Men in defence forces

When I was younger, I used to think:
- People who sign on with defence forces, e.g. army, navy, etc are those who can't get places in polytechnics and universities; The only defence force that people look up to is the air force,
- National service (NS) is a waste of time.

As I grow up, I started seeing things quite differently. I have friends who serve in our defence forces because they feel it's meaningful, and I have gotten to know new friends who feel proud to go through NS to serve the nation (and lose weight/build nice muscles as well... which other job pays you to do this?).

There has been several cases in the past year men who got injured or died while in service. This is extremely sad. It's no wonder parents usually discourage their children from signing on to serve in defence forces or feel worried when their sons are enlisted to NS. I'm not going to discuss what should or should not have been done during training. What I want to say is: the injuries and deaths show that these men take on a certain amount of risk to protect Singapore and therefore they should be respected not looked down upon.

The hours and shifts that these men have to work are challenging physically and also emotionally challenging on personal relationships.
- Men don't get to sleep regular hours daily. This has negative effects on their health.
- A man serving in the navy may not return to Singapore for a weeks or months so if his wife is the sort who can't sleep when he's not at home, surely this will cause a strain on the relationship (I'm not making this up. There are people who can't sleep if they are alone at home).
- There are also gals who don't want to date guys who work in defence forces or are in NS because of their work schedules or lack of prestige/social status.
Men play a role in defense of our country that most women cannot or are not willing to fulfill. Women, especially, should be grateful to men for their altruism instead of discriminate against them.

One reason why the general public think poorly of these men is: men who serve the nation do not do it with pride. Many men would complain of their NS days even when they're in their 30s! The more they complain about NS, the more poorly others would think about the vocation. So people can't be blamed for thinking poorly of them when they are the ones who speak poorly of their own jobs. If people who sell drinks in a coffee shop can have pride in their work, surely soldiers of Singapore can be proud of their jobs too?

I do feel safer knowing that most Singaporean men are combat-ready, though this is arguably a false sense of security. Besides, I find men in (certain) uniform a turn on! [See my previous post, Men in uniform.]

There are women who serve in the defense forces and they should not be forgotten either. To all men and women who dedicate their lives to the defense of Singapore: I salute you!


Hayabusa said...

To all men and women who dedicate their lives to the defense of Singapore (in my case, Malaysia), I salute you... with conditions, that you're not one that enlist yourself into the military because you can go nowhere, & that you go in with the thought of protecting your country, & that for the higher ranks, that you're not one to abuse your subordinates in whatever ways...

Banshee said...

I am not sure how much of a beligerant country Singapore is.

Brazil is a quite peaceful country, except from UN missions in Honduras or so. On that sense, we have not so many casualties.

However, I do have 3 close friends that joined, respectively, army, navy and military firefight squad.

The first one was lack of option, but the other two did that because they wished to help and protect people. Notwithstanding their will to help, the training is extremely tough. One of them showed me some restricted videos, the army training forces them to nullify individual will on behalf of the collectivity... the humiliation is hardcore sometimes. That, besides the other facts you said. That's why they end up complaining...

But, on top of all that, they continue. Really admirable.

Yu-Kym said...

Banshee, thanks for sharing especially on the humiliation part. Not easy to endure that...

David said...


Amazing! We actually completly agree on this topic.

I have the honor of working for my nations Department of Defense. I have worked on many projects supporting equipment that the men and women in the U.S.A's ,Singapore's and some Malaysian units use.

Men and women who make a career in the military are equal to, and in many cases smarter and more talented, than thier civilian peers. Pride in nation, the desire to protect ones country and freedom are powerful motives for these individuals.

I have the greatest respect and admiration for career military and the enlisted.

Next time you read of an earthquake, major typhoon or other natural disaster remember what nation responds when pleas for international help go out. Sure the U.N. might respond in a few weeks.

The United States will often have search & rescue, food and emergency aid on site often within 24 hrs of the call for assistance.


David said...


An FYI shows why we need good men and women in the military.

As I write this, American Armed forces, with heavy lift helicopters and ground support equipment are aiding search & rescue efforts, and providing medical care/supplies/food & water to victims in parts of Taiwan affected by the recent Typhoon. This kind of work requires long days and nights of non-stop delivery of needed goods to areas affected.


Yu-Kym said...

Wow David, I had no idea you're one of those men! Such men and women take on a great amount of risk going to such places, and I haven't experienced it myself but I'm sure it's very very hard work.