Do Not Whine About NS



I am serious.

Do not whine about National Service, no matter what you may feel about it. Yes there are serious issues in how NSmen often get the short end of the stick in the social compact of Singapore but your reaction to it matters. Unfortunately a lot of Singaporean men choose to whine.

This is a very common mistake that all Singaporean men make, complaining about what they have to do in National Service and thinking it will earn them sympathy or from the listener or some kind of moral high ground against idealogical opponents. Unless the person has served it himself, it’s unlikely you will earn anything but silent contempt from the listener even if they don’t say anything.

Most of all, do not complain about NS to women, or worse attempt to use is as a rhetorical trump card in an argument with them. You will be viewed as a whiny beta and you do not want that. Complaining about NS as if you are a victim of the system gives off the vibe that you are shunning your masculine duty of being a protector. Many Singaporean men do not get this.

If you want to criticise NS, you need to do it from an Alpha Frame. You have to give off the vibe that even if you do not approve of being conscripted for 2 years, you are not going to let that break your stride. In contrast, most Singaporean men who complain about NS do so from a beta frame and paint themselves as massive victims of the system.

As an addendum to all this do not overreact when an outsider belittles NS as well, react in the right way. The average modern Singaporean woman will never understand the sacrifices you make in NS, nor will she really care about it. All she wants is security to be provided with no need to think about it.

This is the reality of things. Make it clear in certain terms that you will not tolerate any disrespect of NS and the men who have made sacrifices in, but do not lapse into historic conniptions when somebody crosses the line. Retain your Alpha frame.

But my advice is just to roll with it. There’s no need to act like an overly-patriotic-army-crazy person. Just stoic resilience to it will often suffice, along with gruff acknowledgment that it is a duty that you do because that is what the security of Singapore requires even if it involves sacrifice and suffering. In a sea of whiny NS men that will give you some Unexpected Alpha points as well as build your Alpha Wolf credentials.

Just something as simple as an attitude adjustment on NS will put you head and shoulders above your fellow man, everyone admires a quiet, stoic, professional soldier even if he is an NSman.

While we may hate the restrictions NS put on us in freedoms, regimentation and comfort it is actually one of the best times to get in touch with our masculinity. When was the last time you were that physically fit or getting in touch with your wild side? When was the last time you were forced to confront your fears? When was the last time you had such a kick in the pants to man up? When was the last time you had to learn how to work together and trust your fellow man?

It is a pity too many Singaporean men fail to realise this and lapse into beta whining on instead, missing out on many opportunities to grow as men.Your masculinity will benefit from your NS experience if you take the right attitude to it, but if you don’t want to do that at least don’t be a whiny beta that thinks the world owes you because you served.

What you get from experience depends on what philosophy you take to it. Take the right one.


Take on what the world throws at you and be an Alpha Wolf.





  1. I put up with everything from it right up to 40. What happened in the end? There was a huge screw up. No one in my unit acknowledged or did anything about it. The CO “bo-chup” till I reported to Mindef, then he called to lament how he shouldn’t and can’t be blamed. I ended up losing both money and time and work that I will never recover.

    Is this whining? In the typical Singaporean malice hurling way, you can say it is. Did I grow and learn from it? You bet I did, and the first lesson in that is that the organization doesn’t teach you to be masculine, it indoctrinates the fine print in cowardice and responsibility shunning. Would having the “right” mentality improve the experience? No, because that was exactly what my unit exploited to get away with its mistakes and shortcomings. Look at the best try NOT to see the worst in anything we do. In the end, we all became cowards. The in-charges in my camps completely convinced, still, bureaucratic shunning is the way to being a soldier. Me, too embarrassed to (usually) bring up this matter.


    1. What you take away from NS depends on the mindset you bring to it.

      A Beta mindset will leave you feeling powerless and victimised at the end of NS. It is a fragile mindset and that attitude will carry on for life if not corrected.

      A masculine, Alpha mindset is antifragile, it turns adversity to its advantage. A masculine man ignores outside factors and focuses on what he can improve for himself.

      Use the time during NS to build yourself, not tear yourself down. You determine the kind of soldier you are, not others.


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