Record number of OCS applicants

National 2 minutes, 54 seconds


THE Officer Cadet School (OCS) of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) received a record number of applicants for its 13th intake as the military becomes an increasingly popular career choice for graduates.

Over 130 people applied to join the latest intake, with only 57 candidates shortlisted to attend the selection process. The selection process, known as the Armed Forces Commissioning Board (AFCB), will determine who will be admitted to OCS as officer cadets.

Over the coming week, prospective candidates will be assessed across four major competencies, namely physical fitness, suitability for training, command leadership as well as critical thinking.

“Those of you competing for a place at OCS will be pushed, tested, stretched and examined physically, mentally and psychologically... to identify your suitability for OCS,” Colonel Hj Abd Hadi Hj Saim, defence academy commandant, told applicants yesterday during the selection process at Penanjong Garrison.

Candidates who pass the rigorous selection process will begin their military training at the school on October 24.

The year-long training at OCS in Sungai Akar will prepare the 13th intake of officer cadets for their career as commissioned officers in the RBAF.

Colonel Hj Abd Hadi described OCS as tough, adding that “not everybody who starts it has the ability, character or physical robustness” to complete the training.

“The course is inclusive… However, the career you are putting yourself forward for is not for everybody. The standard is high and those not able to meet it will be found wanting,” he remarked.

Captain Chris Hesketh, second-in-command at OCS, explained they are looking for potential candidates with the leadership qualities needed to become military officers, such as passion, intelligence and confidence as well as communication skills.

“The standard is high and it’s unwavering. Those above it will pass and those below it will fail. We’re not looking to fill a quota,” he said, encouraging applicants to adopt a positive attitude.

Among the 27 candidates shortlisted to attend the selection process was Adi Rusydi Omar, who hopes to achieve his lifelong ambition of becoming a military pilot.

With a HND in Network Engineering from Institut Teknologi Brunei, the 23-year-old believed he can meet the requirements set out at OCS.

“I have been dreaming of becoming a military officer since I was a child… to be the best of the best,” he said, awed by the level of discipline displayed in the RBAF.

Meanwhile, Qurratu’aini Qayyimah Dr Al-Haj Zelzy, 23, was motivated to apply for OCS after learning about the inspirational career achievements of military personnel.

“To serve our beloved country will be an honour and privilege. Joining the military is one of the well-respected career options,” she said.

She aims to utilise her master’s degree in Criminology and Legal Research from the University of Manchester to a career in the navy with a focus on intelligence and research in the region.

Another shortlisted applicant, Fatin Nur Hanani Hamdani, aspires to contribute to Brunei’s security in line with Vision 2035.

The first in her family to apply for OCS, the 22-year-old wants to prove that she has the potential to become a military officer.

“The RBAF is more challenging than other occupations, because we have to push ourselves to be the best,” said the Professional Communication and Media graduate from Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

OCS was set up in 2008 to provide military training for officer cadets prior to serving as commissioned officers in the RBAF. Over 200 officer cadets have graduated from the school since it was established.

The Brunei Times