Hi Year 1s! Many of you must be worrying about joining a UG – whether or not it is going to take too much of your time, or how it seems really intimidating to face ‘scary’ seniors, or maybe even having to report every Friday (or Saturday) for trainings. As you know by now, it is compulsory for you to join a UG, so why not just have fun! But anyway, if you are having trouble choosing which UG to join, I am here to share some of my experiences with you (This is my 6th year in NCC (Sea))! In Year 1, I too was worried and lost as to what I had to do, or what was required of me. More often than not, people avoid joining NCC because of its emphasis on drills and discipline. Personally, I have heard many stories of how juniors in NCC got “tekan-ed” every training. But fret not! After having spent the last 5 years to come, I can assure you: the seniors in NCC (Sea) can be really nice! In fact, there is so much more to NCC than just that. You must be wondering, with so many UGs in ACS(I), why should you choose NCC (Sea)? Here are some things we do!
1) Kayaking expeditions
2) Fun camps (we do minimal to no drills during camps)
3) PDS (performing with rifles)
4) Intra-unit shooting competitions
5) And many other courses that you can sign up for! (e.g. Jungle Survival, Basic Diving Course and Midshipmen Sea Training Deployment)
6) Using real and functioning SAR21s during your marksmanship test!
More importantly however, it is the experience and exposure from all these activities that matter the most. Looking back at the past 5 years I have spent in the UG, I do not remember whatever tough times I had doing drills, but rather the vast opportunities to do things that you do not usually get to do. I mean, where else do you have the opportunity to experience living in the jungle, or to participate in paintball activities… the list goes on and on. On top of these, I have met many of my best and closest friends from the UG. It may seem as if I am painting a picture too beautiful for the UG, but this is honestly what I feel about NCC (Sea)!
NCC (Sea) has garnered many awards in the recent years – Gold for the Best Unit Competition, Champions in the PDS preliminary competition two times in a row, Champions of Street Soccer competitions and many more! So do not worry, if you join the UG, you are in good hands!
Oh right, and lastly, just to clarify misconceptions – we do not do drills every training! We actually have fun- like train for soccer, shooting competitions, or PDS. We do drills only before important assessments (e.g. Specialist Course/Senior Specialist Course etc). In fact, most of the time spent on Fridays are actually fun!
Assessments are mainly conducted in HQNCC (Headquarters NCC in Amoy Quee Camp), and when you pass these tests you are promoted to higher ranks, with the highest for Year 4 being Master Sergeant, and for Year 6 the Cadet Captain. You do not need prior military knowledge or experience to join or excel in the UG! For the many of you who will be interested in military related activities, or more specifically the those out at sea, NCC (Sea) is a great choice!
On a side note, the 6 years ahead of you will pass by very (I mean extremely) quickly. Do treasure the time that you have in the school, and in whatever UG you may choose, just have fun and remember that the purpose in the compulsory UG rule is not just to develop and nurture you, but also to expose you to the world outside of your academics. Have fun, and if you join us, we shall meet soon!
If you want to find out more about NCC (Sea), do visit this page: http://www.acsindep.moe.edu.
Teo Jun Quan (6.07) is from the graduating batch of 2016. He is a C/2LT in NCC (Sea).