After receiving a letter from MINDEF, you may have been classified as ‘PES C9‘.
However, what does this mean for your National Service?
Being a PES C9 NSF myself, here’s what you need to know about NS after receiving the ‘PES C9’ status:
What does PES C9 mean?
According to the definition by MINDEF, a PES C9 NSF is considered to be fit for some combat support and all combat service support vocations, which include being an army technician, clerk or storeman.
After going for your medical check-up at CPMB, you will be given a certain Physical Employment Standard (PES). If you are given the PES C9 status, it will mean that you may have certain medical conditions that deem you unfit for combat vocations.
If you are looking for a guide to check your PES status, you can view one here.
I was given the PES C9L2 status, due to my medical condition (posterior tibial tendon dysfunction). Some other reasons why you may be given the PES C9 status include:
- Uncontrolled asthma
- Severe ezcema
- Dislocated shoulder
If you do not have such conditions, you may have a higher PES status such as PES B1 and B4.
How long is NS for a PES C9 NSF?
As a PES C9 NSF, you will be required to take part in 2 years of full-time NS.
If you did well in your NAPFA test before entering NS, you may be eligible for a 1 year 10 months NS, instead of 2 years.
However, this does not apply to PES C9 NSFs, where you will be required to do the full 2 years of NS.
Do I need to do BMT as a PES C9?
You are still required to go for Basic Military Training (BMT) in NS, even as a PES C9 NSF. However, it will be a modified version of BMT, where you will not take part in the vigorous aspects of NS which are only for the combat fit personnel.
There were not many physical activities that were conducted, and we were even not allowed to run or take part in the Standard Obstacle Course (SOC)!
Nevertheless, we would still partake in the various aspects of BMT, such as assembling and disassembling a SAR21 rifle.
As a PES C9 NSF, you are required to undergo a 9-week course at BMTC School V, which is located at Kranji Camp II. This means that you will not be going to Pulau Tekong for your BMT.
I still went to Tekong when I did my NS a few years back, but the BMT location has now shifted to Kranji Camp II instead.
Furthermore, you may still be required to undergo the 2-week confinement period when you first enlist.
Can I go outfield as a PES C9?
You may still be required to go outfield even though you are a PES C9 NSF. However, it will be less frequent compared to combat fit NSFs.
During my BMT at Tekong, I went for an ‘outfield experience’, which is a scaled-down version of the actual outfield camp that combat fit NSFs would go through.
However, it was a much more ‘relaxing’ experience, where we did not need to stay overnight at our basha tents.
Furthermore, we were able to eat cookhouse food for our meals, instead of combat rations!
With the new BMT programme in Kranji Camp II, I am not sure whether you are still required to undergo any outfield activities as a PES C9 NSF.
What vocations can I do as a PES C9?
As a PES C9 NSF, you will be suitable for some combat support vocations, as well as all combat service support vocations. Some examples include armament technicians, storemen, administrative clerks and medics.
I was an armament technician at 6 Army Maintenance Base (6AMB), after doing my On-Job Training at OETI.
The vocations that are available if you’re a PES C9 NSF would be much fewer compared to those that are shown on MINDEF’s website.
Can I go to the air force as a PES C9?
It is possible for you to go to the air force as a PES C9 NSF.
I did have some of my army mates who were in the same BMT cohort getting posted to the air force. As such, it really depends on your posting!
Can I go to OCS as a PES C9?
It is not possible for you to enter the Officer Cadet School (OCS) and pass out as an officer if your PES status is C9. You will need to ‘Up PES’ to a combat fit PES status to be eligible to enter OCS.
Since you won’t be going through the combat fit BMT as a PES C9 NSF, there are many things that you won’t do, such as the 5-day outfield and Standard Obstacle Course (SOC).
If you have a PES C9 status and are looking to increase your PES status, it will be best to do so as soon as you have entered NS for your BMT.
Otherwise, it may be quite hard for you to be able to enter OCS, as it will not be possible to do so if you’re a PES C9 NSF.
Can I become a sergeant as a PES C9 NSF?
It is not possible for you to enter the Sergeant Cadet School (SCS) and pass out as a Sergeant if your PES status is C9. However, you may be given opportunities at the unit level to go for the MASCC course, which is a sergeant conversion course for PES C9 NSFs.
After being posted to your unit, you may be asked to go for the MASCC course by your unit if you perform well there.
This will be a stay-in course (most likely at Kranji Camp III), and you will be able to obtain the 3SG rank after passing out from the course.
How is life like as a PES C9?
Life as a PES C9 NSF is physically and mentally less taxing than combat fit NSFs. However, depending on your vocation, you may still be required to undergo strenuous activities.
Do I need to stay in as a PES C9?
You are required to stay in as a PES C9 during your Basic Military Training (BMT). However, once you are posted to your unit, it will depend on whether your unit requires you to stay in or not.
I was one of the fortunate ones to be able to stay out during my NS, as my unit did not require me to stay in the bunks.
If you are an administrative clerk, it is quite probable for you to stay out.
However, this really depends on which unit you are posted to. There may be some army camps that you are posted to, including Keat Hong Camp, which is really far!
In these cases, it may actually make more sense for you to stay in, unless you are ok with the travelling time.
Do I need to do IPPT as a PES C9?
You are not required to do IPPT as a PES C9 NSF.
I have not gone for any IPPT as a PES C9 NSF, and I have not been called up to go for an IPPT after ORD-ing from NS.
While it is good that you do not need to go for the test, I am disappointed as I am not able to earn the extra allowance for completing IPPT.
Do I need to do reservist as a PES C9?
Whether you need to go for reservist or not will depend heavily on your vocation and the unit that you’ve been posted to.
If your vocation in NS is being a clerk, it is highly unlikely that you will be required to go back for reservist!
However, there may be other vocations where you may be called up for reservist. It really depends on your unit, and whether there is a need for you to be called up.
If you’re wondering how to check your reservist unit, you can check out this guide here.
As a PES C9 NSF, your life is definitely much less strenuous compared to your combat fit peers. Depending on your vocation, you may have to stay in, or you may be the lucky ones to get to stay out.
While your life may be better than your combat fit friends, you may miss out on certain things, such as:
- The actual BMT experience (e.g. going outfield and going for SOC)
- Being eligible to go for OCS and pass out as an officer
- Earn extra allowance by doing IPPT
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