As a civilian, the most knowledge I know about the army, are the ones I watch in movies. Going to war, fighting against enemies and shooting guns. My interest towards the military just never sparked passion to know more. However, never in my life, would I ever have thought to experience being in the academy until 24th June 2019. My life has changed and so has my perceptions towards our military system.
Initially, the idea of joining the academy for two weeks scared me. The whole concept of experiencing and training as if we were in the actual army just didn’t seem to correlate in to being a future PTD. Stories from the previous series about the army didn’t quite help ease the worries at all either. So, going there with such a mindset, I had to equip myself for the worst. I was more than prepared to cry during their physical training, fail at any possible obstacles and just ready to give only my bare minimum knowing that the training would be hardcore. I know this sounds very pessimistic and negative, but with this kind of idea in my head would I realize, things are not always as it seems.To my surprise, everything that was said and every single horrible thing I imagined the academy would be, were either exaggerated or just my mind playing tricks with my fear.
Not everything was as bad and not any one of the activities did, I skip. Honestly, the training was tough and full of discipline. But these are what taught me to be vigilant. For example, our marching training or kawad kaki. We trained all day to perfection. Every single move made to be in sync with each other. Every minor detail like where the position of each fingers should be when raising a salute and to what level should our arms be at in reciting the doa were taught to exactness. Having such precision and discipline has definitely made me more attentive and alert towards small matters in the things I do. Discipline and the capability to listen to orders were also needed in conducting our shooting training. For someone who has never held a gun before, the fear was real. It was most important to listen to instructions and it took high level of discipline in conducting it. The weaponries were real and not like the ones we played in video games when we younger. They were real, tough to control but super exhilarating to be given the opportunity to try.
Activities done has also taught me the value of friendship and support. Everything we did at the academy, had to be done in our platoons. Walking to surau or running to our Mess Cadet for meals, everything had to be done together. But, doing things together isn’t just about DOING EVERYTHING TOGETHER. It means to be more empathic of our colleagues and to understand each other even more. I think this value most prevailed during our Explorace Challenge. This activity really tested our tolerance towards each other and teamwork. It showed us the true meaning of friendship. Pushing and supporting each other. Making sure we all succeeded together. I don’t think our platoon would have even made it if it weren’t for the encouragement and endless support, we gave to one another.
I dreaded the physical training in the academy. I thought the training done in Kiara was challenging. I was mistaken. The training done in the army were very hardcore. Although they said that they’ve minimized our training, the intensity still has me bruised till today. But the physical training done really does build your stamina and strength. I feel more energized and capable of more physical activities I never knew I could do. I don’t think I’ll ever take for granted the PTs that INTAN has set for us weekly anymore. However, the only thing that frustrated me was the inability for me to do the udang bakar. 🙁
Honestly, the whole training wasn’t as bad as it seems or was pictured to be. I enjoyed being there two weeks regardless of how difficult the activities were. It’s an experience you won’t be able to do anywhere else. It also makes you more appreciative of the services our army does for the country. Not everybody is able to be an army and have such fit mental and physical. Truly one of the highlights of our whole DPA program.