Love it or hate it, field camp was probably one of the most memorable moments of your national service. It was a unique experience that brought out the quirkiest sides of your platoon mates. From the camo cream on your face, to the heavy helmet that you wear under the hot sun – there’s just something about this equipment mix that does weird things to the human brain.
But in case you’ve forgotten about the unique characters every NSF meets during field camp, here are some classifications that will jolt your nostalgia.
This NSF has a way of sneaking tidbits into his SBO pouches – even though he’s not supposed to. He’s probably the only guy during field camp who’s munching on snacks that don’t belong in the packet of approved combat rations. It’s a blessing if you’re buddies with this guy.
Like the real Doraemon from the anime, he’ll probably share his hidden stash of munchies when the commanders aren’t looking. Every national service platoon needs a Doraemon, and if you are the Doraemon: thanks.
The Former Boy Scout
This guy is fully prepared for his national service field camp. In fact, he’s been preparing for NS since his secondary school days. Ever since he learned to tie his first knot during scouts camp, he’s been ready to take on whatever challenges the jungle throws at him.
He’s so good at living the jungle life that even if you left him behind during field camp, no worries, he’ll probably build a shelter until you rescue him. The best part about being his NSF buddy is that he’s always finding some way to make the jungle life bearable for you.
The Chiongsua One
Probably a Commando wannabe or just trying hard to get into OCS. Some find his enthusiasm for field camp activities inspiring, others just think he’s plain douche-y. He’s that one guy who volunteers for almost everything and is competitive about it. Better yet, he’s one of the few guys who somehow still has the energy to cheer-on the platoon after a long route march.
If you’re his NSF buddy, your national service life will be a struggle between keeping with his high expectations and listening to other platoon mates gossip about him. A word of advice: don’t get in his way.
The Hor Lan One
This is the one guy you DON’T WANT to have leading your navigation exercises during field camp. Even if you gave him a compass or a GPS, he’ll somehow find a way to get himself lost. Hence, the title ‘Hor Lan’ which is a Hokkien term bestowed upon an individual who is incapable of reading maps.
If you were a commander in your national service days, you’d remember paying careful attention to this guy, especially during roll calls. Lose sight of him and you’ll spend hours trying to find him again!
The One Who Likes To Go Number 2
National service is a time when guys do some of the grossest things imaginable. One of them involves holding in their poop during field camp until they return to bunk. Reasons for this behaviour vary from insects to paranormal activity in the jungle. But there’s always one NSF who’s a little TOO comfortable with the jungle.
He’s the one who goes number two like it was his home toilet. Not that there’s anything wrong about clearing your bowels but this guy is just CHILL about all sanitary issues that go with taking a dump in the jungle. Either way, we salute you for not giving a poop about taking a poop in the jungle!
The Sleeping Beauty
Speaking about guys who get too comfortable with the jungle, there’s another breed of NSF that are able to get some good shut-eye under all that sweaty gear. You’ll often catch these guys doing the deed while they’re on sentry duty or whenever they get some break time. Sure, field camp makes you exhausted but it’s often difficult to doze off when you’re lying on solid ground – not to mention the fear of being called on for some exercise. How do they do it? No one knows. It’s just another mystery of national service.
The Gong One
It’s a known fact among NSFs that wearing a combat helmet reduces your IQ to cavemen levels. But for some guys, the effect of the helmet is simply too strong for their brains to handle! This often creates a state of ‘gongness’; also known as being utterly absent-minded. These are the same guys that commanders burst a nerve trying to get them to follow orders during field camp.
No matter what you tell the ‘gong one’, he’s just going to return a blank expression with a thousand-yard stare. He might even be the cause of certain field camp accidents. If you’re this guy’s national service buddy, do take good care of him.
The ‘Mosquito Repellant’
Most NSFs spray a good dose of mosquito repellant whenever they are out on field camp. Mosquitoes can be pretty ruthless, especially when they come in a swarm. But some guys take it a step further. They spray mosquito repellant all over themselves like an insecure teenage boy with Adidas cologne. You might even be safe from mosquitoes just by standing beside them! But whatever you do, don’t smoke anywhere near them unless you want to set them ablaze.
Every national service platoon needs a joker. He’s the only guy that can make you forget that you’re in a field camp, albeit temporarily. Conversations with him revolve around funny jokes and gossip about other NSF platoon mates and commanders. He may even try to get a laugh out of you by doing pranks or something incredibly silly. Whatever the case, we owe the platoon joker for making the field camp experience a lot more bearable and memorable.
The Overly Optimistic One
This is the guy you wouldn’t actually mind going to war with. Rain or shine, nothing seems to break his positive outlook. Even when the jungle heat gets to him, he doesn’t turn to whining but instead delights himself in conversation with platoon mates. Some even turn to him as a leadership figure even if he isn’t a NSF commander.
Platoon mates just trust him and view him as someone they strive to be. Sadly, these guys are hard to come by in national service. But when you do find them in your platoon, it’s probably a good idea to be friends with them.
The Overly Pessimistic One
The average field camp experience is enough to make any NSF a little pessimistic about their situation. Sometimes it’s bad enough that simple pleasures like a cold drink feels like a huge relief. But there’s always one guy who manages to see the dark side of everything – and we mean EVERYTHING.
If you’re his national service buddy, you’ll probably spend most of your time trying to cheer him up or listen to him whine about how bad field camp is. If this is you, please know that you’re not alone and your platoon mates are just as tired as you are.
The Not Sick Enough To Keng One
These poor guys. They tried to escape from field camp by getting an MC but weren’t deemed sick enough to be excused. Hence, they become the Supply Sergeant’s little elves.
From carrying stores to delivering rations, these guys spend the next few days of field camp hating on the doctor who wouldn’t let them rest in bunk. But if there’s any form of relief, at least they don’t have to wear camo cream on their face.
Poor guy just misses his girlfriend. You can always find him sneaking a few texts to his bae whenever it’s break time. But you have to give him credit, he’s one of the few NSF who hasn’t been through the famous ‘NS break-up’ yet.
Maybe it’s the fear that’s driving him to text so much. Either way, we recommend getting him a good power bankfor his national service. With all that texting, his phone won’t last for more than 2 days in field camp!
Still serving your national service?
Contrary to popular belief, national service IS a long term commitment – let’s not forget the 10 reservist ICTs that you’ll have to attend. Since you’re in the thick of it, you might as well get comfortable with some must-have accessories that will make your NS journey a lot better!
Oh! And if you’re one of the unfortunate guys always working in a red zone, do check out our guide on non-camera smartphones! Trust us, it’s a lot better than having to head back to bunk or the phone locker to check out your texts!
This article originally appeared on Shopee Singapore.