Booking Out Memories

NSmen share their fondest memories of “book out day”.

By Kelvin Low      7 April 2021

“Book out loh!” is a joyful expression used by every NSF after a long gruelling week in-camp, or out-field. In this installation, we take a look at some of the most memorable moments that happened on “book out day”.

“My final book out day is the most memorable. With my family waiting for me at the gates, I was already missing all of my soldiers, after leading them for 10 years in NS, and a year when they were recruits. They tossed me in the air one last time during the stand down parade.” – Isaac Tan, CPT, 745 Guards


“Flying back home in a C130 after detachment in Thailand on the morning MM Lee passed. We flew past Jurong Island, housing estates and the CBD before landing in Paya Lebar Airbase. It got me thinking how MM Lee spent his life building Singapore into a first world country, and what Singapore would be like without him. A dark day for us indeed.” – Ben Ang, LCP, 143 Sqn


“It has been over 36 years since we booked out together at 2nd Guards. We were so bonded spending our weekends together that it has ingrained into our lifestyle. Even after ROD, I have been joining the boys and having “cohesion dinner” at least once a year.” – David Neo, LTA, 2 Guards


“My fondest memory after coming home from camp was building great camaraderie with my section mates following a 3-day 2-night field exercise, where we had a fantastic night out having roti prata and sharing our most difficult challenges during the exercise.” – Edmund Wee, CPL, HQ 3 DIV


“In the past, we booked out after 12pm on Saturday and booked in before 10pm on Sunday.  Every second was so precious to us. I missed my family and friends, so l kept thinking of which friends to “jio”, where to have good food and most importantly, which brand of cap to buy to cover my new haircut.” – Chase Lin Wensheng, LCP, BMTC School 2


There are only two types of people in Singapore: Those who enjoyed National Service (NS), and those who didn’t – but all will agree it was a memorable time. In this series, we speak with several NSmen who share their most memorable experiences during National Service.

Share your favourite NS memories with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg


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