It’ll soon be two years since I officially became a naval reservist. There are loads and loads of stuff I still do not know but I am learning. Bit by bit. I am lucky to have people I can refer to, who tolerate my silly questions and are willing to guide me to be a better officer.
One thing I’ve been told since Day One was to leave my civillian credentials at the gate as I enter the base. At basic camp, everyone is the same. It is how you work towards moving up that will separate you from the rest. I can accept that, and I was prepared for the worst, thinking back to my schooldays and what little experience I’ve had prior to joining. A few others in my group had difficulties in adapting, and I understand how one former Captain in the Wataniah struggled to follow orders given by young sub-lieutenants when he is used to be the one giving orders.
However, I do not get those who can’t shed their titles and think it would help them in their training. Case in point, a newly commissioned acting sub-lieutenant who is a Masters degree holder and currently pursuing his PhD in engineering while not lecturing. He was actually disappointed with his commission, as he was expecting to get the rank of lieutenant, jumping two notches up from his current rank.
In my group of new officers, he was one of six people with at least a Masters degree. This guy and I, we did not start off well but that is a story for another time. He seems to me to be really impatient to be promoted and had decided to solely focus on the technical side of the service. Meaning that he just wants to learn about engines and nothing else. Errm.. I think you’d be happier working for a shipyard if that’s what you’re looking for. He has a disregard for other aspects of our training bordering disdain and other officers have started to notice.
If a senior officer tells you that you’re wearing the button on your epaulette wrong then the thing to do would be to rectify it, not brush him off, right?
IT, physics, medicine. Whatever your expertise may be useful to the Navy should there is a need for it but who you are outside does not count for anything. Anak Datuk ke, Ingénieur ke, apa diorang kisah?
As member of the same intake, I do not want him to be subjected to anything bad but there is a part of me that doesn’t care. A big part. Heh. Still, I fear he would give a bad reputation to my group of intake, especially since we’re likely going to be the last batch of midshipmen at KDSK for a long while, what with the ROTUs from three universities already attached to the unit making it difficult for qualified and interested working civillians to apply.