Surviving BMT Confinement: Insights from NS Life


Last Updated on 2023-06-04 , 11:37 am

They often say the toughest part of your NS journey is the initial phase. The transition, particularly if you’re not mentally braced to rise at 0500H or face constant scolding, can be harsh.

It’s probably why your first book-out feels even more thrilling than your ORD.

Picture yourself confined away from home for 2 to 3 weeks, surrounded by stern sergeants, difficult officers, and indifferent enceks.

Visualize a life where you can’t even enjoy a moment of peace in the restroom without your platoon mates hammering at your cubicle door.

Let’s get started!

Elevated Appreciation for Women

Image: (mentatdgt)

After the confinement NS period, the bus ride from the ferry terminal to Pasir Ris MRT will be exciting, to say the least.


Every girl you see will suddenly seem incredibly appealing, irrespective of her looks or age. You’ll begin to appreciate women more, and perhaps become less choosy.

Craving for Fast Food

Image: G_A_M /

After enduring nearly 20 challenging days of Tekong’s cookhouse food, every recruit deserves an indulgent McDonald’s meal.

If that wasn’t the first thing you consumed post your first book-out, you missed out.

Relishing Hot Showers

Image: Gear Patrol

A notable downside of Tekong life is the cold showers with a 2-minute time limit.


After the BMT confinement period, you can enjoy a relaxing, long, hot shower at home.

Need for Personal Time


Spending weeks working out, eating, and sleeping with 200 men can lead to significant frustration.

Rushing home to unwind and enjoy personal space is likely a top priority post the first book-out.

Appreciating Air Conditioning

Image: Jo Panuwat D /

If you enlisted around the monsoon season, sleeping in Tekong is bearable. Otherwise, expect sweaty nights and uncomfortable rest.

After the confinement period, you’ll appreciate your air conditioner more.

Feeling Responsible for National Protection

As you leave confinement, Singapore might seem different. You’ve sworn to defend all that the city lights and street lamps represent.

Some recruits feel proud and important at this point.

Experiencing the Weight of Responsibility

Not all recruits feel proud or important.

In reality, many feel exhausted and burdened by the responsibility of protecting the country, counting the hours before they return to another week of Tekong life.

Getting a Break from Uniforms

Image: Shutterstock (@Tristan tan)

Post-confinement, when night falls and the party animal in you wakes, you can finally wear something other than green.


Just remember to wear a cap to cover your bald head.

Marching and Singing Becomes Second Nature

You’ve been in Tekong long enough that every step reminds you of marching.

You might even find yourself swinging your arms and whispering marching songs when you think no one’s looking.

Feeling Overwhelmed by the Journey Ahead

You may feel that NS isn’t that bad, but you’ll also remember you’re just 2 weeks into a 22-month journey. It’s a tough realisation, but remember, everyone before you made it through, and you’ll get through it too.

For those about to enlist, enjoy your first book-out! And for those who’ve served their time, congratulations!



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