Iconic SAF gear
Let’s bring you all the way back to day 1 of NS – you’re nervously waiting in line to collect your duffle bag full of SAF merch before moving to your 5-star Tekong suite to enjoy your 9-week stay. At that moment, we’d bet you didn’t think these items could also be of use even after your NS days.
Today, we’re showing you the 8 best SAF items that’ll be handy even after ORD.
1. SAF Admin T-shirt – More than just a trophy for your GF
Now, we Singaporeans love free stuff, especially if it’s good. That being said, the SAF Admin T- shirt has got to be one of the best “amenities” Pulau Tekong has provided to its guests. As reviewed by many current NSFs and NSmen, the admin kit is a comfortable piece of clothing that can be worn as pyjamas or for everyday use.
Unlike older fabric versions of this t-shirt, the upgraded version’s made out of a dri-fit material. This makes it ideal as an undershirt for the No.4 uniform or for PT purposes. But that doesn’t mean its use ends there. It translates swimmingly into daily life as well – its super soft material makes this a go-to whether you’re having a chill day at home or working in the office.
2. Assault Backpack – Just the right size for daily essentials
From a military standpoint, the Assault Pack is used on short missions to carry items such as water, rations, and also extra ammunition. However, it does a great job at carrying daily essentials too.
The Assault Pack is a banger of a product if you’re looking at a day out in the great outdoors or a daily backpack to the office. While not as huge as the field pack, its size is spacious enough to fit your daily essentials such as a laptop, charger, a change of clothes, and then some.
Quality isn’t an afterthought with this one, as the tough material is able to withstand wear and tear even with heavy usage. It’s pretty comfortable, too, with many adjustment features that ensure that you are able to set it up according to your body or the load you’re carrying.
3. Adidas Duramo – It ain’t pretty but it’s built like a tank
I have to be truthful here, this is not the most fashionable pair of shoes out there. But if you’re all about function over form, the SAF-issued Adidas Duramo exceeds well above expectations.
While being a little on the heavier side, these shoes are built like a tank. We were issued 2 pairs of these during our 5.5 months of mostly physical training, and not once have I found the need to get my first pair replaced.
Even after countless runs and drill training sessions, my first pair of Duramos still retains its plush padding and is still going strong 3 years later with not a single sign of sole separation.
4. Standard issue socks – Suitable for all purpose use
Socks are socks – and with the Standard SAF green socks, this statement holds true. Granted, these socks were meant to be worn with military boots, so the length and thiccness are a bit extra. But hey, that’s more protection for your feet. The SAF also provides 2 colour options: the Classic Green, and the “As Black As Your Soul During BMT” black.
That being said, these might be worth picking up with any leftover e-mart credits before you ORD.
5. No.3 dress shoes – Wearable for your post-ORD job interviews
Image credit: Carousell
While these leather No.3 dress shoes aren’t standard issue for everyone, they can still be purchased with e-mart credits for all servicemen. Whether you’re attending a wedding or a post-ORD job interview, these could serve you well.
And if you’ve been listening to your sergeants all these while, your pair should be rather well-maintained and shiny. The great thing about these shoes is that they’re so inconspicuous that it takes a trained professional to identify them out in the wild, which means that you’ll get away without having to explain your choice of footwear. You can thank me later.
6. Microfiber bath towels – Best for absorbing the tears of recruits
As compared to your run-of-the-mill bath towel, you’ll notice that the new SAF-issued towels feel significantly softer, and that’s thanks to the absorbent microfibers that’ll dry you up in a jiffy.
In the past, you may have heard of bad reviews of this towel being resistant to water. But we’re happy to report that the SAF has since revamped this product. Press F to pay respects to all the millennials who can’t relate.
7. Water bottle – Heaviest water bottle ever IYKYK
When your sergeant said “this will be the heaviest bottle you will ever hold in your life”, he wasn’t kidding. For the uninformed, water parades are way more than just 100 botak heads drinking water in unison. I shall not reveal any more of this sacred ritual but just know that it was an experience to remember for years to come.
While its 1-litre capacity isn’t enough to store your water parade memories, it’s definitely enough water to last you the day. The bottle’s durability is fairly adequate – as long as you don’t drop it or yank at its handle.
8. Jungle-level insect repellent – Small and compact
Along with the towels, SAF has also revamped its insect repellent. “Too strong” is an understatement when it came to the previous iteration, which gave recruits less than ideal results when applied to the skin. Thankfully, this new version is diluted while keeping its mozzie-repelling qualities. It also comes in a compact spray bottle for fuss-free application.
If you’re a hiker, you’re going to love the small form factor. After all, who wants to bring an entire FBO on a casual weekend hike?
Pre-loved army boy merch
These items may have served you well during your service in the SAF, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll have to ORD when you do. They can still play a big part in your daily lives, especially the admin kit. At least you can say you’re wearing a limited SAF edition t-shirt, right?
Check out these National Service-related articles too:
- Things I wish I knew before ORD
- Misconceptions about enlisting for ladies
- What remains of Kranji Barracks
Photography by Mikayla Tessensohn.
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