The month of January has introduced a new routine into my 2022. I begin the day early with rigorous training under the guidance of the Performance Optimisation Centre (POC) instructors and spend my weekdays working with the Defence Information Technology Unit (DITU). Both sides of my day are filled with experiences that help me prepare for a future with MINDEF and RBAF.
Before we started our new training regime, we did a test to find out our current state of fitness. My results were mediocre, but I was not discouraged and believed that I can improve with time. The weeks that followed brought in a new level of challenge to our usual training as we were pushed to and beyond our limits. On a regular, our Physical Training Instructors (PTIs) made us do hundreds of push ups and sit ups, even after our muscles gave out. The endurance training was also a challenge as they kept pushing us to run to our limits; to go faster and faster. All of it to ensure our improvement in our fitness so that we are fully prepared for a life as a Military Officer in the RBAF.
We are also introduced to swimming training weekly, and this managed to help my swimming endurance as we did laps endlessly. I was worried of my ability to float but with the training, I have garnered good confidence in my swimming ability. We occasionally train in the Air Force Swimming pool which is quite deep, and this challenged my fears of deep waters as I learned to keep my cool in the water.
Midway through our training in January, we started to join the Officer Cadets of Intake 21 in their preconditioning training. They were doing a 4-week training plan to prepare themselves for their upcoming entry into Officer Cadet School and us scholars were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to join them in their training. Their training was tough, but we were glad to have joined as we can see what challenges we might face in the future. The training ranged from 10kg weighted hiking and fast paced endurance runs at the beach.
Last week marked the end of the 4-week preconditioning training with the Cadets and we finished it off with a fitness test to see our progress after 1 month. I am happy to announce that I have improved 1m 20s on my 2.4km run, added 30 to my push up reps and 20 in my sit ups. It was satisfying to find out that all the pain and sweat has paid off. However, this is only the beginning and I hope to improve a lot more to prove myself for the upcoming Officer Cadet trials later this year.
In January I have also started my work attachment in DITU. For the rest of the year until I join OCS, I am working closely with DITU in their projects as MINDEF hopes that I can join their ranks once I am commissioned. With my background of Computer Science, I was curious on the responsibilities and duties of DITU in MINDEF and my experience there has been an eye opener for me.
During my first day there, I had a full tour visiting all their facilities and units and there I learned their various duties. For my first month there, I was tasked to shadow the acting Head of DITU Captain Harun. He acted as a mentor for me as he showed me the ropes and taught me the ins and outs of a Military Officer in MINDEF. Besides being physically fit, military officers carry a duty to ensure that we could lead a unit towards a goal. I was challenged mentally and academically in my time in DITU as I had to learn the various ways of writing reports and letters as this will be my regular tasks later in the future.
As part of my attachment, I joined a team in DITU to do their regular yearly inspections of IT equipment across different RBAF units and camps in Brunei. In the inspection, I learned how DITU operates with other units as other units would have to go through DITU to hire any IT equipment needed. I also familiarised myself with the different camps across Brunei as I managed to visit Penanjong Garison.
My big project for the whole year is to write an action plan for the Digital Defence Strategy Framework. The vision of the project is to establish and improve 'Digital Defence by 2025'. This task requires me to cooperate with the different units of DITU to learn their respective objectives in the plan. My abilities of data collecting and cooperating with other officers will be tested. This report will then be showed to the DEC (Defence Executive Committee) members of MINDEF to be approved and implemented by DITU. As a MINDEF Scholar, my colleagues and commanding officer has high hopes for me, and I do hope to contribute back however I can during my time there.
I am thrilled and grateful for the opportunities given to me the past month and am excited to see what is in store ahead of me.
Haziq Zharfan, RBAF Scholar 2014
Arranged and Formatted by:Aiman Abdullah Tee