7 Defining Moments in BMT Every Recruit will Remember for Life


Last Updated on 2016-05-18 , 4:29 pm

If you have friends or family members who served in NS before, you would have noticed the change they went through. Boys who went in will come out more mature, more independent and more appreciative of what they have in life (generally). So, what happened inside to make them so?

I will only be talking about the SAF simply because that was where I served. I am sure that guys  who went into the other NS services – SPF and SCDF has their own defining moments which made them change and mature, I cannot speak on their behalf simply because I haven’t been through it myself.

So without further ado, here are 7 defining moments in BMT every recruit will remember for life.

The first meal at BMT
You remember the feeling of relief when you realised food wasn’t as bad as what others says. That feeling of relief only lasted until the next meal when they realised the food was good simply because your parents were here, not to say that the food that comes after sucks, it just wasn’t as good. That was when you came to a realisation – your parents are no longer here to ensure that you are comfortable, it’s time to suck it up and grow up.

The first and last haircut in BMT
Symbolism is doing something that signifies a change in life. You’d never forget the feeling of getting your hair shaved away and the feeling that you’ve just committed yourself to a new stage of your life whether you like it or not.

The first Night at BMT
From a room all to yourself (or for some, room shared with siblings), you are ‘upgraded’ to sleeping with 9 others in a bunk. Privacy is no longer an entitlement, it’s a luxury. Sleeping time is no longer a choice, it’s a decision made for you. Sergeants patrol the bunks to check if their recruits are sleeping or fooling around. You realise that those simple choices you took for granted when you were still a civilian was taken away, just like that.


The first Morning
If you’re like me, you’d usually wake up only after the sun has rises for a few hours. So it was quite a shock to you when you wake up to see the same darkness and hurriedly brush your teeth before going down for 5BX. Then you realise how much you can get done in the morning if you hadn’t slept your day away.

The first ‘Platoon, fall in!’
Nothing brings across the message of ‘one for all, all for one’ better than this. There will always be a guy who isn’t used to the fast pace of army life. When the sergeants ask for the platoon to fall in, there will always be one guy who will be late for it. The rest of the poor sods will just have to stay in push up position and shout for the guy to come down.

The first ‘standby bunk’
The reality of discipline and military life doesn’t come in until you’ve experienced your first standby bunk. Every morning, all recruits (in fact, all soldiers) are required to do area cleaning within the company line and their bunks. For the first few days, you have kids who are inexperienced and honestly sometimes quite lazy to really clean up their bunks. You’d think you can get away with it, until your platoon sergeant screams at you while you’re in push up position and kick the trash can around, using vulgarities that some you never even knew exist and seeing the sergeants mess up your bunk.

The first time people tells you you’ve changed
Nothing is more satisfying than people affirming a positive change in you. You will always remember the first time your friend or relative tells you, “You’ve matured after you went into the army, eh!” Your 3 months BMT suddenly doesn’t seem like a waste of time anymore.


While there are many more unforgettable moments in BMT that I have not named, these are the 7 ‘Firsts’ that are unforgettable even till today. Do you agree?

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