I know this is super outdated but seeing the people posting comments in Celebrating Success group regarding ADOC’s anniversary have spurred me on to write about my experience in NDP ’11, more importantly, National Service.
No path is ever as easy to walk on as the Paddock’s long and straight road, and I probably struggled like more than half of the way. And trust me, there were times I just felt like giving up, because of reprimand, workload and we all know how tradition is, “when things have been done a certain way, they must be done a certain way.”
I remember falling asleep in the conference room during my first meeting, and being scolded by our then-CCWO ME5 Tan, but eventually as I got to know him better, I realised that he was actually very passionate about Engagement and the reason why he was so firm in his reprimand was because he realised that I was not Engaged at all. Maybe at that point I wasn’t so, when I saw the mountain of tasks we had to accomplish before, during and after the event itself.
But that was the turning point for me, and as I continued my work in the EC, under the supervision of Encik Lee, I started to see the beauty of NDP and the importance of our job as the Engagement Committee.
Soon, the Committee started to expand, some members left and new members came in, and I got to know a lot more great people, like Terence, Eddy Cherry Charlotte, Sista Briana, Ellen, Lip Wee, Encik Toh, Big Daddy Nigel, Daniel Yakuza, Encik Joe P, Encik Steven, Jun Han, Encik Jaswant, Vincent See and Encik Chiam and the rest of the NSman guys as well!
Then came the actual thing. It was no longer mere Powerpoint presentations. Our future tenses started to switch to present, and soon everything was in full swing at the Paddock. Besides having Popeye’s every weekend and going around interviewing people, we also had to contend with the weather and the pain of transporting our logistics and food every week. But no matter how difficult a task was, we always got it done, bitching aside of course!
Then came the actual NDP. The day of truth. The day where everything would end and everyone would say goodbye to each other. Actually, it wasn’t so much for you guys as it was for me. For me, the final display of fireworks was like the curtains going down onto the stage as a play ends. NDP was over, and so would my time in NS be in a month’s time.
On 13 September 2011, my pink IC finally returned to me, and suddenly I found myself a free man, without any obligations, without having to report to camp at 0800 the next morning, but as I walked out of Chong Pang Camp at the end of the day, I realised I was now armed with a plethora of friendship, knowledge, experience and skills that I would not have otherwise had if I did not joined NDP. 730 days was long, but definitely not wasted.
Everyone I have tagged in this post, contributed one way or another to my journey in NDP, and ADG in general. Where else could I have seen NDP grow from a simple PowerPoint Presentation to a full parade?
I hope that I have had the chance to do something meaningful for you during my time in the service. I am happy to regain my freedom, yet at the same time, I am sad that all this is now nothing more than a sweet memory. Thank you all for the wonderful journey, and all the best in your future endeavours!
P.S. I also absolutely have to mention the Secretariat team. Kelvin, BK, JQ, Encik Goh, Daniel Ho, you guys are really great and damn funny too. I spent a lot of time in the NDP office in my last month of service and I’m glad I did. Thanks guys, and meet up soon!
Also, during NDP, I met and befriended a lot of incredible people as well, from the various key appointment holders to the trainers right down to the participants, you have been a part of these four months of my life and I will surely not forget that I have ever once worked together with you.