If you have served in the army before, you would’ve caught the joke. For those not in the know, you must first understand that for almost everything that you want to do in the army, there are standard operating procedures (SOPs) to follow, which is not surprising given that SAF is very focused on safety policies and guidelines. Given the spate of deaths that occurred during runs, we can definitely see the importance of following such SOPs.
However, let us take a look at one such SOP. If there is a 4KM battalion run, you will need 3 officers: the safety officer to oversee the safety of the participants in the run, the supervising officer to oversee the entire event and the conducting officer who will be in charge of conducting the run. Running routes, water point locations, marshallers for the route, the evacuation route, the availability of medical support on hand, the overall health of the participants, getting of approval, etc – all of these has to be drawn up, planned and prepared before the one-hour long activity can take place. Looking at the amount of preparations needed to conduct a measly run, I can understand why people are making a joke out of the SOPs you need to follow in the SAF.
The post below is quoted from the SAF Confessions Facebook page and it will definitely leave you laughing at how absurd yet true it is.
“How many servicemen are required to change a light bulb?’
1 Camp Commandant, Commanding officer, Officer Commanding to approve training
1 supervising officer
1 conducting officer
1 safety officer
1 sergeant to conduct warmup and cool down
1 vehicle operator
1 storeman for drawing of bulb and water point
2 medics in medical center
1 medical officer on standby at the nearest 24hr medical center
1 NSF man to participate in training
1 clerk to loan out lesson plan
A light bulb serviceability checklist, a copy of the Light Bulb Standard Operating Procedure with all of its up-to-date chapters and contents and a lesson plan should be on site.
All activity must cease in the event of CAT 1 (thunderstorm).
Conducting officer must do a check of wet glove bulb thermometer before start of activity
Serviceman must be hydrated at least 1 hour before the activity and must have at least 7 hours of uninterrupted rest.
Evacuation route to nearest medical center, 24 hour medical center and base hospital must be planned and understood by vehicle operator (to be checked by safety officer)
conducting and safety officer will have to conduct a recce of the training area 1 hour before commencement of training
The safety officer is to ensure that the medic has the proper equipment necessary for cover of the training.
Serviceman must conduct risk assessment card before commencement of activity
Safety officer must ensure participants have no medical conditions or status to prohibit participation
conducting officer is to conduct a conducting brief, safety brief and warmup (dedicate to sergeant) before activity
Participants must be checked for First aid dressing and ID tag
All servicemen must also be trained to handle the light bulb accordingly and test results must be updated and present for inspection. This includes a technical handling test for the participants
At the end of activity, a cool down must be conducted
Servicemen must surrender all light bulbs and commanders must check that servicemen do not have any light bulb, used light bulb, blown light bulb, broken light bulb or any other form of light emitting devices in their possession.
The conducting officer must conduct an end of mission debriefing to check the well-being of participants and listen to any inquires and concerns from the participants. The conducting officer should also use this opportunity to ensure that participants understand the rational behind the training.
During the training, the conducting and safety officer must continuously ensure that participants are fit to continue the activity.
Participants who are not fit to continue should be evaluated by the medic to determine if the participant can continue, should fall out and observe the activity or be send to medical facility.”
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