How to survive your BMT field camp

Actions
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/wcm/connect/pioneer/6b3ddbca-04c8-4c45-9e77-31ff910cf179/08jan20_news1-01.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-6b3ddbca-04c8-4c45-9e77-31ff910cf179-m-dF.os /web/wcm/connect/pioneer/6b3ddbca-04c8-4c45-9e77-31ff910cf179/08jan20_news1-01.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-6b3ddbca-04c8-4c45-9e77-31ff910cf179-m-dF.os /web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/ops-and-training/2020-Q1/10jan20_news1
/web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/ops-and-training/2020-Q1/10jan20_news1
10jan20_news1
10 Jan 2020 | OPS & TRAINING

How to survive your BMT field camp

// Story Ong Hong Tat

// Photos Benjamin Lee

It's the night before your first field camp.

You're all packed and ready but there are a thousand things on your mind: how do I survive in the field, how will I eat and sleep, and, perhaps most importantly, how do I fight in this hostile environment?

Here are six vital tips for you to survive and thrive in your jungle home for the next five days:

1-UP-B-caption

1. Build a strong shelter

One of the first things you'll be asked to do is to build a basic shelter called a basha for you and your buddy. You'll likely be assigned a spot, so focus on ground prep - try to make the ground as flat as you can (by removing rocks and other things that might poke you) so that you and your buddy won't be sleeping on lumpy ground.

Once that's done, make sure that your basha is properly secured and all the cords are pulled taut. The last thing you want is your basha getting blown away or collapsing when you're mid-sleep.

1-UP-B-caption

2. Mind your weapon

Take care of your weapon and clean it often. Make sure you keep all its parts in plain sight when cleaning so that you don't lose anything. And when you're done, apply a light coat of oil to lubricate its internals and prevent rust.

Word of caution: keep your weapon close by at all times because your sergeants will attempt to "steal" it and that means extra duties. And unless you're going to shoot, always keep your finger off the trigger for safety.

1-UP-B-caption

3. Maintain hygiene

Liberally cover your body with the anti-bacterial powder issued by the Singapore Armed Forces - this is the only shower you'll get out there. Don't be shy: get your buddy to help you if there are areas you can't reach.

Underwear and socks are some of the lightest items you can carry that will make a big difference to your hygiene. Not only are clammy underwear and socks uncomfortable, they might also give rise to nasty rashes.

1-UP-B-caption

4. Read the signs

Hand signals are used to communicate with the rest of your mates while moving as a combat unit. Best to know by heart what each of the hand signs means unless you want to keep repeating some of the lessons.

Word of warning: your mates won't take kindly to anyone who repeatedly executes the wrong response and causes everyone to get punished.

1-UP-B-caption

5. Learn the moves

It's not a walk in the park when enemy fire is pinning you and your mates down.

The theory is that each soldier will take his turn to move to the next cover while others give support fire.

Watch where you prone: areas where there are insect nests can make your spot uncomfortable very quickly.

It's going to get loud while the enemy is firing away, so listen carefully for your section commander's orders. Repeat your commander's directions each time you hear them so that everyone is on the same page.

1-UP-B-caption

6. Put on your war face

Learn to cover every part of your face, including your lips, ears and neck with camouflage paint. There should be no visible skin when you're done.

The main basis of camouflage is to break up easily recognisable facial features. Where the face naturally protrudes (such as the cheekbones, brow and chin), cover with darker paint to give the illusion of shadow. Take this seriously though the urge to laugh is real when you see your mates decked out in camouflage for the first time.

Suggested Reading
From obese to IPPT Gold & becoming NSF of the Year
From obese to IPPT Gold & becoming NSF of the Year
PEOPLE
17-Jan-20

When he entered Basic Military Training, Corporal First Class (CFC) (NS) Venkat Subramaniam was 108kg. His fitness was in the dumps and he would fail his Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) with a 2.4km timing of 17min and 50s.

Eight tips to survive BMT
Eight tips to survive BMT
OPS & TRAINING
08-Jan-20

It’s like the first school term when you meet new friends, learn new skills and get used to the demands of your teachers (read: sergeants). We share eight tips to help you during Basic Military Training (BMT).

12 SAF acronyms you need to know Feature
12 SAF acronyms you need to know
OPS & TRAINING
07-Jan-20

For those who are enlisting, this explainer can save your weekends - and "face". It’s no secret that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is full of acronyms. Some are easily deciphered through common sense, while others take longer to decode.

BMTC encik answers questions on BMT & enlistment
Cover story
BMTC encik answers questions on BMT & enlistment
PEOPLE
06-Jan-20

What to bring for enlistment day? Is BMT 7 days a week? Is there WIFI in Tekong? Master Warrant Officer Thanimalai s/o Sockalingam, School Sergeant Major of Basic Military Training Centre (BMTC) School 2, answers some of the most-Googled questions about enlistment and BMT.

Five people you’ll meet on enlistment day
Cover story
Five people you’ll meet on enlistment day
PEOPLE
03-Jan-20

They're here to welcome you to the first day of the rest of your life (in National Service or NS).

What is Basic Military Training?
What is Basic Military Training?
OPS & TRAINING
02-Jan-20

Basic Military Training, or BMT, is an initiation to the military for new recruits – you stay together in bunk, learn basic soldiering skills and adjust to the regimentation of a strict military lifestyle.

Every Singaporean Son – The Animated Series Feature
Every Singaporean Son – The Animated Series
OPS & TRAINING
02-Dec-19

In this first-ever animated series on National Service, follow four fresh enlistees as they embark on a journey of self-discovery during Basic Military Training (BMT).

She's a Leonheart at BMTC
Cover story
She's a Leonheart at BMTC
PEOPLE
19-Nov-19

She was the longest-serving woman in the Signal formation and has now joined Basic Military Training Centre (BMTC) to make an impact as its oldest female commander.

Man of steel
Cover story
Man of steel
PEOPLE
25-Oct-19

He was a Full-time National Serviceman (NSF) himself when he saved the life of a fellow NSF. Meet SAF Medal for Distinguished Act recipient Military Expert 5 Kok Khew Fai. See where his journey in the Republic of Singapore Air Force has taken him, and hear why he did what he did that fateful day 10 years ago.