The Story of Benjamin Yap

Posted on 12-Oct-2014

Written by Corporal Nathan Chan of 10th Kuala Lumpur Company

Published October 12th, 2014

Photographer, musician and artist in many ways. Brigadier for almost ten years. Staff sergeant for half that time. In his time in BB, Warrant Officer Benjamin Yap has given much, both in terms of time and effort.

All lives in the Brigade must have some origin. For W.O. BYap, as he is affectionately known, was in 2005 with the start of secondary school. Every new Sri Sempurna student must choose a uniformed organisation to join. Though intimidated at first by it's gruff military outlook, Mr. BYap chose BB.

So with the determination to learn whatever he could, Mr. BYap joined the 10th Kuala Lumpur Company. Though it was tough, being a quiet boy who barely spoke English, he pressed on. Soon enough, he participated in his first camp - boot camp.

The minute he walked onto the bus to go, however, he saw a queer sight. Some recruits had their handbooks out, studying them vigorously. Soon, he discovered that the Target badge test was to be held during the camp!

At that age, BYap was still unable to understand English very well. As a result, he relied on his friends to inform him of any news announced. As a result, it was necessary for him to study up as much possible, as the test would also be in English. Alas, he failed the test.

Thankfully, he was allowed to retake the test after boot camp. This time he studied hard, and he passed. He then went on to receive the badge. Even though he was weighed down by the situation, he managed to push through.

Things were never perfect, nor were the people. At first, he didn't dare to speak up in any situation. If he went absent, the only person who would notice was his squad leader. While most of his friends were picked to perform multiple tasks by their second year, he was never picked due to his timid nature. The only way for him to help out was to volunteer.

The third year came quickly. Soon all his friends were probated, but not him. Before long, a gulf formed in their friendship, due to their semi-elevated status. Though tempted to leave, he stayed on. His perseverance got rewarded when Awards Day came, as he got promoted straightaway, no probation.

As the years went by, the thought of leaving always persisted. So Mr. BYap set a goal: to leave after achieving the rank of Sergeant. Yet as the appointed time to leave drew closer did W.O. BYap realise that he had missed a very large part of BB. Sure, BB was about discipline, but it is also about fun. BYap's BB experience only began when he realised that. For 5 years he has been a Staff Sergeant, having found new meaning in BB.

It's not just about friends or doing everything for the sake of the rank and responsibility you have. As he put it, “I stayed on because I found out that I had learned so much, that I want[ed] to give back in terms of serving and being in a part [of the expansion of] God's Kingdom, as stated clearly in the BB object.” There may be no perfect Company, but to be able to make a difference to allow others to enjoy and learn is worth it. It's the experience and journey that counts just as much as the destination.

All this happened because of that decision made. It was a casual decision, made without much preference or prior knowledge. Yet today, that one small decision has had a massive impact on his life. Surely God was guiding him even those many years ago.

As of today, Warrant Offocer BYap has left for United Kingdom to further his studies. Yet the lessons that he has shown us, the effort he has put into the Company and BB as a whole will be remembered.

Page Created: 12th October 2014
Last Updated: 12th October 2014