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

Saturday, January 15, 2005

When a private becomes a Lance Corporal.

I found out that I was promoted.

It probably should be a good thing for me - except that promotion is a local promotion, and that I would not get any pay raise for that. Implications include me getting sabotaged for all those jobs I never would normally do before this promotion, not getting a pay raise (have I mentioned that yet?) and having to pay to sew the new rank on my uniforms.

Before I go deeper into the problem, I must add that I will eventually be promoted (yet again) to Corporal under the SAF system. That means this intermediate stage would mean that I would have to pay again in a few months time to remove this rank, and to sew on my final rank for my national service stint. This intermediate stage would have been eliminated, had it not been for this special policy on the part of my CO, who insisted on promoting a few people at a time based on "merit", instead of the usual practise of promoting all the enlistees to Corporal all at the same time. Given our status as enlistees, it would bring about problems, such as jealousy and cause the promotees to be the subject of arrows from above and below.

It all started when everybody was quite impressed with my performance. The peer appraisal was also favourable. The commanders were also pleased with my improvement (I got a silver in the physical proficiency test, and passed my Standard Obstacle Course on my first try.) Everybody thought I would be promoted to Corporal. I admit that I thought so myself initially. At this time, 2 slots for Corporal and 4 for Lance Corporals were open. Then came the bombshell that I was going to be promoted to Lance.

Frankly speaking, I wouldn't have minded this promotion but for the fact that I would not get additional cash reward along with this rank. Right now, I am still feeling the pinch over the amount of money I had to spend just sewing the rank onto my four sets of uniform ($20 out of $500 a month). Effectively, I am just another private with additional responsibilities.

I get people coming up to me with looks of jealous evident in their eyes. Some tell me that I am lucky to be promoted before all the rest. They are right. I am lucky to be promoted earlier. I just hate to be that lucky to miss the cash.

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