The Quintessential NS Gentleman

The Quintessential NS Gentleman

And just like that, Valentine’s Day came and went before you knew it. After spending countless hours of planning and preparation, all you have to show for it is probably some withered roses and a half eaten box of chocolate. While there is no doubt that your partner would have appreciated your love coated efforts, now is the time to take a step back and reflect on how you can keep up those displays of affection all year round. 

The Valentine’s Day aftermath
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As the feel-good factor of your romantic Valentine escapade evaporates, you will have realised that the temporary gratification of overpriced flowers and candy will only get you so far in a loving relationship. In our modern material world, it is important to remember that your actions are what matters. Ultimately, it is what you do that defines you and not the size of your wallet that counts. Therefore, it is essential for you to behave like a gentleman if you want a relationship to last!

A gentleman does, in place of talk and thoughts!
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Having said all that, how does one act like the perfect gentleman without bordering on being a male chauvinist pig? Chances are that you already know how. And, you might be surprised to learn that all this happened while you were slogging it out as a full-time national serviceman! Sure, you would have heard that the army change boys into men. But, how does camping in the great wilderness and conquering the gruelling standard obstacle course make you the ultimate lady killer? Let us jog your memory...

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1. Care and concern for others

We are brothers in arms,
We are brother proud to be,
We are the first,
The one and only infantry
Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Passing Out Parade Song 

If there is one thing most people remember about national service, it will most definitely be the tightly knitted bonds with your platoon mates. In the dog-eat-dog world, this pure untainted camaraderie established is the base for you to show a basic level of understanding towards another. Just as your heart sinks a little whenever your buddy is forced to sign ‘extra’, this form of brotherly love is akin to the selfless love that you would display for your other half.

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2. Honesty is the best policy

Honesty is the only policy for gentlemen!
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Remember those awkward fall-ins with your inquisitive platoon sergeant, who was always demanding to know who was the one who forgot to switch off the bunk lights? Faced with the prospect of having your whole section ‘knocking it down’ (punishment by push ups), you know that it is better to man up and step forward if you are the culprit in question. As a result, this fosters the bones of honesty in you. Although it is never easy to admit one’s mistakes, this is one of those things that can make or break a relationship. 

3. Building great tolerance

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In the words of the rock prophet Mick Jagger, you can’t always get what you want. And, this is a universal truth in every aspect of life. We are sure that sometimes your platoon mates and buddy might do things that irritate the living daylights out of you, i.e. singing off key in the shower, talking loudly on their mobile or even putting their mud stained boots on your immaculately clean bed. However, we tolerate such minor oversights in view that they are treasured close friends. So the next time you feel irritated when your girlfriend nags at you while on a prolonged shopping trip, take a deep breath and be the bigger man. After all, it can’t be any worse than that 42km route march right?

4. Instilling discipline

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Discipline is an important life trait (remember reciting it as part of the SAF’s seven Core Values during water parade?). Discipline, as defined by the Oxford dictionary, is a system of rules of conduct. Whether be it in the service, in the working world or even in relationships, it is one of the key pillars that ensure stability and longevity. Reinforced by shared values and morals, the perfect gentleman (and soldier) has the fortitude and maturity that is solely lacking in the hedonistic little boy.     

5. Being self-reliant  

Boy scouts grow up to be gentlemen...
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Whether you like it or not, you would have learnt some basic household chores in the army. With all those stand-by universe (bunk inspection), it will mean that mopping floors, scrubbing toilets and most importantly doing laundry is a breeze for you. Plus, let’s not forget your basic cooking skills picked up during field camp. In modern times where traditional gender roles are fast diminishing, this not only ensures that you are more than capable of surviving on your own but serves as a gentle reminder not to take anything for granted. Besides, being able to cook your loved one a decent meal will definitely score you brownie points in the game of love!

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