The Story of My Exceptional Apprentice

Posted on 05-Dec-2014

By Corporal Brendan Eu Che-Jie of 12th Kuala Lumpur Company

October 25th, 2014

Before I start the article, I would like to convey my apologies to Lance Corporal Steve Lay Hao Yang for not seeking his personal views towards this matter. This article will mainly be about my impression towards him, enjoy.

Year 2013 was the first year that I was appointed as a squad leader. I was then assigned to a squad to look after a certain number of recruits. Of course, the members would definitely introduce themselves accordingly. Then recruit Lay Hao Yang (Steve) was one of the members in my squad. My first impression towards him was awfully bad. He was annoying and also a nuisance to me, just like a prick poking my flesh. Steve would even crack up with lame jokes that disrupt my teaching sessions (at the squad level) during the Target class. Because of his reckless attitude, it actually “awakens” the recalcitrant nature of some squad members. But things weren’t that bad at all; instead a miracle happened as well. 

The Target test results were just fresh from the oven at the last day of Boot Camp. Surprisingly, Steve was one of the few Recruits in my squad who actually passed his test. I was quite shocked to know that he had possessed much aptness. From then, I knew that he was the “cosmic key” that the Company was in search for; the solution to the halted growth of the Company. 12th Kuala Lumpur Company only had 6 NCOs at that point of time, and just as I thought that Steve would be a great investment to the Company’s development. So I’ve decided to give him decent training with much patience. He was one of the most active members in my squad despite my hatred towards him at that time.

Steve showed exemplary attendance and has also shown keen interest towards The Boys’ Brigade. Over the months, I could see Steve grow and slowly develope in maturity. He wasn’t that boy who did everything without going through his head; he is now a person with great analytical thinking skills and also shown great leadership qualities. In him I found great joy because he was my plentiful harvest and to be honest, I couldn’t identify any recruit in my squad that could be just like him. My hatred towards him subsided and I actually find him to be quite a nice person.

Soon comes year 2014, Steve was the only one from my squad last year to stay back in Boys’ Brigade. It was part of the clause in the compulsory rule where Brigadiers of 12th KUL Company had the choice to decide whether to leave or stay in Year 2. Steve actually decided to stay. Now a Private, Steve had been assigned to another squad as an assistant squad leader. Steve had done his responsibility with full dedication, and the thing is he did not ask for any qualifications or rewards. There was a time when the Juniors Section was in distress. We, the NCOs, were asked upon who would be willing take care of the mess. Guess who stepped up to the challenge? It is not any NCO, but Steve. His “dare to take a risk” personality impressed me. Steve did his very best to keep the struggling Juniors Section alive, and even at the same time he had to juggle between his assistant squad leader responsibilities. At such a tender age, he is already serving the Company.

12th Kuala Lumpur Company held it's Enrolment Service in July 2014. Obviously, Steve’s effort paid off and was promoted as a Lance Corporal. I don't know why, but a sense of accomplishment had struck me. It was definitely an awe-struck moment for me. From day 1 I had been seeing him struggling to fit in and now he had made it to the top. Steve, I’m proud of you! Keep up the good work and continue to serve the Company well!  

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