Category Archives: Life as a Reservist

Nobody else

First, I was late to the training site yesterday.  Then, I shed tears in front of my senior officer, who was asking for the reason I was late.  They came unbidden as usual, and I couldn’t stop them.  And it didn’t help that people kept asking if I was okay or telling me to chill.

A good officer should not be emotional, is always able to keep calm and be rational.  Guess I’m still bad at handling stress and pressure.  Add mental exhaustion to the mix and you get one grumpy norzu, who’d rather be cranky and feel sorry for herself.

A midshipman doing the work of a lieutenant.  That was how someone described me the other day.  I don’t know if that is apt, but the burden can be overwhelming sometimes.  Still, knowing there are people who appreciates my work helps.  A lot.

I don’t have anyone to blame but myself for yesterday’s episode.  It was me who signed up for all this on top of my day job, which made taking time off difficult.  Yup, it’s all my own doing.

A day’s rest is not a vacation, but that’s all I get for now.  I’ll just have to keep on dreaming about that beach getaway for a while longer and hope for the best.  Because moaning about my lot won’t make the problem go away.

 

Absence of fear

A friend said that I was ‘fearless’ to be a reservist.  Ha.  I wish that is true.  At the time I found out about the existence of the naval reserve unit in 2009 maybe, but by the time I made the decision to go for the tryout early last year, there were mostly doubts and a little bit of excitement in my mind.  Obviously, my age and physical condition were major concerns but the possibility of wearing the naval uniform again certainly did wonders to alleviate my fears of being rejected.

On this day last year, I received a brief email saying that a basic course for reserve officers will be held and I need to confirm my attendance.  That was all.  For me, it was the starting point, although I only recently found out that my admittance date was much earlier.  However, August 25th was when I realised that I actually got in.

I could see now the enormity of my decision but I know that I am not alone.  I have my senior officers who made the same decision at about the same I did.  Heck, my commanding officer first became a reservist when he was a few years older than me.

So age is not a biggie, well, most of the time anyway.  What is more important is what I want to accomplish as an officer.  I guess I have managed to produce good results in this past 12 months, a few I have expected but many I entirely did not.  In fact, I was so worried I would screw up most of the time that hearing the term fearless to describe myself doesn’t seem appropriate.

When are we fearless anyway?  There will always be something, isn’t it.

Pegawai Kadet Tua

Another 2 weeks at KDSI I, and I guess I fared better this time.  Not as harried as the first time and my legs didn’t suffer as much which was great.  It was partly due to my improved stamina (I think) and I was mentally better prepared this time.

There were familiar faces and new ones too, what with the CO and CI just assumed their positions at the college.

Another sailing trip on board KD SRI INDERASAKTI, overnight this time.  With less people, the voyage was more enjoyable and relaxed.

Ramadhan started on our first weekend there and it was another different experience for me, and the rest of us too I’m sure.  Having marching drills while fasting is certainly tough, especially when the sun is up overhead.

For my group of trainees, it was good that the majority of us were from the previous course in late Jan/early Feb.  10 out of 13 to be exact.  That made things so much easier.  Well, the annoying ones will always annoy but that can’t be helped.

So two courses over.  Now to prepare all the necessary paperwork.  And pass the swimming test.

Kerja tak habis lagi

Three days of workshop, attended by international navies.  It was a really good experience, except for the part where I only got 2-3 hours of sleep each night.  I still have a pile of work to submit before I can sign off from the event but it is now time to give my day job a priority.

I think she is the best midshipman the Navy has ever had

The Ops Director was too much in saying that in front of all the participants.  A big burden, really.  Because I have never been comfortable with people having high expectations of me because then I’d feel like I’ll likely disappoint.

– – –

This is my 12th year as a working adult and probably the most challenging so far.  And it’s only May!

Living the life

The senior officers, they may forget the regulars but they will usually remember if you’re a reservist

That’s what my XO told me when I briefed her about what happened on Tuesday. Starting with a phone call early that morning, to the event later that evening. I am happy I was able to contribute, using the skills I have, to represent the service. A proud moment, in my very brief stint so far.