Hello, my name is Kelvin, not Rachel. I conveniently named my blog "Rachel" because it's a sexy name. Enjoy your stay here!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Starting to feel it

The live firing is tomorrow. It's past lights out and my bunk mates can't sleep because I'm laying on my bed writhing, wiggling and squirming (with anticipation). Weee! I think I can be a good worm.

Today we've got everything done quite smoothly and I must say that it is a great wing effort. All the appointment holders knew exactly what they needed to do and every single helper sacrificed their share of administrative time towards the cause.

I think I'll be getting lung cancer soon. I picked up smoking since I entered. I don't like smoking but I think I need to do it sometimes. I passed today's test but I don't know how many more tests can I smoke through.

I'll be waking up at 0330. Time to stop wiggling!

I hope you're having as much fun as I am! ;)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Certain decisions in life are difficult to make when the balance of work efficiency and welfare come into the equation.

When things need to be done, diplomacy may not be the best solution. When decisions need to be made, someone needs to take the brunt of the recoil.

There will be a point where you would have to choose between a group of friends and a group of acquaintances. When feelings come into play and logics seem like a mile away, I do things that make me question my own ethics and moral integrity.

I made a decision today that made me a good person, but also an equally bad one. Today was just a matter of pouring a 3/4 cup of water to extinguish a fire, versus pouring two 1/2 cups of water to achieve the same effect.

What would you choose?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lucky me!

I'll admit it, I've been bringing my phone around in my commander's bag everyday. When we were told to own up just now, I didn't; not because of personal integrity issues, but because I DIDN'T BRING IT OUT TODAY! Tell me about Murphy's law man, haha!

Today I'm in an exceptionally good mood. I didn't fail the dreaded MCM test! Honestly there were so many questions I wasn't able to answer outright that I thought I was not going to make the passing cut!

When I ponder about my recent performance, I came across a startling thought: Since when did I start thinking about how to PASS, instead of how to EXCEL? If I was just going to PASS then what makes me worthy to lead the others who also just PASSED?

"I am an officer of the Singapore Armed Forces. My duty is to LEAD, to EXCEL, and to OVERCOME".

We can recite the Officer's Creed a dozen times daily, but it's times like these that the words start to make sense. Each day I live, I shall take a step towards becoming one worthy of leading.

P.S. I told CPT Dacialyn from Signals during an interview that my goal in SAF is not to fail any of the examinations. She said it is a great and challenging goal. I think she's right.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


This is going to be the first and last time I'm gonna be late. I'm never ever going to go through this again. What just happened was worse than SOC.

Note to anyone reading: Gate closes at 2145 to 2155.

I just found the epitome of humility. A captain walked out all the way where I came from and helped me retrieve a couple of my undergarments and uniform that fell out of my bag as I was rushing. He is exactly the kind of leader I want to be: like a sword that can pierce through steel in battle, yet can cut a tomato when someone needs soup.

I don't know if I can ever be like that. I find it difficult to have the right balance between being nice and being in charge. I'll start looking out for strategies that can help me make my men like me while not letting them step over my head. EOCC is full of people I can look up to and learn from.

Pick yourself up

I did not do very well for the physical selection. In fact, I did really badly. It's times like these when I have high expectations I feel pain the most.

I misplaced the second last piece of the puzzle and when I was remedying it, I accidentally scrambled the whole thing. My nerves got the better of me. Of course, if I'm going to be like this then I probably shouldn't be in EOD or I would be a hazard to the rest.

It's not the end of everything. It's not the first time my expectations got crushed. Kelvin, pick yourself up, there are many more things to achieve out there... ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Made it through!

I finally made it through the seemingly never-ending week! I'm glad that practicals wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be and much leniency was granted by the invigilating instructors. I should learn to reciprocate by putting in more effort the next time round.

The last hurdle of the week would be the CBRE selection test tomorrow. I heard that it is linked to the EOD selections so I better make sure I do well. The film crew would be there as usual. I'm camera-shy, so I hope it doesn't affect my performance too much.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


It has been a really tiring week. It started off with a terribly tiring guard duty and I haven't been able to catch up with the sleep ever since. I don't know how I would manage with the practicals tomorrow seeing that I have already forgotten half of the details covered. I hope I do well.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I've been shown mercy

I've not studied for my test so I don't know how I passed today. I'm really surprised I did. I DEFINITELY got a borderline for both tests. I'm glad but I must remind myself that there's nothing to be proud about because I really need to buck up for my practicals.

At the same time, I need to find some way to motivate myself to study demolitions. I know that I won't be able to do anything about the learning system at this point but I'll try my best to do what is required. Maybe the desire to enter EOD can help fuel the nerd in me.

Next week I'll be the Cadet Wing Sergeant Major for the demolitions live firing. It seems like a daunting task thinking about all the stores required but I'll give it all to make the exercise a success.

With the two tests this week off my mind, I can finally concentrate on revamping my field pack and the IPPT tomorrow.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Horrible day!

Guard duties are generally pretty fun for me but I can't say the same about the days after. I had just 2 hours of sleep yesterday because I decided to play Lava Boy Water Girl (or whatever that game is called) with Aaron.

