Posted on 30-Oct-2014
October 18th, 2014
Normally any Parade in our company will have our customary NCO Fall-in at 7.30a.m. where we will have our inspection of the NCOs’ uniform followed by any necessary announcements before the Members come. Following that, the Opening Parade will start at 7.50a.m. in the Parade Ground. Most of the time the Parade NCO will be one of the Sergeants or one of the senior NCOs. Usually most of the Members would have reached the school and would be waiting in the canteen 7.40a.m. Once they hear the shout “BB Fall in!”, the Members will rush in and began to fall in their positions marked by their Squad Leaders on the Parade Ground. Subsequently, the Parade NCO would give command to fall-out the Squad Leaders, to allow them to carry on their admin duty; to take the attendance of their Members, and to inspect the uniform of their Members.
Normally, this routine would take about 10 minutes where each Squad Leader is expected to complete the tasks before the Parade NCO report to the Parade Officer. Once the Parade Officer takes over, at the command of the Officer, we will open with a Word of Prayer followed by singing the National Anthem, Negaraku and the Anchor Song. The Parade Officer will then fall us out where we will then proceed to the Chapel to start our praise and worship session. Once we are at the Chapel, the Worship Team on duty will take over leading the Company to a time of praising God. This is then followed by the Word session where most of the time will be led by either our Officer or our Chaplain. The Word Session take about 30 minutes before we move on for housekeeping, i.e. to settle any pending admin duties pertaining to Squad Management, or to listen to any announcements available. Most of the time, we would have to settle all these before we proceed to have our badgework classes.
Next on the agenda, is Drill time before we have our Closing Parade at 11.00a.m. Once more, the voice of the Parade NCO will be heard for the Company to fall in the Parade Ground before the Officer comes in. Second attendance will be taken, followed by any reminders or announcements to be made before Members leave. The Parade Officer then takes over to lead the Company in singing the Vesper and close with a Word of Prayer. The Parade is declared adjourned and those who would like to stay back for sports will not leave until 12pm.
The above routines have been what would a typical BB Parade in 12th Kuala Lumpur had been like since its inception in WMS KL from 2011. However, this year, our Parades held had been irregular due to major events from the school as well as many holidays clashing with our weekly parades. Because of this, our badgework classes and our drill session were affected as the members could not have enough time to fully be able to grasp and have a full swing of momentum in BB with all the necessary drill movements and also to be able to concentrate in completing our badgework classes that would earn us many badges.
To combat this problem, the Officers reshuffled the Parade timing and introduced a second badgework class to our regular parade time. Compulsory Parade time has been shifted from 8a.m. to 11a.m. to 8a.m. to 12.30p.m. They have also introduced a new session known as ‘Squad Time’ to smoothen the Company operation. With the new NCOs on board after our Enrolment, the Officers believe that this is the time where all the squads will have a chance to work together better and to build more rapport with their Squad Members – the key word is Squad bonding time, doing the usual BB activities together as a Squad. The main purpose of squad time is actually to train up all the Squad Leaders, enhancing them to execute their duties effectively as Squad Leaders cum NCOs, to take active lead in their own Squads well as now Bible Study as well as Drill is being done at the Squad level. Hence the term Squad Time – a timely reshuffling of Parade to push us as NCOs to work closer as one Team and not just relying on the Senior NCOs to run the show so to speak.
After the restructuring, we find that we now have a dedicated squad management time for all the squads to settle our pending tasks like reply slip collection, ensuring all Members’ details are updated and getting our Members’ responses for any upcoming events and so on. In a nutshell, this is really on-the-job training (OJT), if I may add, indeed a tough and hard OJT for us as NCOs especially for the new Lance Corporals. Everyone is required to really take charge of his own Squad, making sure no one is being left out in any way. If they had extra time as there are no pending tasks, the Squad Leader will use this time to bond with his members. So, in a way, Squad Leaders are now the Frontline Admin Executives – a task used to be handled by only a handful Senior NCOs previously.
Other than that, our Word session has been changed to a squad bible study session in which each squad leader is provided with simple Bible study materials each week to lead and share in their own Squads. We have a dedicated Word Department, led by one Corporal to look into suitable materials to use for the sharing. Of course, our Officer is the one moderating the material and provides the coaching for the Squad Leaders. Each Squad Leader is required to first read up on the guide provided earlier before he can share the Word of God at the squad level. As some of the Squad Leaders are non-Christians and some are young Christians, our Officers allow for some Squads to combine during for the sharing. To better facilitate the sharing, the NCO in charge of the Word Session will provide a run through of the week’s topic before passing on the time to the Squad Leaders to lead in their Squads and finally he will do a sum up or ask the Officer to do a conclusion.
After the Squad bible study session which is usually around 20 minutes, the Company will now proceed for Squad Drill session, supervised by the Sergeants. Previously, drill was taught in an entire group that we find quite ineffective as many members would just slack off and many couldn’t catch up on the drill movements. The drill is now handled by each respective squad leaders and the syllabus to teach for drill is given each parade a few days earlier to ensure the NCOs have adequate time to prepare. Sometimes the Drill Team will execute corporate drill movements for everyone before passing the time to the Squad leaders to lead their Squads in the Drill. Each week, each Squad is given some tasks to accomplish during the Squad Drill time. After some time, we did a review and we found out that each Squad could do their own drill better compared to last time.
So, this is our Squad Time consisting of Squad Management – where we do all the housekeeping matters and admin duties, Squad Bible Study – where the sharing of God’s word and message is being facilitated in the individual squads and Squad Drill – where drill is being conducted in Squad level instead of Company. We have been running this Squad Time structure for a few months now and we find that it is effective because we could easily identify how health has each Squad been performing.
After the dedicated Squad Time, we then have our first slot of badgework classes followed by closing parade at 11.30a.m. The Members are then given the choice of leaving or continuing for the second slot of badgework classes till 12.30p.m. By having squad time, we are also able to test the NCO’s skills of taking good care of the squad, the welfare of his Members as all the activities of the squad are under his control and leadership.