Back in secondary 1, I already had two CCAs in mind– either NCC or NPCC. Since I took up Tchoukball and Scouts in primary school, I decided to do somewhat the same in secondary school. I was still in the Tchoukball national team then so I didn’t bothered to look at the various sports CCAs my school has to offer.
The NCC and NPCC booth was located at the canteen, conveniently placed side by side. When our class was given the green light to look around at the various booths, I quickly made my way to the back of the canteen. There was a distinct contrast between the two– on my left, I felt as if I was about to go camo or something. The seniors whom mended the booth weren’t that enthusiastic with our presence. They just briefly mentioned about their training schedules, awards and what they did. Such a turn off.
I went to the next booth. Although it was kind of simple, I loved how the seniors there talked about NPCC. You could see their eyes gleaming and they even stumbled on their own words every now and then. It then struck me that NPCC would be my first CCA choice.
I didn’t attend the first 3 training sessions as I did not know that there was one. There goes my first impression on everyone. By the 2nd training, the secondary 4 seniors stepped down and handed over the unit to the secondary 3 seniors. A few weeks to come, I would have found my close friends to-be for the next few years to come.
I went for most of the courses and events which we had the choice to go. At first, it was mainly for the VIA hours that I could get but it grew to be more than just that. I made new friends with cadets from different schools and even got to learn from them new skills. I grew to love the nature of this CCA. By mid of secondary 3, I was appointed as the Assistant Overall in-Charge (AOIC) of the unit.
This year, I was nominated to receive the SPF-NPCC badge by my Teacher Officers (teachers-in-charge). It is the highest award badge that cadets can vie for as it gives recognition to cadets with good leadership qualities and outstanding achievements. Out of the many different liable cadets, after 2 rounds of intense interviews, only 50+ are able to attain it. I had 2 days to prepare myself for the first round of interview. Two days. I already have my hands full with other things. I went for the interview at Zhenghua Secondary right after school. Sadly, I did not get through to the next round.
I was quite disheartened until Mr Go approached me, saying that I’m due for another interview for the SI (Station Inspector) rank. Cadets in NPCC have 6 ranks which they can go for: Lance Corporal, Corporal, Sergeant, Staff Sergeant and SI. The SI rank is only given to 2 cadets per unit. Then again, I felt kind of embarrassed to see the Area Commandant again since he was the one who interviewed me.
I’m now a Station Inspector. Call me “Ma’am”. Actually don’t. I have yet to get accustomed to it, I am not even comfortable with juniors calling me “senior”. Don’t ask me why. No one in the squad knew about my attainment except for Aqilah, Ellyiana and Zalifah. Only during the area POP (Pass Out Parade), after changing into my full NPCC uniformed, do they know about it.
This 4 year journey passed by like a bullet train. Who would have guessed that I’d be the AOIC or even hold on to this rank? Thank you to everyone who were by my side in my journey in NPCC.