I remembered saying "I'll regret this" halfway through the game but little did I expect myself to really regret it this badly today.

I've been really zonked out through the day. I haven't studied the scope for the test so basically I'm in trouble now.

I'll sleep now so that I can have maximum rest for tomorrow. I'll really need it. Good night.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I'm now stuck in camp idling my Sunday away doing guard duty. It allows me to ponder about my priorities, decisions and sense of responsibility.

I feel that responsibility is not something that can be taught to a person. Genuine responsibility comes when a person learns to take pride in the things he do.

I need to learn to be proud of myself; to look more at the positive side of things. Like LTC Psalm Lew once said, a person who is fully self-aware is one who is able to identify his flaws and overcome them with his strengths.

I need to learn to be less critical of myself. Instead of feeling sorry for myself every time I encounter a flaw, I will now make a conscious attempt to fix them.

If I die today, the news headline would begin with "Man dies"; no longer "Teen dies". I'm all grown up now. I should act like one.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What is your impression of Engineer stores? Why do you think it is important to Engineers?

Engineer stores consist of foreign-looking objects alien to the Infantry world. The amount of stores required for an operation would require an operation of its own to consolidate and account for. It would seem like a logistical nightmare to service and maintain the stores.

My thing that came to my mind when introduced to the stores was: "DAMN HEAVY!".

Back in Infantry, the only stores I could really recall were the ones used for basic entrenching and obstacles. Of course, it would only be logical for the Infantries to have minimal stores as their trade revolves around their superior firepower.

The best section weapon for the Engineers is probably the Ultimax 100. We do not carry FN MAG's, so we don't have our own GPMG team for defense purposes. What we have to make up for the lack in small arms firepower is superior equipment.

Being a support element in the army, the Engineers are responsible for the Mobility, Counter-Mobility and Survivability of mainly the ground forces (Infantries and Armored arms). A GPMG team to their FN MAG is like an Engineer to this equipment. Without proper stores and equipment, the Engineers would not be able to accomplish these tasks efficiently.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Learning in Engineers

I find it difficult to study anything in EOCC (or in fact anything in OCS). I'm not sure if it's the environment or the topics at hand. I love learning when it is about understanding how systems and processes work. When someone gives me a bunch of numbers, figures and terms and ask me to memorize them for an examination, I call it 'brain-dumping'.

At this point I find that the learning system in the third generation army is still based more on memorizing than anything else. This type of system is more apparent in last generation's education system. As a peer lecturer for the past 3 years, I helped many weaker students climb their way into the left side of the results bell curve. I wish to one day revolutionize the way things are taught in the institute.

Back to reality, right now I'm feeling rather dreadful about the test because I don't think I'm game enough to memorize everything. When I couldn't sleep last night all I needed was to open the precis and it took me just 3 minutes to visit dreamland. I just hope that everything I know comes out and everything I don't doesn't.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Big appointment

I'm about to undertake a scary role in two week's time in an important event. Adeline would be the conducting and I would have to work with her. Shall talk about it more tomorrow.

I discovered something I need to change. I talk too loud. Tomorrow I shall try to keep my volume down.

Won't say much today, got to study for a test.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Today I broke my first goal in ETI. Before I came in to EOCC I told myself that I was going to make sure that I don't get my rifle stunned. I also told myself that I must keep myself from signing extras. I made a serious mess out of everything.

Today I made an attempt to be good in file. I think it was a good attempt but I'm still not quite up to my expectations. I will try harder tomorrow.

There are currently two other things I need to change: Frequent misplacing of my belongings, and talking too loudly. I shall work on those tomorrow.

I think today I somehow marred my instructors' impressions of me. I didn't know when to get serious, talked really loudly, interrupted lessons, started irrelevant discussions, got my rifle stunned and made a mess out of my practicals. I shall pull up my socks tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Daily Improvements

I'm starting a self-revolution. Each day from now on, I will try to make a positive change in myself. Today I made a great effort to fall in really early, and I did not sleep in lesson.

I was told yesterday that I have poor file discipline so I will try my best to stay quiet and still whenever we fall in for anything.

I went through a great mental ordeal today; not because it's Valentine's day (well it partially is) but because of this test (or exercise as they call it). I hope I get into where I want to be!

Monday, February 13, 2012

The best L&V lesson ever!

I don't usually stay awake during L&V lessons but I must say that today is really an exception. I was back where I came from to listen to a respectable man named after a book in the Bible and it is to date the most useful and inspiring lesson I've ever sat through. It really made me think deeper, and to look at myself in a way I never would have otherwise.

By the way, I also won a prize for storytelling :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Last week was week zero.

Today, I guess, is day zero. I don't know how prepared am I to face the stuff here. Tomorrow we're going back to SAFTI MI. The briefing said "We are to dress our best because we are going to other camps" and I was like hmm, "other" camps. It wasn't so "other" just a while ago.

Anyway this is my first post from my new Blackberry, which is working well so far.

I finally understand who you are to me.

I think you are a best friend.

My Bold 9780

is making me really sad. The housing or something inside is loose. Every time I touch the right side of the phone: It shuts off! I feel like opening it up to see what's causing it but I don't have a T5 TORX screwdriver, and I'm booking in today!

