Enlisting in the army is a process nothing short of exciting…or dread.
For those enlisting soon, it may come with delight that the Basic Military Training Centre (BMTC) is starting to allow loved ones to attend enlistment day.
A Two-Year Hiatus
Introduced in 1997, BMTC has made it such that loved ones could visit the camps on enlistment day. Parents or loved ones would be shown where the new recruits would eat and sleep for the next few months, and there would be a “farewell” walk before the enlistees shave their head.
However, since April 2020, guests have not been invited for this rite of passage in light of COVID-19. Instead, videos were taken of the process, such as enlistees taking the oath of allegiance. Upon receiving the footage, enlistees sent them to their loved ones.
Thankfully, the parents and loved ones of new Singapore Armed Forced (SAF) recruits were finally allowed on Pulau Tekong for enlistment day on 17 January 2022.
In a Facebook post, BMTC wrote “Basic Military Training Centre(BMTC) has started to welcome parents and loved ones back after a 2-year hiatus for the 02/22 BMT Enlistment process right here at Pulau Tekong.”
It looks pretty similar to enlistment days prior to COVID-19 but with masks, social distancing and lots of hand sanitisers.
A Visit To Tekong
Precautions against COVID-19 still hold their place—parents and enlistees were made to take Antigen Rapid Tests (ART) in Salarang camp before taking a ferry to Pulau Tekong.
The adventure begins here; parents explore the various training venus and structures while enlistees were amid their registration.
Parents then watch their sons take their oaths before bidding a touching farewell.
In the same post, BMTC expresses its appreciation in writing, “BMTC would also like to thank all parents and loved ones as Singapore continues its journey towards endemic living.”
To know more about what serving in the army is like for your national service, watch this video to the end:
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