The dining hall was not the type fit for officers, as this Officer Cadet School was hastily set up.
This is the defining moment where you serve God, King and country against the enemies within or foreign. After which you are Government property. Immediately after our attestation, we were taken on an orientation, the whole group of us comprising around 260 Cadet Officers, in files.
The madmen who took us on this orientation course were the Physical Training Instructors, led by another chief madman, who was Staff Sergeant Mozine. The distance was barely three miles, three miles is not a problem, the way the orientation was conducted was!
When you, a trained soldier moves with dumb arsed civilians’ you tend to end up in a world of shit. All of them have never participated in drills before. So when the PTIs’ started yelling commands to turn left, right, about face or to double time it was Greek to them.
When it was Greek to them, which in plain language the crappy civilians did not understand them, all hell broke loose. They instructors started using their hands and boots on them, a bit later it was us, as I too received a few. I was the most aggressive of the lot, once in awhile I threw some defying glances at this new sadistic bunch who called themselves instructors.
They made us forward roll, the Cadets who were wearing hobnailed boots, allowed their boots to clumsily land on the heads of their fellow Cadets on the roll. This caused skin to be split open and blood to flow.
Those were the lucky ones, they were pulled out to be attended to, it was only a temporary reprieve. After their wounds were dressed, they were made to join us once again.
We were made to do squat jumps, run down hills at speed runs, at one of these many up and down runs one of the instructors managed to land a kick on my back, to speed everyone up as I was going down hill. We were packed densely and the incline was steep, my knee gave way.
Down I went and was in excruciating pain. There was no let up. Some guys just collapsed out of exhaustion. The orientation lasted about 3 hours, it was the longest three hours I had ever experienced in my time. My knee was truly fucked as I continued running.
The total cost of the orientation was, two Cadet Officers died, 15 placed in ICU and numerous injured including me. The dead included one Chinese and one Malay. This, we knew only in the evening when we were left alone. One of the duty Corporals informed us. The whole camp had fallen silent to this tragedy.
What we heard was that the senior instructor had assemble the Physical Training Instructors and started berating them, with words like “killer squad”, killers and other words, as he had to explain the unnecessary deaths, to the parents of the dead Cadets and his higher ups.
We were left alone, some of the Cadets were in tears, mostly the lady Cadets, some of the male and female cadets were already whispering about going home. For me the only problem that was ailing me was my knee. I was in pain. Some of the Cadets at night were already crying. Having a bath to clean up was the same like when I was in the Recruit Training Centre, insufficient water to cater for the needs of the Cadet Officers. We had a lousy dinner and went off to sleep.