Well, many of you have just enlisted into the ‘enhanced’ batch and more activities are coming up. I know many of you will be probably aiming for OCS or SCS and as you progress through, here are some activities to look out for. For those enlisting soon, do take note and prepare yourself for it! And for those whom have already passed this phase, do feel free to comment and give us more suggestions on what we might have missed out or if you got more tips!
The most crucial determinant in BMT. You MUST pass IPPT at least, with preferably a Silver in order to go onto OCS and SCS. Some highlights include using the ELISE system (Electronic IPPT) for you to take your test. Also, you might be required to retake BMT if IPPT you fail (PES A or B) this.
BCCT – Basic Close Combat Training
This is just like a standalone and almost random series of ten combat lessons. This is where you will learn how to punch, elbow strike, kick and knee jab your opponents. You will be your Long Four uniform for this, slowly you’ll progress to be able to strike the dummys. Not entirely tested, but this is a basic essential knowledge in SCS and OCS (Where you have ICCT and ACCT). Those with Martial Arts background will of course have an advantage or even be more liked by the instructers.
Marksmanship is pretty much a fundamental of being a soldier, so this is obvious. Interesting points include the Individual Marksmanship Trainer, which is the most realistic arcade shooter ever (in an fully airconditioned room, using SAR21 replica which is gas powered rather than round powered), zeroing (done in IMT as well to make your weapon more accurate for yourself), as well as the Company Best Shot tournament, where your commanders can and may use their imagination to test you (note: to stand a chance, most of the time you need PERFECT 32/32 score on your first try first!) [Mine was kind of boring where they let the top shooters to shoot a figure 15 (smallest of them all) at 200m).
There will also be a Ninja Van (actually, its a civilian operator [aka the canteen seller] who will be selling potato chips, chocolate bars, canned drinks etc. at very inflated price -> my 2 cans of drink and a pack of peanuts costed $6) so bring lots of money.
I know most coys will actually be taking the whole thing on one single day, while some will split over 2-3 days. So be prepared to sleep at 3am on this day, because range procedure eats up a lot of time (for those taking on one day).
Well, most will consider this as the toughest hurdle that a recruit has to overcome. This will test you on all of the field craft you learnt to date. I’ll be covering this on a separate article as this is one long article to do.
Generally reserved for leadership batches, as well as selected recruits from other batches, this is perhaps the more relaxing outfield opportunity, and probably your first taste of the MATADOR – the new anti-tank/anti-door/wall weapon which you might have to carry everywhere, and it weighs close to 9kg. Basicallyfor this, you will be spending your time in a group going from station to station. You simulate scenarios like crossing a river, bombing a bridge, crossing a gorge, rescuing a prisoner and other interesting ones.
Learn your lessons well for this. Take your IFC and explosives lectures seriously if you plan to ace this as well. Knots, explosive circuits (especially claymore mine) will all be used in the course of this activity. Also, be creative and be very attentive to how the requirements are phrased, so you don’t waste time on things that are not needed.
For the SITest, time is actually tight on most instances, since this is basically a test to test on how well you respond and work under pressure. Thus, they may tell you that you have half an hour, but five minutes later, they will announce a sudden enemy unit approaching. Thus, for this, always assume that the time they give will be cut short.
Not to forget, always be prepared and alert. The commanders love to have snipers to suddenly engage you, so there might be casevac involved, making things go into chaos.
Hand Grenade Live Throw
Please do not think too much, and just follow the instructions. The explosion is and will be much louder than you think, and the ball bearings sometimes can fly all the way to where everyone else is sitting and waiting for their turn (quite alarming). In addition, if you throw wrongly, the grenade may fail to detonate and you will have to crouch for half an hour. So, try not to play a fool in this.
This is part & parcel of the whole BMT experience. You will reach the end definitely, and with this mentality, you will survive. You can feel like crap along the way but it’s a confirmed, don’t-need-skill activity. Some tips (for over the 8km mark) include having 3 packets of poccari sweat inside your water bag, drinking it slowly, while during stops/breaks ensuring that you really drink plain water to prevent cramps from too much iron (from poccari)
Also, consider buying high quality army socks (the “blister free” toe socks available at around $1.50) and anti-abrasion cream if you want an easier time. Also, sing very loudly and for as long as you can, as this is a good distraction.