NCC (Land) is a CCA that aims to instil discipline and camaraderie in the heart of every ACSian. Unlike the army, its core purpose is not to breed soldiers. Instead, military-related activities help foster a spirit of excellence and perseverance. Like all UGs (with the exception of a few), training is held every Friday after school and ends around 5pm. Cadets, as they are called, experience snippets of what a military lifestyle might look like. Knowledge such as how to wear the uniform, and basic military commands also come in useful when students graduate and have to serve National Service. Many people think that in a UG, creativity is not something people can express freely. However, this could not be further from the truth. Activities such as Freestyle Drill (FSD) or Precision Drill (PDS) require cadets to come up with a military-themed performance that may involve the use of props. PDS, for example, closely mirrors the Military Policemen (MP) who occasionally perform rifle drills outside the Istana. Cadets are required to choreograph a drill routine and compete with other schools at the annual competitions.
All year round, cadets are kept busy with lessons on basic orienteering, shooting fundamentals, and various courses. By attending certain courses, cadets are promoted to higher ranks. Those that show potential and drive are selected to attend more prestigious courses that allow them to hold key appointments in the NCC family. NCC (Land) has done very well, having achieved the CM Philips Award in 2014 which signifies that the unit had obtained the HQNCC Best Unit Competition Gold Award for 10 consecutive years.
No prior experience is needed to join. Personally, I came to NCC only because my dad encouraged me to. Marching in the hot sun and coming back sweaty and smelly may not seem like the ideal Friday afternoon for most, but it is only in such times that the friendships forged are the strongest. To this day, some of my closest friends in school are those that did the push-ups beside me and those that went through the toughest courses with me. In the SAC, we often talk about those scary instructors in camps or the funny experiences we had during trainings. Looking back, I do not regret the countless hours spent in planning and training, or the nights spent preparing my uniform for the next day. NCC (Land) has been a huge part of my life and indeed, the motto “To Serve with Pride and Dedication” is something that I have taken and applied in everything I do. Trainings make my week a little more interesting; you don’t get the opportunity to jump out of a helicopter at a thousand feet every day.
Benjamin Lew (6.04) is from the graduating batch of 2016. He is a C/2LT in NCC (Land).