NCC Trip to USA from 16 June to 27 June 2018
Hunter Tan’s Reflection on his NCC Trip to USA from 16 June to 27 June
Overall, my NCC Trip to the USA was a real eye opener. There
was a huge cultural difference between Americans and Singaporeans, their
accent, their breakfast, lunch and dinner, just to name a few. Although there
was this ‘gap’ between us, it was amazing how easy we were able to make friends
and exchange contacts with one another. Our American counterparts were also
kind enough to repeat their words and sentences when they realised that we were
unable to comprehend what they were saying.
“Tough times don’t last; tough men do”. We learnt this as
we were undergoing the intense Physical Training (PT) led by Major Farese. The
PT taught us that although the situation might be tough, as long as we
persevere, the end result will be worth it. After going through this course, we
learnt to cherish the times we had together. Many of us felt that the course
was too short as we forged strong bonds with the flight mates and made many
unforgettable memories, despite the vigorous trainings. The various daily
inspections taught us to have a better sense of responsibility and discipline.
Making our rooms and perfecting our uniforms every night helped us learn to
better manage ourselves. This is crucial as in order to lead our cadets, we must
first be able to lead ourselves well.
“Expect problems and eat them for breakfast”. We learnt
that in life we will encounter many problems and difficulties. However, we can
either choose to throw in the towel, or face the problems and help others
through. There were many moments in which we wanted to give up, but the motivation
from our flight mates was the driving factor for us to not quit. Though we were
in a foreign environment undergoing intense training, our fellow cadets were
able to empathise and work with us to make us feel more at ease. Despite the
difficulties encountered, the bonds we forged with the foreign cadets allowed
us to experience true camaraderie and it was a powerful driving factor in
helping us complete the camp.
The course at the start was a cultural shock, as the cadres
would encourage us with phrases like “Move with a purpose basic” and “who’s
your best friend?”. This was very different from training in Singapore, where
we reprimanded or informed (depending on the errors) our junior cadets for things
they did wrongly. There, it was evident in the manner they spoke that they
still had respect for one another, despite all the reprimanding and mental
torture. Not to say that in Singapore we do not respect our cadet leaders. We
certainly do, but it was much more of a surprise as we usually think of American
teens as disrespectful and rude toward their elders. However, after visiting
the States, we were totally surprised. As the sayings go, “Never judge a book
by its cover” and “A picture depicts a thousand words”, we never knew how true
these stereotypes were until we determined the answer ourselves. I also matured
as a person after going for this trip. The lazy and happy-go-lucky me had
changed into a diligent and disciplined (to an extent) person. Those simple
skills of making my bed and finishing my food were definitely brought back with
me and this course really helped me a lot and shaped me into a better person.
Thank you Mr Loh, and Sir Terence Tan for their support and
for allowing me to experience what not many can and learn new things.
SSG Hunter Tan