Recruit’s sketches capture glimpse of NS life in Pulau Tekong

Asher Ong’s sketches capture many iconic BMT experiences.

Brandon Leong

Compulsive playlist maker.

Published: 3 September 2021, 12:03 PM

Recruit Asher Ong’s sketches of life in Pulau Tekong have garnered quite some attention recently. 

Documenting his Basic Military Training (BMT) experience through the eyes of a recruit, Asher’s black and white sketches were all done on his notebook, and were even shared by the Basic Military Training Centre’s Facebook account on Aug 31

The illustrations depict several familiar scenes that would be recognizable to those that have spent time on the island as part of National Service (NS).

Asher’s drawings also include training notes that are imperative to any soldier going through their BMT. These include details about the individual components that make up the SAR21 assault rifle, the anatomy of a grenade, and the scenes from the live firing range. 


Scenes from the ferry ride when booking out. PHOTO CREDIT: BASIC MILITARY TRAINING CENTRE


Riding in the back of a five-tonner. PHOTO CREDIT: BASIC MILITARY TRAINING CENTRE


The anatomy of a SAR21 – a recruit’s most “beloved” possession. PHOTO CREDIT: BASIC MILITARY TRAINING CENTRE


Regarding the drawings, Asher said: “It keeps me focused on the purpose of my training for myself, my community, my nation. One thing I have learnt through drawing is that there are so many interesting and beautiful things about the Army. Drawing has helped me to slow down and appreciate the aspects of BMT.” 

You can see more of Asher’s sketches under his highlights on his instagram page

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