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All the about Pkchukiss's life in the Singapore Armed Forces

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Reluctant Instructor - A mini-essay

I dedicate this mini-essay to all my BMT instructors, without whom I would not have survived my army life till this far... Please do tell me what you feel of it. I wrote it when I was thinking about my BMT days. Hope you enjoy it!

The Reluctant Instructor

The droplet fell onto the hot asphalt road, and sizzled into steam. Many similar droplets were covering his face, and his arms were buldging from the effort.

"... and up" the instructor spoke. With a mighty grunt, the recruit heaved himself from the ground, more sweat poured forth, and drenched the ground. Around him are 40 other similar bodies, doing push-ups in a synchronised dance, an apparent entrancement which all their souls have been ensconced in, effort etched deeply in their faces.

The instructor furrowed his eyebrows. He wasn't used to issuing physical punishment, and seeing many trembling arms under the threat of giving way, he decided to let them off.

"Recover!" He menaced. "And next time, wake up your bloody idea!" he snarled, to the cowering faces before him. Then, he spun around, and marched off to the office in military precision.

He was wasted, a mere shadow of his own personality. Forced to dress himself into the instructional role, which demanded him to be a mean bastard. But the soft side in him didn't want to, and now that the iron mask had come off, he began to weep.

The silver bayonet, the mark of his achievement, laid in its display, an air of mysterious glamour wafting from its very core. He caressed it gently, the fine hilt, with its many specially crafted diamond-shaped grooves, the symbol of a sergeant's achievement.

Had I gone through all these just to become the most hated person in this place? He pondered, his eyes resting on the three stripes sewn onto the sleeve of the neatly pressed uniform, swaying gently in the breeze from a golden hanger (a gift from his girlfriend, "for your best uniform," she had said).

No other instructor could match his dedication. He had single handedly took charge of the recruits' welfare, from cleaning their bunks before their enlistment, to preparing their orientation program. He was also the strictest with the trainees, ensuring that they learn from their mistakes. That also meant more frequent meetings with the Orientation Officer, whom would summon him due to complaints from the recruits' doting parents.

The effort was murdering his soul. Why can't he be himself, like the other instructors?

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