From obese to IPPT Gold & becoming NSF of the Year

Actions
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/wcm/connect/pioneer/8ebab479-2927-439e-b991-79ce2a64e92c/17jan20pnr-photo1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-8ebab479-2927-439e-b991-79ce2a64e92c-m-NE7m6 /web/wcm/connect/pioneer/8ebab479-2927-439e-b991-79ce2a64e92c/17jan20pnr-photo1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-8ebab479-2927-439e-b991-79ce2a64e92c-m-NE7m6 /web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/people/2020-Q1/17jan20_news1
/web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/people/2020-Q1/17jan20_news1
17jan20_news1
17 Jan 2020 | PEOPLE

From obese to IPPT Gold & becoming NSF of the Year

// Story by Thrina Tham

// Photos by Chua Soon Lye & courtesy of CFC (NS) Venkat

CFC (NS) Venkat received the NSF of the Year Award in a ceremony last September.

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.

But the combat engineer turned things around – he continued training after last parade and spent his weekends running.

Within six months, he shed 30kg to weigh 76kg. He also pushed himself to achieve a Gold for his IPPT, finishing his 2.4km in 10min.

CFC (NS) Venkat shed more than 20kg within the first four weeks of his NS, thanks to his strict diet and exercise routine.

Even then, he did not stop training and would even motivate his platoon mates by initiating sports games or runs in the evenings.

"Every time we booked into camp, we would have our weight checked. To book in and see our weight decrease motivated us to lose weight," said the now 21-year-old.

He also credits his mum for making a difference to his diet by cutting down his carbohydrates and cooking more vegetables for him.

For his discipline and commitment to teamwork, CFC (NS) Venkat was awarded the Full-time National Serviceman (NSF) of the Year Award last September.

CFC (NS) Venkat (third from left) receiving the NSF of the Year Award 2019 from Chief of Army Major-General Goh Si Hou (extreme left), accompanied by his mother.

CFC (NS) Venkat, who is now an Operationally Ready National Serviceman after completing his full-time National Service (NS) in January, said he relishes the memories shared with his platoon mates in 35th Battalion, Singapore Combat Engineers (35 SCE).

"Every day was like a party with them – they can make the most boring exercise exciting."

His platoon did their Army Training Evaluation Centre evaluation overseas, where they faced language barriers in communicating with their overseas counterparts. Weather conditions were also harsh.

"It was much hotter than in Singapore and we couldn't sleep at night because we were sweating in our beds," said the undergraduate, who is pursuing a double degree in Computer Engineering & Business at Nanyang Technological University.

"But even then, our platoon persevered, motivating each other to carry out our mission."

CFC (NS) Venkat and his platoon mates marking the end of their full-time NS at the 35 SCE Milestone Parade.

With such a strong bond, it comes as no surprise that CFC (NS) Venkat had no qualms about taking over his platoon mates' duties even when he was busy as a participant in the 2017 National Day Parade.

"There were many times I cancelled my weekend plans to replace a person for weekend guard duty when they were feeling unwell," he said.

"But my family was very understanding that it was my duty to do my part for the nation.

"Without their support, I would not have been able to focus on Army."

Suggested Reading
A run to remember my brothers
A run to remember my brothers
PEOPLE
13-Feb-20

After losing two of his naval diver batch mates to cancer, 2LT (NS) Rohan Mathew Thomas wants to raise funds for young adults battling the disease by challenging himself to a 6,400km relay run across the US in 49 days.

SAF enhances precautionary measures against novel coronavirus Feature
SAF enhances precautionary measures against novel coronavirus
OPS & TRAINING
12-Feb-20

In view of the 2019 novel coronavirus situation, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has enhanced measures at SAF camps and bases to safeguard the health of its soldiers while maintaining operational readiness. Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How visited the Basic Military Training Centre on 11 Feb to observe the measures that have been put in place.

From clerk to section leader
From clerk to section leader
PEOPLE
03-Feb-20

3rd Sergeant (3SG) Muhammad Noorhakim Bin Rozilan shares his journey of going through Basic Military Training (BMT) (twice!) to be fighting fit.

How to survive your BMT field camp
How to survive your BMT field camp
OPS & TRAINING
10-Jan-20

You’ve come this far in your Basic Military Training (BMT) and your first field camp looms. Here’s a cheat sheet on roughing it out like a soldier.

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.