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>80% of NSmen are actually physically UNFIT for reservist training/war...


>80% of NSmen are actually physically UNFIT for reservist military training/war...

>80% of NSmen are actually physically UNFIT for reservist military training/war...
(<20% NSmen actually manage to pass physical fitness test; >50% NSmen so terribly disabled/ infirm, they are excused from taking physical fitness test in SAF of any kind (no modified fitness options available (swimming, cycling etc) either)).

Operationally-ready national servicemen (NSmen) running as part of IPPT Preparatory Training (IPT) programme in Maju Camp on Sept 8, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN -

'300,000-plus operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) who form the backbone of the SAF': [SAF bends and stretches over IPPT: My Paper; 01Jul2014]

'...Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT)... ...The 2010 figures from the Ministry of Defence - the most recent available - showed that half of the 116,000 NSmen who take the test annually fail it.' [Tougher penalties for NSmen who skip IPPT; ST 31Oct2014]

% of all NSmen who are able to achieve minimum pass @ IPPT =
[(116,000/2) / 300,000+] = <<19.33333%
Or much less than 20% considering that denominator is in excess of 300,000 personnel.

% of all 'operationally ready' NSmen who are actually medically fit to take IPPT=
116,000 / 300,000 = <38.666%
Less than 40% NSmen are physically (medically) fit enough to qualify for IPPT testing to have their fitness recorded and computed annually.
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Re: >80% of NSmen are actually physically UNFIT for reservist military training/war.

SAF bends and stretches over IPPT
SAF bends and stretches over IPPT
MY PAPER Jul 01, 2014
SINGAPORE - As journalists, we have always been reminded that the golden rule in writing is to Kiss, or Keep It Simple, Stupid.
The Singapore Armed Forces seems to be following the Kiss approach with its latest decision to put one of its sacred cows of combat fitness standards, the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), under review.
The move is the first in more than 30 years. The last one resulted in today's IPPT, which has five stations: the chin-up, the standing broad jump, the sit-up, the 4x10m shuttle run and the 2.4km run.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, in his interview with the media ahead of SAF Day, hinted at a simpler test format, with fewer stations.
But if a majority of militaries are already using simpler tests with fewer stations, is there a need to let the SAF's golden standard for fitness assessment remain more complicated, asked Dr Ng.
This rings particularly true for the 300,000-plus operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) who form the backbone of the SAF.
Besides juggling daily work commitments, some already find that they have to jump through hoops just to get in shape.
According to Mindef, about 50 per cent of NSmen pass their IPPT every year.
Paring down complicated test criteria, which arguably may not be accurate indicators of how fast one can clear battle obstacles, would be a relief to those who falter - and many have - in some stations like the standing broad jump.
Granted, some citizen soldiers who grumble may really be unfit. But there are also those who hit the gym every other day and can outrun and outpull most people, yet can't reach the broad jump's 216cm passing mark.
To the SAF, they are centimetres away from fitness and have to undergo remedial training.
For many professionals with 9-to-7 work routines, shuttling to and from these far-flung camps for the dreaded extra training can be a chore, which, in turn, breeds resentment against the IPPT, turning it into the notorious four-letter word.
The Defence Ministry has insisted the IPPT serves as a "baseline measure of physical fitness", even amid questions about IPPT's relevance and accuracy as a yardstick of one's fitness.
As Dr Ng noted, fitness cannot be seen as "an imposition or a test" but as "a lifestyle".
The aim is to allow more NSmen to "train in their own environment for types of exercises which are just simpler to do", he added.
Relooking the IPPT, while bold, is necessary, at a time when sweeping changes to national service are afoot to ensure the rite of passage remains relevant and responsive to a new generation of servicemen who report for duty with different lifestyles, habits and a different psyche from those of their predecessors.
The changes, proposed by the Committee to Strengthen National Service, are aimed at easing the impact of NS commitments on the lives of citizen soldiers.
For instance, NSmen need to notify the authorities of their overseas trips only if they are longer than 14 days, and they have up to twice the current timeframe to pass their IPPT and complete remedial training.
That the SAF is now simplifying the IPPT format and easing restrictions on physical training signal its willingness to better listen and engage citizen soldiers.
Gone are the days when you build a man by first breaking him down and putting him through a battery of rigorous tests.
Making them more responsible for their own fitness empowers national servicemen to take ownership of their well-being and the country's defence.
Folks who think that the SAF is going soft on its combatants, or, worse yet, lowering fitness standards at the expense of the nation's defence, might be missing the point.
The changes are not aimed at removing the painpoints to make the test easier, Dr Ng was quick to point out.
The starting point, he said, is still to keep the IPPT as the measure of fitness standards, even though "it is not a be-all-and-end-all of fitness".
"We want a fit SAF, we want fit NSmen," added Dr Ng.
Indeed, in attempting to keep IPPT simple, the SAF shows it is not stuck in its ways, but that it is practical and pragmatic about people's changing needs.
But Dr Ng is perhaps prescient when he said it won't be the last word of the conversation.
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Tougher penalties for NSmen who skip IPPT
PUBLISHED: OCT 31, 2014, 6:18 AM SGT
Those who miss fitness test 3 times in a row will be confined to camp
Jermyn Chow Defence Correspondent
Confinement, the bane of conscripted soldiers here, will continue to haunt reservists who skip the mandatory military fitness test three times in a row.
Instead of a $100 fine - the usual penalty currently - citizen soldiers will soon be locked up in camp, "forced" to exercise and still pay a monetary penalty.
The new regime starts in January, with a five-day boot camp aimed at getting operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) fit, said the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
It comes amid recent efforts to toughen up citizen soldiers here and get them in shape.
Measures have also been taken to make the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) less of a chore for NSmen who have to juggle family and work commitments. These include a stripped-down fitness test starting in April and more convenient venues to train for the test.
But despite giving them more leeway to keep fit, the military said it is inevitable that there will be persistent offenders.
"There will be a small number of NSmen who may not have a valid reason for not attempting their IPPT," the army's assistant chief of general staff (training), Colonel Ng Ying Thong, told The Straits Times.
Now, those who skip the IPPT three or more times are fined or risk being thrown into detention barracks - the army equivalent of prison - for up to a week. It is understood that recalcitrant defaulters have been spared the jail term and usually get away with a fine of $100.
The new confinement will "focus on teaching NSmen the different types of fitness modalities and fitness habits", said Col Ng.
He said the SAF aims to partner NSmen to leadhealthy lifestyles and the fitness camp is a "constructive programme aimed at helping NSmen train for and do well in their IPPT". Barred from leaving camp premises, offenders will get fitness training and attempt the IPPT.
Col Ng declined to reveal the number of repeat offenders. It is unclear whether they will get their salaries from the Government when sent to boot camp.
The 2010 figures from the Ministry of Defence - the most recent available - showed that half of the 116,000 NSmen who take the test annually fail it.
The Straits Times understands that the idea of confining and forcing IPPT defaulters to exercise in camps has been on the cards since last year.
Several NSmen told The Straits Times they were briefed on details of the new penalties earlier this year. One of them, a 34-year-old insurance agent who declined to be named, said: "With all the measures to make it easier for us to train and keep fit, it will be foolish of anyone not to be bothered to do something and risk being confined."
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