Guess, the doctor with all the years of training and experience, must have brilliantly thought it out to allow me to continue training in my plaster cast and my crutches. Some doctor!
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 assembled 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. The dining hall was not the type fit for officers, as this Officer Cadet School was hastily set up.
In the morning we were assembled, my knee had grown to a size where my pants could not be pulled off. They Orderly Corporal asked whether anyone of us wanted to report sick, there were around ten of us. We were told to pack the essentials, just in case we were admitted.
We were to taken to the Port Dickson Garrison’s Hospital. It was a small hospital. There the doctor attended to all of us. In my case I was referred to the hospital in Seremban. Me and a recruit with a broken leg were placed in an ambulance and driven to Seremban.
In Seremban an orthopedic surgeon examined my knee, had my knees x-rayed. After checking my knees, he asked me how I happened to injure my knees. I told him what happened. He sympathized with me, as he heard about the death of the cadets. He sent me to the dressing station to have my knees cast in the plaster cast.
After which I slowly made my way back to the ambulance, the medical corporal who was in charge of us took us back to the military hospital in Port Dickson. I was taken to see the medical doctor on arrival, who told me to go back to the Officer Cadet School. I was given a set of crutches.