Sunday, August 10, 2008

ORD Speech - December 2005

I was selected by 2PDF to deliver this ORD speech on behalf of my unit. It was given a couple of weeks before my ORD in December 2005 in front of a packed auditorium of ORD personnel of the 2 People's Defense Force (2PDF). In attendance were key appointment holders of 2PDF, including the Commander of 2PDF himself.

ORD Speech - December 2005
By 3SG Nathaniel Koh

A show of hands. How many of you here are looking forward to your ORD and getting back that pink IC?

I believe it was just a few months ago when we looked at our calendars and dreamt about how far we were to our ORD, but now our ORD is just a couple of weeks away. For some of us, just a couple of days away.

For most of us, we look forward to our ORD because we want to leave this place, because we want to get out of this constraint that was placed upon us.

However, let us look forward to our ORD for a different reason. Let us look forward to our ORD not because we want to get out, but because we want to get in, to get in to a life that is in store for us after we ORD.

What do we want to do after we ORD? Do we want to further our studies? Do we want to start earning a living in the workforce? Do we want to find our life partners, make babies, and start a family?

The possibilities are endless. And the possibilities are there for us to choose.

As I look forward to my ORD, I also look back at my more than two years of National Service.

I began my journey as a young, slightly enthusiastic recruit in BMTC. For those of us who have been through the enhanced PTP/BMT, we know how tough it was.

I was then posted to OETI, Ordnance Engineering Training Institute, to be trained as a Weapons Technician. OETI has another meaning. Apart from weapons training, we Only Eat Talk & Idle.

After three months, I was posted to 6SIR.

Having been in 6SIR for more than a year, I have experienced the ups and downs of working in the military. I have shed tears. I have been frustrated. I have kicked chairs around in private. And there are days when I find no meaning in my work.

But amidst all the frustration and negativity, I learnt a lot of lessons. I learnt a lot of myself, my character, my personality. I learnt a lot about others, their characters, their personality. I learnt a lot of intrinsic lessons. And what I learnt I will bring with me throughout my life.

While we look forward to our ORD, let us look back at the lesson we have learnt. Whether those lessons were positive or negative, let us bring them along in our lives, so that we can become better people, better human beings.

National Service is just a passing phase in our lives. Some of us serve for two years. Some of us serve for a little more than two years. But whatever the duration, let us keep in mind that our time in NS is just a drop in the ocean of our lives. What matters most is what happens after we ORD, what we achieve, who we become.

In conclusion, as our ORD day comes closer, let us reflect on our experiences here. And let us look forward, move on with our lives, and get back that pink IC.

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