Last Wednesday, history was made as a group of eight Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) scholarship holders managed to go a solid half hour without discussing their experiences in Officer Cadet School (OCS).
The unprecedented dinner conversation happened in London, where the group is studying. The scholars are making the best of their overseas education by living together in the same house. “We’re trying very hard to broaden our perspectives, so instead of living with the Brits who are two or even three years younger, we wanted to live with people our age who had more life experience,” explained Jeffrey Yeow, their Conducting Officer for this interview. All eight served as Army officers during their 22-month National Service.
When asked how they’d managed their achievement, Yeow said they were well-prepared. “We’re trained to handle all terrain, and that extends to conversational terrain. When I was in OCS, I learnt the importance of planning and execution. We designed a seating plan and conversational roadmap and managed to stick to it.”
Not everything, however, was smooth sailing. “We actually planned for a dinner with nine people – one for each SAF core value. However, Safety was busy with some report and couldn’t come. Luckily, our time in OCS taught us how to adapt to challenges on the fly, and we managed to fill in Safety’s parts by taking breaks to apply lip balm.”
Yeow, however, declined to answer the million-dollar question: just what did they discuss instead? “I can’t tell you that. In OCS, they really drill us on the importance of OpSec – operations security, to a civilian like yourself. What if we let our secret slip and the Navy scholars manage to beat our record?”
Unfortunately, one of Yeow’s fellow scholars later uploaded a video to Stomp that showed the eight scholars discussing whether Raffles or Hwa Chong was a better school. By Monday, a group of NDU divers had broken the record after an hour spent talking about how Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) was the correct answer.
When sought for comment, Yeow furiously accused the Navy of being cheaters. He was last heard explaining how, based on his experience with Commandoes in OCS, special forces could never be trusted.