So your National Service (NS) is coming up and you’re probably wondering what to expect!
Well in today’s instalment of NS Guides, we will be taking a look at the Enhanced BMT experience of NS and answering common questions that you might have. Additionally, I will also be sharing some of my personal BMT experiences and hopefully, give you a taste of what yours might be like!
Without further ado, let’s get right into it.
What does Enhanced BMT mean?
Let’s get started with addressing the elephant in the room – “What does Enhanced BMT mean?”
Based on the name, you would probably think that the Enhanced BMT is an “upgraded” version of the BMT with additional training – as enhanced usually signifies an upgrade of some sort.
However, this actually isn’t the case with the BMT.
Other than that, there isn’t any other difference that might set apart the Enhanced BMT batch from the “Standard” BMT batch. The training that you will undergo is the same whether you are assigned to the Standard or Enhanced batch.
So you can essentially think of the Enhanced BMT as just an “express BMT experience”.
As stated by CMPB, to qualify for the Enhanced Batch, you will have to pass your Pre-Enlistee IPPT with a score of 61 points or more.
So if you haven’t done so already, I would highly suggest that you get right to it and book it here as the shortened BMT time is truly a blessing.
How long is Enhanced BMT?
As mentioned, the Enhanced BMT only last for 9 weeks and this is cut down from the otherwise 17-week BMT experience – so you can see why I’d highly suggest passing that IPPT.
Here is a comparison of the BMT durations of the various batches:
|Non-PES fit||9 Weeks|
- PTP – stands for Physical Training Phase. The PTP batch undergoes an additional 8 weeks of physical training which is why it lasts 17 weeks instead of 9 weeks.
- BP – refers to the BMT batch for obese individuals, who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 27.0. The 19-week duration serves to ensure that obese recruits can slowly and progressively build up their physical capabilities.
- Non-PES fit – refers to the PES statuses such as B4, C and E. Their BMT experience is different from the normal BMT experience as they are not combat fit.
What is the difference between the Enhanced BMT and Standard BMT?
It is important to note that although the term “standard BMT” is often thrown around, there isn’t actually a so-called “standard BMT” – even though the term enhanced might suggest otherwise.
Saying “standard BMT” would make you think that there is an “in-between” BMT between the Enhanced and PTP batch but that just isn’t the case. The BMT batch that you can be assigned to if you’re PES fit, is either Enhanced or PTP – there is no in-between.
The different types of context can include:
- Comparing between the BMT experience of different PES statuses
- Comparing between the Enhanced and PTP Batch
To clear up and help you understand any misconceptions you might have, let me make sense of these.
Comparing between the BMT experience of different PES statuses
In this context, the term “Standard BMT” actually refers to the Enhanced and PTP BMT batch. So, for example, sometimes you might hear people say “Wah your PES C BMT life really more chill as compared to the standard BMT life“.
In such scenarios, “Standard BMT” is used to refer to the PES Fit BMT life – which includes the Enhanced BMT.
Comparing between the Enhanced and PTP Batch
Sometimes, “Standard BMT” is also used to refer to a PTP batch when comparing between the Enhanced and PTP batch – as people often see the PTP batch as the standard version of the Enhanced Batch.
This then brings me to the next question.
What is the difference between Enhanced and PTP BMT?
Like I mentioned above, there isn’t much difference between the Enhanced and PTP BMT as you will still undergo the same types of training and high-key activities – no matter which you belong to.
Here is a comparison of the training done by the 2 batches:
|Route March Distance||Up to 24km||Up to 24km|
|Basic Trainfire Package||Yes||Yes|
|Battle Inoculation Course||Yes||Yes|
|Close Quarters Battle||Yes||Yes|
Based on the table, you can see that the BMT training is pretty much identical between the PTP or Enhanced Batch.
Key differences – Time & Pace of activities
However, looking past the training, I would say that there are 2 key differences between the Enhanced and PTP BMT.
- The duration of the 2 BMT’s
- The pacing of BMT
Duration of the 2 BMT’s
This is definitely the most clear-cut difference, where the Enhanced BMT only lasts for 9 weeks while the PTP BMT last for a lengthier period of 17 weeks – 2 whole extra months.
The 8 additional weeks, as described by CMPB, is known as the Physical Training Phase. Its purpose being to improve an individual’s physical fitness to ensure that they can keep up with the pace of BMT.
However, more often than not, the 8 weeks usually isn’t exclusively used for physical training and will also include learning of soldiering fundamentals.
Soldiering fundamentals include:
- Technical handling of the SAR21 – Learning the inner workings of the SAR21 and how to use it
- Lectures on threat assessment – How to properly assess a threat and the proper actions to be taken depending on threat level
- Basic commands – such as “Sedia” (Attention) and “Senang Diri” (Stand at ease)
The pacing of BMT
The pace at which you are expected to learn things and adapt to the military life is drastically different between the Enhanced and PTP batch.
The PTP batch has the luxury of time to learn and adapt to military life due to their 8 additional weeks of BMT. The Enhanced batch, on the other hand, doesn’t due to their shortened BMT duration of 9 weeks.
