SAF: Then & Now
By Alexius Chua
March 29, 2016
To meet new security challenges effectively, the SAF has transformed itself over the decades into an advanced networked force and the string of enhancements also extends to the basic necessities of life in camp. From the food at the cookhouse to the rations brought outfield, many things have changed for the better and there’s much that national servicemen today can be thankful for. Here are some of the improvements that make life in camp a whole lot better.
Image sourced from remembersingapore.org (left) and mindef.gov.sg (1) (right)
Feeling hungry after training? If you served NS before the commercialisation of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) cookhouses in 1997, you can expect fewer options for your meal.
Today’s NSmen enjoy different cuisines with daily menu changes such as chicken rice, fish and chips, nasi briyani, pasta and satay. They even get to top it off with tropical fruits and the occasionally ice-cream for dessert. All these delicacies are served by kind aunties who will gladly serve you seconds.
Army Ration Packs
The extensive Singapore field ration pack
Photo sourced from insing.com
Combat rations: the one unifying experience that every NSF will learn to appreciate during out field trips. The first generation field rations mainly comprised canned foods and a 24-hour pack weighing about 2.2kg to be shared between two soldiers. Biscuits were the only source of carbohydrates as rice or noodles were not introduced back then.
More than just to satisfy hunger pangs, our current ration packs reflect Singapore’s culinary heritage. Don’t believe me? Check out the menu: chicken rice, tandoori chicken and mutton rendang. Vegetarian options such as mock chicken curry are also included. Wash it off with all-time favourite desserts such as red bean soup, milk barley and green bean soup. Yummy!
Army Bath Towel
The new microfiber bath towel is a popular choice among NSF and NSmen
A bothersome piece in the list of necessary items in the army field bag, not only does the green bath towel takes up valuable space, it is quite hard to fold into a ziplock bag.
Inexpensive and highly absorbent, the plush green bath towel (above) made of microfiber is a popular choice among NSF and NSmen - even after completing their two-year service. The microfiber is extremely lightweight and compact when folded, which makes packing for outfield trips easier. What more can you ask from a piece of cloth?
Physical Training (PT) vest/ singlet
Be cool and keep fit with the new PT vest!
Photo sourced from Mindef.gov.sg (2)
Ever experience the icky feeling of sweat-soaked singlet clinging to the skin? That’s what the soldiers in the past had to endure as they made their rounds through six IPPT stations in their drenched PT vest.
The improved PT singlet provides 30 percent higher air permeability, dissipates heat and dries at double the rate of its predecessor. All these boils down to a cooler run for your 2.4km!
Want to shed some time off your 2.4km run? Join the SAFRA Running Club today!
Need some help on your IPPT preparation? Check out EnergyOne's preparatory training courses specially designed by the gym's panel of fitness experts to boost up on your IPPT scores!
1 SAF Cookhouse image taken from http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/resourcelibrary/cyberpioneer/topics/articles/features/2011/nov11_cs.html
2 Physical Training (PT) vest/ singlet image and information taken from http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/resourcelibrary/cyberpioneer/topics/articles/news/2010/september/08sep10_news.html