Now I'm going to have to rush my Basic EOD studies.

How has my perception of EOCC changed since entering?

Back in Service Term, my main focus was to give my best in everything I do, then get out of Infantry. Back during the vocation express interest exercise, the general idea for most of us was: "Anything but Infantry".

I put Signals as my first choice, and Engineers as my second. I ordered my vocation express interest choices according to how physically demanding (or to put it bluntly, "slack") I perceived the vocations to be.

Honestly, I am disappointed that I did not get into Signals. Coming from an IT/Engineering background, and possessing various IT certifications (including CCNA), I thought my skill-set would be well suited for service in Signals.

However, I comforted myself thinking that Engineers would be physically undemanding enough for me.

I was dead wrong.

The moment I started interacting with my new peers and coaches in EOCC, previously unheard stories of nightmarish exercises started pouring in. My impression of Engineers took a fulminant turn as the realization of what I'm in for set in. What seemed like a slack vocation became my biggest nightmare.

It took me a few days to mentally prepare for what I'm about to face, and I think it's still not enough. I'll be honest: I'm afraid of the extended AOP, and the 6000 sandbags.

On the bright side, however, my new peers seemed much friendlier than the ones I had back in SAFTI MI. It was difficult being in the ESS (Every Singaporean Son) section where all the "wayangs" unite (and I hate "wayangs").

The people in my new section seemed more real. I sense genuine sincerity in the people around me, and I'm glad to be among them. The road ahead would be difficult, but I'm confident these guys will be the ones that will bring me through.

I can’t wait to discover Engineering.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Let's just forget it.

Let's just say that I quit. Let's just say that I have no more time for you. Let's just say that I am tired of waiting. Let's just say that I'm sick of trying. Let's just say that I'm moving on. Let's just say thank you for everything, it was good (:

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

999 Soap!

I recently bought a new bar of 999 Soap from the NTUC downstairs. I don't know why but this is the only smell in life that I'm truly addicted to. This smell just tingles my senses like nothing in this world can. Been like this since I was young. No kidding.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

My clock stopped!

The time reads 06hrs 11min 03sec. The battery is still barely powering it, causing the seconds finger to tick on the spot. I wonder if this number has any significant meaning? (No actually a second thought it's just that my clock's run out of juice.)

Feel like buying...

These are currently the burning wants I have:
1) Pool Table
2) Acoustic Drum Machine
3) PS3
-Final Fantasy XIII
-Final Fantasy XIII-2
-Guitar Hero
-Rock Band
4) Battlefield 3
5) Some nice Ralph Lauren tops
6) Some Taylor Swift posters for my room and ETI

Room overhaul and others...

I'm about to begin on a room overhaul. Well, not really. I just want to get things in order so that I can walk properly in here. Man it's been long since the last time a real overhaul occurred here. If I remember right, it was back when Jan first came to my place and told me that my room was messy. Right, that was the last time I cleaned up.

EOCC is starting on 090212. My freedom is coming to an end soon. Right now I just want to make sure that I settle as much external issues as possible so that I can have a peace of mind in ETI. I have that book-in email and as usual I'm afraid of opening it.

I'm thinking of redoing a blog template right after this. No guarantees though. I'm going for a haircut at 1830 today at Dion's. Hopefully I can clean my room in time for it.

Dress code for ETI is Polo tops and Penguin bottoms. I feel like buying myself some Ralph Lauren because Giordano is just cheapskate (GLJ spotted).

Anyway I think ETI will be really great, because I've heard from just too many sources that my PC (CPT Samuel Chong) is a great guy.

Monday, February 06, 2012


This is totally my favorite site now. Like totally.

Fixed the first computer problem...

in a really long time. This time it's Angel's sister. Took about 5 minutes to get the WiFi drivers back in action and then I'm done. A good warm-up after such a long time of being in the stone-age.

(In my definition, not doing anything awesome on the computer is considered stone-age.)

On a side note: I'd love to post pictures but my phone is not with me :( I wonder how do I get it back?

Get ripped!

I really need to get my ass off and really get ripped. I don't know where to get the motivation to start =(

My allowance account...

It scares me to see it drop below a hundred bucks. Can't wait for next month's pay. Got to keep tabs on my expenditure but at the same time I want to buy a legit copy of Battlefield 3, a PlayStation 3, and a new HDD.

Taylor Swift Speak Now - World Tour Live

Before I left for Brunei, some sweet people actually bought me this CD/DVD. That's just one of the many sweet things in a goody bag.

Definitely one of the sweetest random gifts I've ever gotten. My system's been looping the entire album for almost 24 hours now.

"The most intense times in your life are the ones where you are either falling in love or losing it." - Taylor Swift

I love Taylor Swift because she speaks to my heart :'( It's true :'(

A new place to rant?

Hello blog. From hereon now, you shall be named Rachel. Rachel shall be my new rantvenue.

If this site looks familiar, it's probably because I reused the Basic Draft template.

Just came back from SOCJOT in Brunei. In two days time, I'm about to begin my journey in EOCC (Engineering Officer Cadet Course).