As such, the pace of the Enhanced BMT will definitely be faster than that of the PTP BMT!This does unfortunately translate into you being expected to pick up things faster as there will be a lot that has to be done within the 9 weeks – SOC, Route Marches, Field camp, etc.
Reflecting on my own BMT experience
Here are some of my thoughts on my Enhanced BMT experience!
Progressiveness and pace of BMT
Even though the pace of my BMT was extremely rushed, I do think that it was still very manageable. It definitely wasn’t as extreme as many people claim online, where they say they only had like 30 minutes to shower and clean up before lights out every day.
However, based on my experience, the difference in the pace of BMT between an Enhanced and PTP batch is extremely noticeable.
Coming from Orion, my opposite coy was Ninja coy – a PTP batch. Ninja coy pretty much always ended their days a few hours ahead of us and spent a surprising amount of time just chilling in their bunk.
So out of curiosity, we asked some of them why they were so idle and free every day. It turned out that they had actually cleared the majority of their training during their 8 weeks of PTP, so they could afford to rest a little more every day apart from daily PT sessions.
But going back to my own experience, even though my BMT was fast-paced, it was still ensured that we followed the progressive training model.
A simple way to illustrate this is using the route marches.
As you would probably know, the 24km route march is one of the final milestones in your BMT experience. And obviously, you won’t be thrown into BMT, and be expected to be able to march 24km in Full Battle Order immediately – as chances are, you would probably injure yourself.
Training for your route marches will take place progressively, where you might start with a simple 2.5km march just with your LBV and SAR21. From there, you will progress to a 4km march with your LBV, SAR21 and field pack. And slowly you will move up in distance, where progress is usually made in increments of 4km.
As such, before your 24km, you would have usually already marched 8, 12, 16 and 20km.
Thus, my advice is to not worry so much! The BMT pace might be fast but as long as you put in the effort to do your training properly, you will be able to keep up with the stipulated pace.
Difficulty of BMT
I would honestly say that BMT will probably be the easiest time of your NS life – for most of us at least. Unless you’re posted to a support vocation such as Security Trooper or storeman, training is just going to get a lot tougher as your progress on your NS life.
Being a recruit is straight up the easiest thing to do because all you need to do is listen to instructions, do PT every day and learn the basics of being a soldier. The toughest part will most likely be adapting to being stranded in Tekong after 20 years of being a civilian.
Trainings, however, do get difficult such as with the combat circuit where you literally do PT while carrying a fully-filled field pack. Kinda insane and something that I never got used to.
But other than that, BMT was pretty straightforward to follow along so I wouldn’t necessarily say it is difficult – based on my own experience – but instead more of physically taxing.
How I felt about my BMT
Like many others entering BMT, I did have an innate fear of the unknown as I didn’t know what to expect from the coming 9-weeks of BMT or even the 2 years of NS.
Being a naturally introverted person, I don’t particularly interact much with strangers who don’t share common interests with me and NS, unfortunately, was “forcing” it onto me.
My interactions with people from all walks of life had an “enlightening” ability and is perhaps one of my key takeaways from National Service.
BMT also did a good job of encouraging the formation of brotherhood between me and my bunkmates, through the sharing of a common enemy – National Service.
Even though BMT got boring with the endless lectures and draining with physical training we weren’t used to, the bonds that were forged, definitely helped us to push through it.
Thus I would say that overall, my BMT was quite fulfilling and filled with experiences that I had never encountered before.
Other Common Questions
Addressing some other common questions that you might have!
Is Command School exclusively for those in the Enhanced BMT?
Command school is not exclusive to those in the Enhanced BMT batch. Even if you are assigned to a PTP batch or BP batch, you still have a shot at entering command school!
So fret not, you do still have a shot at command school even if you do not get into the Enhanced Batch.
Does being in the Enhanced Batch guarantee that I will enter Command School?
Unfortunately, being in the Enhanced Batch doesn’t guarantee that you will enter Command School. There are specific requirements that you have to meet to enter Command School.
Some of the requirements include:
- Having a good performance during your SIT test
- Passing your IPPT
- Overall good performance in BMT
- Having a good peer appraisal at the end of your BMT
What stations are included in the IPPT during BMT?
The current IPPT system during BMT only consists of the 3 stations – situps, pushups and your 2.4km run. This fortunately does means that even if you are unable to do pullups, you can still obtain a pass or even gold in your IPPT.
Pullups will still be part of your PT sessions but you will not be required to be able to do them to pass your IPPT.
Ending it off here, I hope that I was able to clarify any doubts that you might have had!
Your BMT is only going to be the start of your 2 year NS life so do try to keep an open mind about it. Even though you will probably hate it there – like most of us did – do still try your best and follow along. After all, I doubt you’d want to be the black sheep of your platoon, right?
If you’re in the Enhanced BMT, definitely do expect things to get tough and rushed sometimes as you really don’t have the luxury of time – unlike the PTP or BP batch.
However, that is the price to pay for the extra 8-weeks of freedom!
Wishing you luck with your BMT!
You can check out the full BMT schedule here.
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