The Ultimate Guide To PES B4 (NS)

PES B4 Guide

You stare at the screen and wonder “What does PES B4 mean?” 

Well, if you’re reading this, you’ve come to the right place. Your quick Google search out of curiosity has probably led you here seeking answersand obviously, answers are something that you will find! 

Like what I’ve done in my PES B1 guide, I will be going through what you can expect from a PES B4 lifefrom your BMT experience to the different vocations that you can get posted to

Contents that I had covered in my PES B1 guide

Note: A useful brief introduction to what your PES status is or how it is assigned can also be found in that PES B1 guide.

So without further ado, let’s hop right in!

What does PES B4 mean?

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According to CMPB, being PES B4 means that you are “Suitable for some combat vocations and combat support vocations” – and this is largely true. Being PES B4, you sit in this weird state of being considered as combat-fit and not combat-fit at the same time.

What this means is that you will still undergo certain training that the combat-fit personnel take part in. This includes learning how to use and shoot a SAR21, practising fire movement drills and also how to properly engage in close-quarter scenarios.

However, as you are also considered as “non-combat fit”, you are excused from certain activities that combat-fit personnel take part in. This includes:

  • Standard Obstacle Course (SOC)
  • IPPT training
  • Route marches past 8km
  • Situational Test (SIT Test)

“Nonetheless, I would say that as a PES B4, you do lean more towards the end of being considered as non-combat fit.”

Going back to the definition stated by CMPB, you will more than likely be posted to combat support vocation as opposed to a combat vocation as a PES B4.

How is PES B4 different from the other classifications of PES B?

I have summarised the main differences between the various PES statuses into a table for your reference. The full names of each abbreviations are listed below with an explanation of what they are too!

Route March (Maximum)24km10km8km (But usually 4km)
SIT TestYesNo No

IPPT (Individual Physical Proficiency Test)

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Source: NS Matters

The IPPT is the staple fitness test of the NSF/NS-men life – equivalent to your NAPFA in Secondary school.

As a PES B4, you will not be required to do IPPT during BMT and as such, not undergo training for it. However, when posted to your unit post-BMT, you may be asked to do an IPPTif you do not have any statuses that prevent you from doing it.

Statuses include excuse from upper limb activities or excuse RMJ (Running, Marching, Jumping). However, as a PES B4, you would probably have an excuse that prevents you from doing an IPPT.

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Source: NS Matters

Being PES B4 also means that when you do finally ORD, you are not required to do the mandatory yearly IPPT.

SOC (Standard Obstacle Course)

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Source: Pioneer

The SOC is a key-component of the BMT. It’s purpose, as quoted from Pioneer, serves to “builds a soldiers’ strength, agility and endurance for basic combat movement” – in other words, teach you how to tackle obstacles you may face in the environment. 

Based on my experience doing the SOC – it is definitely one of the more tiring trainings in BMT. But fortunately for you, as a PES B4, you will not be required to do the SOC and do not undergo training for it during your BMT.

SIT Test (Situational Test)

The SIT test is done on the 5th and final day of the BMT field camp with the purpose of assessing the leadership capabilities of recruits. This done through a series of tests, where pairs of recruits from each group takes turn to lead and attempt at fulfilling the tasks assigned.

As a PES B4, you will not take part in the SIT test.


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Source: Youtube

BTP stands for Basic Trainfire Package and THT stands for Technical Handling Test. Both of these involve the SAR21 and train you on the fundamentals of the SAR21, before finally having you fire it.

The THT comes first and is the portion where you will learn about the intricacies of the SAR21 such as dismantling it and its immediate action drills (what to do when your gun jams when firing).

Only after passing your THT, will you be allowed to do your BTPor as we commonly know it – live firing. This will probably be one of the few times that you will actually be able to shoot live rounds at a target and the experience is definitely memorable.

“As a PES B4, you will be required to do the BTP/THT.”

So I would say, definitely do enjoy the experience as it will be one of the few times in your life that you will experience shooting live rounds!

CQB (Close-Quarters Battle)

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Source: BMTC

CQB is another key activity in BMT and its purpose is to teach you the proper engagement rules during close-quarters combat. Even though it might sound kind of difficult, it is honestly probably the easiest thing that you will need do. 

“The summarised explanation of what CQB is, is that you will be tasked to properly execute the drills taught for entering into a room or building.”

As a PES B4, you will be required to do CQB and I do think that it is a pretty chill activity so don’t worry too much about it!


Source: Facebook

The BIC or the Battle Inoculation Course is one of the final high-keys that you will be tasked to clear in BMT. It is a unique experience and serves to simulate a real-life battle experience with live rounds being fired at you constantly.

“Through the BIC, you will be tasked to apply skills that you have learnt such as CQB engagement rules and be required to shoot down targets as they come up.”

The few words that I would use to describe the BIC are “tiring”, “fast-paced” and “stressful”. 

The speed at which things happen at barely gives you time to think and react, and the constant gun fire sounding through the air makes you stressed beyond belief. However, you will have a fulfilling feeling once you reach the end of the course!

As a PES B4, you will be required to do the BIC unless you have excuses such as excuse RMJ (Running, Marching, Jumping) or excuse firearms.

How is BMT like as a PES B4?

As a PES B4, your BMT experience will be slightly more lax as compared to if you were PES B1 – as you won’t be required to do as much things within the 9 weeks. 

