Death Of An NSman : An Unpopular Opinion


By: Cpl (Res) B. Goode

Living in this time when libertards, millennials, whiners, weaklings and keyboard warriors roam the earth, I have to wait until the funeral is over to post this rant of mine.

In any case, may the soul of NSman Private Dave Lee Han Xuan rest in peace.

Too young, too soon and utterly unnecessary.

It is however, heartwarming to note that the government will be forming an inquiry and will do a thorough investigation into the cause of death to prevent future deaths. Again.

The death of Pte Dave Lee during NS wasn’t the first and regardless of the recommendations (again) to be put forward by the inquiry, it would certainly not be the last.

In the immediate aftermath of the unfortunate death, tinfoil hatters were out in droves and were quick to blame, yes you’ve guessed it, the government.

Until the result of the inquiry is out, I will reserve judgement.

But the question that I am dying to ask is : Whatever happened to self- accountability and self-assessment?

It wouldn’t matter what safety precautions the Army had in place during an exercise. They could have a doctor every 100 meters, an ambulance even, a water point every 200 meters, or having the trainees’ maids shelter them with an umbrella, but only the trainees themselves would know how they felt.

Heatstroke is not a silent killer. You will know if you are going to have a heatstroke. You will feel unwell. Something that I am sure Pte Lee would have felt during his exercise. So why didn’t he just stop and tell his supervisor that he couldn’t carry on?

The answer perhaps was because he was afraid to be scolded by his supervisor.  Or he had a great sense of pride and wanted to finish the exercise which is a good value to have. Or he didn’t think much about it and thought that he could complete the course.

And this is where future trainees need to be educated about self-assessment and self-accountability. Most importantly they must be imparted in their young impressionable minds that sometimes, `giving your best’ can mean death. It is one thing to give your best and die in the battlefield and totally another to be the best in IPPT only to die from it.

Tell them that there is no shame in declaring that they are not feeling well prior to an exercise. Tell them that there is no shame in giving up half-way through a course because, as Spiderman said to Ironman in Infinity War before he died: ‘I feel funny’.

For the NSmen, whatever you do or don’t do during your NS stint will have no bearing in your future life. Truth. It is all about being smart. In fact, if you were too good, you might end up being the CEO of SMRT. Would you want that?

For the NSmen, know your body like you know this body:


Or for some of you who are gay, this body:


If not, you may end up like this body:



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