I just completed three weeks of ICT. I used to hate ICT tremendously. During my active times, I was a combat medic in the RSAF. We used to say, the worst that can ever happen to us was to eventually get posted to a certain squadron after ORD. Well, many years after ORD, I was posted out to that squadron. Perhaps I pissed off my CSM too much.
To make things worse, while other people get to embrace the concept of “high key” and “low key” ICTs, I was told up front that in this place, all ICTs are “high key”. If that is not bad enough, some people’s “high key” means 10 days. But we were also told up front… ours will be 21 days. Or more. I have been doing 23 days for several cycles. Once even 25 days.
So you can imagine how much I disliked ICT at the start. The long break can be quite disruptive to your personal life, work life, etc. But after several cycles of ICT, I’ve learnt that it can be as fun as you make it to be.
Anyway, after 3 weeks of this year’s ICT, what are my thoughts?
Firstly, much I’d like to think otherwise… we’re all getting old. Definitely age is catching up on us. It was plainly evident when we went trench digging. So many people digging so few trenches, yet we were all exhausted. Both my hands were blistered. Clearly my hands were no longer accustomed to so much hardship.
We did have quite a bit of fun with live firing. For many of us, this was the first shoot after ORD. For some, it was their first after BMT! So the combat shoot was a highlight most of us looked forward to. In fact, I found myself wanting to go for a 2nd round of zeroing, even though my first round was quite well done. Furthermore, my detail tried to re-take our day test (we succeeded eventually). Generally our test scores were disappointing though. We were later told that the range was designed for weapons that were 2 generations newer than ours. So it wasn’t at all surprising that none of us could not get our marksmanship award.
Security duty for this ICT was quite “idle”. Just about 60 hours (2.5 days) to be shared between 3 platoons. Piece of cake. But in the idlest of moments, some people do stupid things. Fortunately, it wasn’t that stupid to create big trouble.
The first weekend of my ICT was spent in hospital. My baby was running high fever, so she was warded for observation and to run some lab work. Hmm I was thinking baby sick sounds like a great excuse to get some time off. But it seems many others also had “baby issues”… mine wasn’t all that outstanding afterall.
Several people had asked me how I feel about this flight, as compared to other flights that I had joined for their ICTs previously. They are basically trying to ask “Don’t you think this is the best flight?” Well, the truth is that every flight is unique, and everyone is nice in their own ways. This flight thinks that they are a nice, friendly and cohesive bunch of people. But I can also see the “gelling” and togetherness in other flights. Sometimes, people do work in different ways, because everyone is different. I think, when you are a reservist, you’ve grown up and matured, you’ve become a better person than in your active NSF days.
One of the highlights has to be… the yummy Fish & Chips at TABAR Club (now known as Club 2). I never miss going for the Fish & Chips whenever I’m back. I was told the Pork Chop is quite outstanding too… but I don’t know, all I’ve ever tried was Fish & Chip. Maybe I’ll explore the Pork Chop the next ICT…