This was reported on the news and in newspapers: The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has introduced a new Vocation Obstacle Course (VOC), while keeping the existing Standard Obstacle Course (SOC). Soldiers in the Basic Military Training, Specialist Cadet Course, and Officer Cadet Course will continue the current progressive training and individual qualification through the SOC with the re-designed obstacles. Soldiers in the units will embark on the new team-based VOC, which is customised to each vocation's combat skills and load, and places greater emphasis on team qualification led by section commanders.
Colonel Ng Wai Kit, Singapore Armed Forces' Assistant Chief of General Staff (Training), said: "The third-generation SAF is faced with an increasingly complex operating environment and operational demands. To better meet these challenges, we have strengthened our combat fitness training system such that it better prepares soldiers for their operational tasks and help them sustain their combat fitness."
The low wall, low rope, balancing beam (now called balancing bridge), jacobs ladder (now Apex ladder) and Ramp (renamed Terrace) remains but many new obstacles have been added. Recruits have to jog 100m, complete the 200m course and then run 300m, all under 5 minutes and 30 seconds. I certainly enjoyed doing the SOC in my time and now can look forward to my sons going through this new course :) although I would certainly love to give this a go Ha Ha
Also, in related news - it was reported in today's The Straits Times that instead of Pulau Tekong forestry, the Singapore skyline will serve as a backdrop for 3,200 recruits graduating from the Basic Military Training Centre (BMTC).
The recruits will do their overnight 24 km route march from the SAF Ferry Terminal in Changi Coast Road and pass the Changi Beach, East Coast Park and other landmarks before ending at the Marina Bay Formula 1 pit where they will change into fresh uniforms for their Passing Out Parade at the floating platform.
The mainland march and Marina Bay graduation parade in October will be a pilot project which, if proven successful, will become a permanent fixture. I think this is a great idea :) Letting the recruits march in public and then graduate amidst Singapore's city skyline would certainly give them a big boost!