Challenges of Being a New NCO

Posted on 26-Nov-2014

By Lance Corporal Sriram Ajith Nair of the 12th Kuala Lumpur Company

October 24th, 2014


My Company held its Enrolment and Awards Service on the 15th of July this year, and I thought it was going to be just another normal Enrolment Day – one of the major annual events of any BB company. At the back of my mind, I was pretty sure that it would more or less be similar like last year.


The day finally arrived and this year our Enrolment was held rather late due to interruptions and clashes of dates with the school events. To many of our surprises, this Enrolment has been a very special one and the memories still fresh in my mind. It was on that day that I got promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. I almost couldn’t believe my ears when my name was announced. Exactly, one week later, the NCO Council had its first meeting with all the newly promoted Lance Corporals on board. I think I speak for the other newly promoted Lance Corporals when I say we were all bursting with nervous energy. This was our first time in an actual NCOs' Council meeting and obviously it was going to be different from our previous Leadership Team Meetings.


After about 2 weeks serving in the Council, I started feeling the pressure sinking onto my shoulders. We immediately got our own set of duties and it was getting hard to juggle school duties and NCO duties. Many of the new NCOs couldn’t perform effectively as an NCO without unintentionally neglecting their duties as students and vice versa. Thanks to all our senior NCOs for their kind help and timely advice. 


There were many challenges faced by us. First of all, most members didn’t really give us the respect of an NCO as we were just promoted and they weren’t used to us inspecting them and even punishing them. Other than that, we were also lost as to what an NCO must do in certain circumstances. And the biggest hurdle of all was we couldn’t balance our NCO assignments alongside our schoolwork. Well, after about 2 months, I managed to overcome all these problems. To be honest, it’s only hard until you actually do it. As some said no pain, no gain.


As I have mentioned, most members didn’t really give us the respect of an NCO. To overcome that, I remembered what I learned in BNTS this year. Basically I followed what Staff Sergeant Kodie Low of 3rd Kuala Lumpuer Company who told me, “There are only two ways to get a person to respect you, you either get them to fear you or you get them to admire you.” Now as I think back, I finally understand what he meant.


Secondly, we the new NCOS were lost and didn't know what to do. Personally, I managed to topple that by remembering one of the many war tactics from a book that I read authored by Dr. Sun Yat Sen. Dr. Sun said that when you enter a new environment, don’t rush into trying to participate and make yourself being heard. Instead, you should sit still and observe the new environment before deciding how to participate. 


Lastly, to balance schoolwork and NCO assignments, I only have this to offer. To balance everything out and ensure that everything gets done, I normally finish my schoolwork in school, therefore ensuring I have enough time to do NCO Assignments at home.  Other than that, I also allocated a few hours from every alternate days to complete BB Assignments.


As one of the 11 newly promoted Lance Corporals of 12th Kuala Lumpur Company, I can pretty much say I balanced everything out properly in the end. It’s definitely not an easy task, but hey, we are NCOs, and we are adaptable!


Page Created: 26th November 2014
Last Updated: 26th November 2014