For the benefit of Woof! who was so stoked by the sentimental Army post that he left a comment that had to be truncated, and then pressed the publish button three times some more; and for Malaysian boys who wish they had the benefit of National Service, here is an Army anecdote. Look away now, girls. It probably is not funny to you, but I swear it’ll bring a tear to Woof!’s eyes from laughing too much. Guaranteed.
Wonsaponatime, Attila Combat Team (‘A’ Coy, 46SAR) had a new NCO (now known as Specialist) who was incredibly inept at everything he did. The entire company viewed him as a danger to everyone else. Once I even had to ride my bike into a ditch to avoid being run over by the Armoured Fighting Vehicle he was commanding.
We felt a little sorry for Cpl Tan Ting Tong (I can’t remember his real name), for he wasn’t cut out for Armour, much less as a commander in Armour. But because he was the one most likely to get us killed, there was a concerted effort from both the officers and men to get him out of the company. Bit hard, given that you don’t get dismissed from a unit because of stupidity.
And so, we hatched a diabolical scheme to make Cpl Tan Ting Tong do something so inept, but without danger to his company mates, that would see him get transferred out.
During one field training exercise, we parked our vehicles in formation and rested for the night. Cpl Tan was still on alert in his commander’s cupola, in his vehicle, One-Two-Bravo. Me and the company sergeant major asked him if he was hungry. He said yes.
We then said ‘Did you know that you can order pizza through the radio comms’?
‘Yes, you dunno meh? Switch to this frequency, order what you want, give your location MGR (map grid reference) and they will deliver, no matter where in the jungle you are…. and if more than one hour, you get one free garlic bread and pepsi’.
The trap was set. We went back to company HQ’s vehicle, One-Niner, tuned our radio to ‘Pizza Hut’ frequency and waited.
Faster than expected. And in proper military radio protocol:
*crackle* * buzz* Hallo Pizza Hut, Hallo Pizza Hut, This is One Two Bravo, message, over.
Stifling laughter, our company 2IC (2nd in command), took the radio handset and replied,
‘Pizza Hut, send, over’.
‘One Two Bravo, err… um… want to order one Super Supreme, over’.
‘Pizza Hut, say again, over’.
‘One Two Bravo, one Super Supreme, over’.
‘Pizza Hut, roger that, would you like a drink with that, over?’
‘One Two Bravo, errrrrr…. that’s a negative, over’.
‘Pizza Hut, that’s a roger, what is your mike golf romeo (MGR), over?’
‘One Two Bravo, umm…. wait… ummm two… six… three… four… seven.. two, over’.
‘Pizza Hut, confirm mike golf romeo two six three four seven two, over’.
‘One Two Bravo, umm… that’s a roger, over’.
‘Pizza Hut to One Two Bravo, roger that, rendevous at your location in figure zero five mike, please prepare exact change, over’.
‘One Two Bravo, ummm, ok, roger’.
‘Pizza Hut, out’.
For dereliction of duty, unauthorised use of military communications and generally flouting Article 25 of the Singapore Armed Forces Code of Conduct, Cpl Tan Ting Tong was given a field demotion to spare MG gunner. Later on, he was transferred out of Attila, and even later, out of the Battalion. His replacement, Cpl Koh Lian Thye, was almost just as inept, but that’s several other stories altogether.