20 July 2013

WTF Low-Key In-Camp Training Again

It was originally scheduled for 10 days but suddenly they sent a letter to inform me that it has been changed to 6 days, it really pissed me off and I immediately emailed my unit since their line is not available during weekend, but I can't wait so I called 1800-3676767 to ask them why did my unit suddenly change the schedule, and also why do they keep putting me on low-key training, the guy on the line is also an NSman so he can totally understand how I feel, and I realized that there's not much he can do because he will also need to forward my enquiry to my unit, but well, it's good that someone is following up for me.

This made me check my NS Booklet and do some research on the definition of low and high key trainings, and also when I can MR (Mindef Reserve).

I found two pages that cleared my doubts, but their definition of Low-Key Training doesn't seem to tally on both pages.

Page 1

The duration of your call-up may be as follows:

1. Low Key (LK) Training and Make-Up Training (MUT).
These refer to trainings that are between 2 to 6 days and you will be notified 3 months in advance.

2. High Key (HK) Training

These trainings are usually 7 days and longer and you will be notified 6 months in advance.

Page 2

NS Unit Training Cycle
Most NS units follow a training cycle that typically spans 10 years, including at least 7 high-key (HK) training. This is to ensure that NS training is conducted effectively and efficiently.


High-Key (HK) Training – refers to NS training of 7 days and longer.
Low-Key (LK) Training – refers to NS training of less than 7 days.

Notice in the first page, they said low-key is between 2 to 6 days, then in the second page, low-key is less than 7 days, so what about 1 day, or 0.5 day? They sure need to proof-read before posting it on their website. But one thing for sure is, 0.5-6 days is confirm not high-key, that's all I need to know.

And in the second page, they also mentioned NS training cycle typically spans 10 years and includes at least 7 high-key, based on what I heard from people who MR-ed in my unit, they did 7 high-keys and 3 low-keys, I also did some research on the internet, seems like that's the standard, haven't read of anyone who served more than 7 high-keys.

This reminds me of my section commander, he served 7 high-keys but I think he is short of 1 or 2 low-keys so he cannot MR. I also read of people who MR-ed with 7 high and 1 low, perhaps different unit has different requirements, but what I can confirm here is, 7 high-key is the minimum, so high-key is the Key.

I dug out my NS Booklet attendance information, removed all the IPPT and RT records so I can see clearly what kind of training I have attended.

Records of Attendance
No. of Days

26-Feb-20138-Mar-201311ANNUAL ICT (HIGH KEY)
22-Jan-201122-Jan-20111BRIEFING / SEMINAR / MEETING
12-Sep-201012-Sep-20101FORMATION TRAINING
10-Jul-201010-Jul-20101FORMATION TRAINING
5-May-201014-May-201010ANNUAL ICT
3-Jul-20098-Jul-20096ANNUAL ICT (LOW KEY)
15-Dec-200819-Dec-20085ANNUAL ICT (LOW KEY)
23-Jun-200823-Jun-20080.5BRIEFING / SEMINAR / MEETING
11-Jan-200818-Jan-20088ANNUAL ICT
8-Jan-200712-Jan-20075ANNUAL ICT (LOW KEY)
17-Feb-200617-Feb-20061ANNUAL ICT (LOW KEY)
10-Jan-200514-Jan-20055ANNUAL ICT (LOW KEY)

High-Key = 3
Based on 2-6 days, Low-Key = 4
Based on less than 7 days, Low-Key = 12

No matter what, I'm still short of 4 high-keys, and they decided to give me another low-key on my coming ICT, now you know why I'm pissed off, I'm already 30 years old, coming in-camp I would be 31, how many more years do they expect me to serve? I ORD-ed in Jan 2004, and almost 10 years later, I'm still far from MR.

I shouldn't have deferred last year's ICT, but not that I have a choice, anyway I didn't actually defer it. My colleague was also called up for ICT, we had almost the same training dates, our company sent deferment requests to Mindef but both got rejected and boy were we glad. Then one fine day at work, someone from Mindef called me to inform that my appeal for deferment has been approved, I was like WTF, then the guy told me it was my company who submitted the appeal, crap, why didn't they appeal for my colleague instead... but I guess someone's got to go to hell, unfortunately that's me, so be it.

Looking at my records, in about 8 years time, I only had 3 high-key, if including the one I missed, I should have 4, so in 8 years I might get 4 high-key, 2 years 1 high-key, then what, I need another 8 years before I can MR? By then I would be 39, WTF, this is really bullshit.

UPDATE: I got it wrong, according to my unit, Saturday and Sunday also count towards the attendance meaning if my ICT starts on Friday and ends on Friday, total days would be 8, and it's considered a high-key. Phew, so actually it's good that they shorten the ICT ;)

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