You’re notified that you’ve gotten into the mono-intake for your enlistment. You may wonder what is the difference between this and the normal intake. As an ex-NSF who has been through two mono-intakes before, here’s what you need to know!
What is mono-intake in NS?
Getting enlisted into a mono-intake in NS means serving your 2 years within the same unit from Basic Military training (BMT) until your Operationally Ready Date (ORD). This usually carries on to your reservist unit as well. The buddies you make on day one will be with you throughout!
Some units require this due to vocational needs. This is for the unit to train their soldiers at an earlier point of time in their two years.
The majority of the enlisted soldiers will be either from the JC or polytechnic batch due to the date of enlistment after graduating.
The date of enlistment will differ for each unit, and it is also possible that you will be called for the mono-intake, even if you scored less than 61 for the Pre-Enlistee IPPT.
If you scored more than 61 points, you will be considered to be in the Enhanced Batch, and you can find out more about it here.
However, it is not known how the selection system works!
Personally, I enlisted into the 9SIR mono-intake and was then posted to 6SIR after attending Specialist Cadet School (SCS). While a majority of recruits do end up staying within the unit after BMT, there are soldiers who do “escape” the mono-intake.
If you are looking to enrol into SCS, you can check out my experience here.
What is the difference between mono-intake and normal intake?
The difference is essentially going through BMT within your unit as compared to the standardised training in the normal intake BMT in Tekong. This means your commanders in a mono-intake would be from the unit as well. These commanders tend to stick with you throughout your NS journey throughout.
You can check out the full BMT schedule here.
While it is not true for every unit, most recruits may mention that their mono-intake unit commanders are much more strict on regimentation and discipline.
All mono-intake BMT still occurs in the famous Pulau Tekong, except for commandos and naval divers. At the end of the day, the training timeline does remain similar throughout Tekong with the same camp facilities.
The fitness trainers, IPPT and SOC training all have the same conduct as the normal intake to promote a shared experience for all Singaporean soldiers.
Which vocations will I be assigned to if I am in mono-intake?
These are some possible vocations that may carry out the mono-intake enlistment:
- Naval Diving Unit
Can I go to SCS and OCS if I am in mono-intake?
Yes! You can still be selected to go to SCS and Officer Cadet School (OCS) depending on your aptitude. The number of recruits selected tends to be based on the unit’s command team requirements, along with extra numbers for the overall SAF vocational needs.
A majority of these cadets will return to their units upon graduating from their respective schools. Sometimes, this creates an awkward situation as they will go back to see their old BMT buddies, but as their command superior. This can make for a hard time for the Officer or Specialist to adjust the relationship from being fellow recruits to being their commander.
However, this can also be a homecoming! I was not posted back to my original unit after SCS and instead to another infantry mono-intake unit.
Is mono-intake ‘bad’?
There are definitely both pros and cons being enlisted into a mono-intake. Most of the stories from friends seem to show a negative side of this. While true, there are also good things that can come from the mono-intake!
Cons of mono-intake
Mono-intake enlistments are usually for combat units. This may usually be what NSFs want to avoid for their two years of service. Combat units are physically tougher as compared to an administrative role within the SAF.
Being enlisted into the mono-intake takes away most chances of being posted to another vocation you may have wanted. Most lower PES recruits still end up within the same unit as well, as a support role in the battalion.
If you would like to check your PES status, here’s a step by step guide here.
Having a strict BMT commander is one thing, but imagine having this commander following you throughout your two years! This can be really daunting, especially if you do not have a good relationship with your commander.
However, it is possible for you to take up other roles within the unit to escape said commander.
Pros of mono-intake
On the other side of the coin, having a good commander you may favour will also be with you on your NS journey! These commanders tend to care for your well being as they know you will be with them from start to end.
The rapport between the commanders and troopers is important as at the end of the day, they work together to get the job done.
There is an advantage of getting to know one another during BMT which can help to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses at an earlier point of time in NS.
One of the best things about the mono-intake is the friends you make during your time in NS. These buddies will go through all the ups and downs of the unit with you. Going through these tough times together can create a solid brotherhood bond!
Sometimes after ORD, you and your NS buddies may be too busy with school or work. While reservists may be a hassle to some, mono-intake soldiers know they will be back in the same unit together once again.
There is solace in seeing each other once a year for your reservists!
If you’re wondering how to check your reservist unit, you can check out this guide here.
The mono-intake is a journey that not every Singaporean soldier goes through. Most of your friends will ask you about your two years.
With this, you’ll have the bragging rights to tell them you survived a mono-intake!
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