“For example, the lack of IPPT and SOC means that you do not have any trainings for them and thus, have a little more admin time to chill in bunk post-activities.”

A very recurring thing that I hear amongst most of my PES B4 friends is that they usually have more admin time, such that they can actually keep up to date with their Netflix shows even on Tekong.

Their usual advice to anyone enlisting into PES B4 is to bring sufficient portable chargers!

The PT sessions will also be toned down to suit the needs of the various injuries & conditions that people in your company might be suffering from.

“This is because having the PES B4 status during your BMT indicates that you most likely have injuries & conditions which could affect your physical capabilities.”

While you do still need to do your route marches, the maximum distance covered for most individuals in PES B4 is 4km. Furthermore, you won’t usually be required to carry your field pack for it so you probably won’t find it too challenging!

“You will also still take part in many of the BMT activities such as CQB, field camp and BTP as these are aimed towards providing you with the soldiering fundamentals that you will need in your future vocation.”

Fortunately, like PT sessions, these will usually be slightly toned down so as to suit the various conditions that you might be suffering from.

Thus, in summary, I would say that BMT for you, if you’re PES B4,won’t be as tough as you might make it out to be in your head. Unlike the fast-paced BMT experience of PES B1 folks, your BMT will be relatively chill, giving you time to adapt to your new military life.

Do I need to go field camp if I’m PES B4?

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Source: Jaime Lo

Unfortunately, being PES B4 does not allow you to skip the BMT field camp. You are still required to attend and partake in the different field camp activities – fire movement drills, digging of shellscrape, etc.

Your field camp however, will be slightly shorter, lasting for 4D3N, when it would usually last for 5D4N. It only lasts for 4 days as you are not required to do the SIT test assessmentwhich is usually held on the 5th and final day.

“The overall outfield experience will also be quite chill and less intensive as compared to if you were PES B1.”

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Source: BMTC

For example, the digging of shellscrape which is normally a single-man task, will be done as a group or pair instead. You will also not be required to sleep in the shellscrape unlike most of us unfortunate souls. 

One of my fondest BMT memories was that it rained into our shellscrape while we slept and we all woked up soaking in Teh BingI hope you’re glad you won’t come close to ever experiencing that.

As such, your field camp will definitely be less intensive and I’m sure that you will make it through!

Can I go to OCS or command school if I’m PES B4?

Unfortunately, if you’re PES B4, you will not be able to get into command school – OCS/SCS. This is due to the fact that, as mentioned above, you will not be undergoing the SIT test assessment – which is one of the prerequisites for command school.

However, it is still possible for you to hold the appointment of a 3SG (3rd Sergeant) if you are lucky enough to be posted to a vocation where you’re appointed as a supervisor eg; logistics, supply and transport supervisor.

Based on the experiences of my friends who were pointed as supervisors, they shared that they did not undergo SCS to get their rank. Instead, they underwent around 9 months of training in their unit for their respective roles before being appointed as 3SG.

What are the vocations I can do as a PES B4 NSF?

The vocations that you can do as a PES B4 are limited as you’re usually considered as non-combat fit. As such, most PES B4 folks are posted to combat support or admin roles.

Some of the common vocations include:

However, there are also instances where a PES B4 individual was posted to a combat vocation which you would expect only PES B1 individuals to go to.

This includes:

As such, there is still a chance for you to get posted to a combat vocation. However, the chances are definitely comparatively slimmer than the chances of being posted to a support vocation.

What is the allowance like as a PES B4 NSF?

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Source: CMPB

The allowance that you receive monthly is based on the combination of your rank allowance and your vocational allowance/combat allowance.

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“The rank allowance, as suggested by its name, is dependent on the rank that you hold  – recruit, private, lance corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, etc.”

The rank allowance is standardised throughout the army so regardless of your PES status, you will receive the same amount of rank allowance.

However, there are discrepancies between the pay of different PES statuses as a result of the 2nd portion of your payCombat allowance

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Your monthly vocational allowance or combat allowance is dependent on the vocation that you are assigned to – combat vocation or combat support vocation

“The difference between the 2 is that combat support vocations tend to receive a slightly lower combat pay as compared to a combat vocation.”

And as a PES B4 personnel, you will more than likely be posted to a combat support vocation and as such, receive slightly lesser pay as compared to a PES B1 individual.

Hence, you can expect to receive a slightly loweroverall monthly allowance as compared to if you were PES-fit.

Do I need to go for reservist if I’m PES B4?

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Source: NS Matters

You will still need to attend reservist even if you are PES B4. This includes attending the yearly In-Camp Training (ICT) and manning periods, where you will be required to report back to camp upon call.

The only exception that you get as a PES B4 is that you are not required to do and clear the mandatory yearly IPPT for NS-Men.


Ending it off, I do feel that the PES B4 experience is going to be generally very manageable as the pace at which you do things, isn’t just a mad rush unlike PES B1 life

Your NS life will also most probably be less tiring as compared to many of your combat fit peers – so I think that does call for a celebration?

Even though, you might be missing out on certain things such as going to command schoolI personally think that wouldn’t affect your NS experience much. The experience that you have in NS still ultimately boils down to your attitude and mindset towards what you can or cannot do.

There is still a lot to be gained from your journey even if you’re PES B4 as long as you keep an open mind to everything!

Best of luck to all of you enlisting!

Isaac Lim

Always looking to try new things and blogging is one of them!

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