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7th Rangers: Physical Training Recruit Training Center Port Dickson - 1972

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Physical Training Recruit Training Center Port Dickson - 1972
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Representative Image

Morning at the recruit training center is morning in the truest sense, we are rudely woken up at 4 o’clock by this crazy lunatic who carries a cane, anybody slow enough to jump out of bed experiences excruciating pleasure of pure natural rattan, they don’t restrict its usage only in prisons, it’s meted out with pleasure, glee, brute force and pure passion in the recruit training center.

I read somewhere that an enlisted man cannot be struck, it must have been in some US magazine. Armed with this powerful knowledge I summoned up my courage and told this, Corporal Latiff off. 

Big mistake, real big mistake, he looked shocked at first and broke in a fit of laughter, suddenly he stopped laughing, heard a thwack sound, felt this pain burning across my back followed by two more strokes. I took heel, I was now battle scarred, with three welts running across my back.

From now on I decided, I am not going to read any more American comics. They are a bad influence on impressionable people like me. From then on I decided to keep my distance from this weirdo, but the problem in RTC is that you can’t avoid lunatics, every third person is a lunatic, and they had this misbegotten impression that they can beat the shit out of any recruit they came across.

We were made to fall in and given an introduction to physical training on what to expect for the next six months. It was only torture, devised by the most sadistic of minds. It’s like this, when I say go I want you to reach that tree by the count of twenty, normally the tree would be three hundred meters away. You are slow, go!

It is repeated so many times you on the verge of collapse, as you are too exhausted the PTI would order you to lie down and start rolling towards the same tree, we are of course helped along the way by a few well placed kicks. Up and down we roll, some of the guys are puking some greenish stuff.

Then it comes to squat jumps, you squat down with both your hands behind the neck, with one knee forward, the PTI says up, you jump and alternate your knees forward. The commands become faster and faster, it’s a never ceasing nightmare. Thoughts like, will I make it, am I going to die of pain comes at you. Without any warning this kind of a torture comes to an abrupt halt.

Another torture takes place while your thighs are crying and begging for relief. You are instructed to place your index finger on a spot on the ground bend over and move your butt in a circle, this torture tickles the instructors pink, we are asked to rotate faster and faster. 

Some of the guys just fall over, caused by dizziness they are soon set upon by the other instructors, they must have really missed playing soccer, as they were practicing their kicks on the writhing bodies that fell.

It’s over, it’s time for breakfast, bits of grass, mud and weeds are stuck all over us, once we reach the barracks we are given two minutes to clean up. The instructors are always there to assist us in doing everything in double quick time by instilling in us the fear of corporal punishment. 

We are marched up to the cookhouse in the typical military fashion. Most of the guys are in a daze, thank god all the running long distances was paying off for me.

Some of the guys had blank looks about them, probably it had not sunk into them that they were in hell. Most of them could not eat due to the gruelling physical torture they experienced. We were given bread with jam. Noodles, an egg, tea, coffee and chocolate drinks, I relieved those guys who did not have an appetite of their food.

Then it was back to the normal torture otherwise known as training. I was after a time, determined that nothing would faze me.

Physical training was not always the same on other days, sometimes it was unarmed combat, with bayonets and rifles. It was non stop prodding if it was bayonet training, and your arms would feel like falling off. Normally at the end of it all you feel physically bruised and mentally abused.

We were doing all these whilst being paid RM30 fortnightly!!! We were getting paid RM60 a month.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 3:32 PM  
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