 89th Midshipman Batch Sword of Honour recipient.
One of 2LT Chen's biggest takeaways from the Midshipman course was learning and living out the values expected of a Naval officer. He saw these values in the Midshipman Wing's instructors and commanders, especially in CPT Lai Wen Hao, whom he describes as an instructor who "was very strict with us, yet concerned with both our training and holistic development, and not just aptitude-wise but also the values that we have as an officer-to-be".
2LT Chen also saw his batch grow stronger as they bonded over numerous tests and challenges. When some of the batch mates first struggled with his chart work - something most of them had never done in their lives, those who grasped the concept stayed back to guide their fellow batch mates – no questions asked. The bond continued to strengthen through their Midshipmen Sea Training Deployment where they were tested rigorously.
As 2LT Chen reflects on his midshipman course, he is grateful for his batch mates and loved ones who encouraged him along the way. Humbled, he looks forward to going back to the Naval Diving Unit to assume his next appointment and to serve with his diver batch mates. HOOYAH!
"The Midshipman course has allowed me to learn so much about myself and what it means to be an officer, and I am grateful for all the unforgettable experiences." - 2LT Bay Wee Chun Donavan, 89th Midshipman Batch Sword of Merit recipient.
2LT Bay initially started his journey at Midshipman Wing with the 88th Midshipman batch, but had to leave halfway due to a shoulder injury. Three months into his recovery, 2LT Bay was offered a second chance and join the 89th batch - to which he said a resounding 'yes'!
Despite facing many tough moments during the rigorous course, 2LT Bay always remained optimistic. He also found strength as he met each challenge alongside his batch mates from the 89th Midshipman / 25th MDEC1 batch.
"My batch felt like one big family, and no matter what obstacle or how big the storm, we would always emerge stronger and closer."
"Seeing how committed the ship crew were to our midshipmen training really touched me. I have so much respect for their dedication." - LTA Lionel Hong, 89th Midshipman Batch Sword of Merit recipient.
The navy always held a fond place in LTA Lionel Hong’s heart, even after he completed his NS with the Naval Diving Unit. After completing his studies and inspired by his wife’s example (she is a Naval Officer too!), LTA Hong decided to sign on with the navy.
Looking back on his experience during the midshipman course, LTA Hong felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. He saw it as a test of his mental resilience, especially during the midshipman sea training deployment where he and his batch battled with sea sickness during their training. While there were moments when he felt overwhelmed, he drew strength as he learnt to pull through alongside his batch mates.
"My advice to my juniors starting out on this midshipman course would be - this course is meant to challenge you, stick to your guns and see it to the end!"