Being a Drill Sergeant

Posted on 05-Nov-2014

Feature by Corporal Paul Lim of 10th Kuala Lumpur Company

Published November 5th, 2014

Yang tinggi ke kanan, rendah ke kiri, dalam satu barisan, PARAS!” shouts the Staff Sergeant. The 14 of us scrambled and ran our lives to the drill ground. We all know that we were doomed when he started counting upwards instead of downward. Doing pushups on the hot ground is not a very pleasant feeling. When we have formed a squad, we were all sweating as though we have been marching for hours.

The Staff Sergeant added, “As you all know, we need someone as a Drill Sergeant. Anyone?” I immediately thought to myself, ‘Please not me, please not me.’ After asking that question, no one responded. He then came up to each and every one of us (we were still in the squad at that moment), asking personally. Not to his surprise, everyone said no. After drill session, he brought me and my friend to a corner and briefed us about being a Drill Sergeant. Although we reluctantly said ‘ok’, we knew that we had responsibilities.

He also added that there was a KL State Drill Competition soon and either one of us is going to be the commander. So here began the treacherous training of becoming the commander. The drill officer of my company, Mr. Chan started me on ‘shouting training’. If you do not know what it is, it’s basically shouting as loud as you can because to be a commander, you need volume. Lots of it. Not only I have to be loud in my squad, but I have to be the best in foot drill there because I must set an example to my squad member and to raise the standard of drill in my company.

Sore throats almost every week, blisters on my feet, muscle aches, you name it. The more I train to be a commander, the more I wanted to give up. I started to give excuses, and excuses, and excuses. I remember one being that I couldn’t shout because of a sore throat, although it was a minor one. I then started to realize that the drill squad was improving, but not the commander. I then decided to put away my excuses because how could your members see that a leader who does want to be a leader himself?

Drill practices, extended drill practices, extra drill sessions, drill camps were all in our weekly BB schedule. Slowly, I started to feel that I like this position being a drill sergeant. Although much is expected from me, I tried my best to fulfill all my superiors’ orders. Little did we know, the Drill Competition will be in less than a week’s time. We were all pumped up and excited for it as we did our final preparation.

Came the time where we were inspected by the most feared drill officer of Kuala Lumpur State, where we marched on the competition’s drill ground, and waited for the results. “And the moment we have all been waiting for. Drumroll please…” Everyone was nervous and anxious at that moment of suspense when it all went away when the champions were announced. Although we did not win, the first placing, we did not hold down our heads, but held our heads up and thanked God for His grace and mercy upon our drill squad.

I then realised that being a drill sergeant and a commander is not how I thought it would be. Being one is to set an example to the members, helping them to grow in any way. Being one is to raise the bar from where you were. Being one is part of the ‘blue uniform’. Being one is being in The Boys’ Brigade.


Page Created: 5th November 2014
Last Updated: 5th November 2014