Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Day I Talk About First Times (Part II)

The last time I had a "First Times" article was waaay back during the beginning of my Basic Medic Course. This time, it's about something slightly different. I have recently embarked on a new journey to a new camp for yet another course: the really physically demanding BAC (Basic Airborne Course).

First Time #1: Carrying A Parachute
Remember the first time you saw the Red Lions jump out of a plane thousands of feet in the air during the annual National Day Parade shows on TV and thinking "The parachutes on their backs look so cool!"? Well, that's what I thought too, until I actually had to carry one. First of all, it's nowhere as cool as the ones you've seen on TV cos it's a static jump chute (meaning that we don't actually have to yank the rip-chord off the chute when we exit the plane; the canopy is automatically deployed when we jump out). Secondly, it's less aesthetically appealing cos of its fully camouflaged prints. Lastly cos it weighs a bomb (if I'm not wrong it's more than 15kg). Talk about back-breaking weight.

First Time #2: Falling Down On Purpose
Yes, you read it right. We fall over front and back, left and right deliberately. But only during our landing drills, of course. It basically involves a series of coordinated leg and body movements that makes us fall in a given direction. This is done to equip us with the knowledge of proper landing techniques when we land in various wind conditions. Now, imagine yourself falling down with a 3kg helmet on your head. Imagine doing this fifty times and visualize the post-drill muscle aches on your neck, shoulders and butt. Ouch.

First Time #3: Calling everyone "AIRBORNE!"
This might not make sense. On the first day of the course, we were told to end our responses and verbal comments with a loud "AIRBORNE!" in order to keep our morale high and to be accustomed to shouting. Instead of pausing and then shouting the word "Airborne" like this: "YES SIR! AIRBORNE!", we shout everything together. In essence, we end up calling all of our instructors "Airborne" because our replies all sound like this: "YES SIR AIRBORNE!" "NO SIR AIRBORNE" etc. So basically all our instructors are known as "(insert rank here) Airborne". Which is quite confusing cos we hardly call out their last names and hence don't quite remember them. Can't really fault us. Heh.

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