OCS 15th intake commences training

National 3 minutes, 2 seconds


THE Officer Cadet School (OCS) at the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) began training officer cadets at the new Defence Academy in Tanah Jambu for the first time, following the induction of its 15th intake yesterday.

Over the year-long course, 31 officer cadets comprising 19 males and 12 females, will undergo extensive military training before joining the coveted ranks of commissioned officers.

Among the young hopefuls selected for OCS was Officer Cadet (L) Ak Mohd Fadhil Pg Hj Ali, a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington in the United States and a former recipient of the prestigious RBAF Supreme Commander Scholarship.

The 23-year-old said his ambition to become a naval officer was driven by his passion in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).

“I’ve always been interested in HADR such as when Aceh was hit by a tsunami and Brunei sent some ships to help. When I heard about that, I thought that’s something we could do a lot more of,” said the Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and Finance graduate.

He said the military’s role now extends beyond warfare, adding that assets can be deployed during peacetime to provide assistance in situations such as HADR and counter-terrorism.

In the long-term, Officer Cadet Ak Mohd Fadhil hoped to contribute towards developing HADR training and building capability in military diving. He also plans to use his knowledge in capital asset management to oversee the assets procured by RBAF.

He advised other aspiring officer cadets to be self-motivated to overcome the various challenges in military training.

Meanwhile, Officer Cadet Wan Nurul Naszeerah Mohd Zainal Abidin Ariff believed OCS applicants should be accustomed to stepping outside their comfort zone. Besides being goal-oriented, she also advised them to be mentally and physically strong.

“It’s important for each and every one of us to have something to look forward to, be it a goal or passion,” said the Yale University graduate and former recipient of the RBAF Scholarship.

The 25-year-old, who earned her Master of Public Health at the leading American Ivy League institution, aimed to apply her interest in infectious diseases and mental health towards identifying the different diseases and health burdens faced by soldiers.

She said soldiers deployed to less developed countries or the rainforest were more likely to acquire certain diseases.

“At the moment, we haven’t really understood what our military health burdens are, so it would be good to firstly understand what’s going on. From there, we can take steps to improve the health of our soldiers,” said Officer Cadet Wan Nurul Naszeerah.

Intake Commander Captain Fakhrul Hj Mohammad Isa said the 12-month training will commence with a six-week militarisation phase, which involves “changing the mindset and behaviour” of the officer cadets as part of their civilian to military transition.

He explained the transition process will take place through the formation of new habits in their daily routines, based on the military skills required of officer cadets.

“The training is progressive and, as instructors, we will do our best to make sure they are ready for their appointments as commissioned officers. If they don’t meet the high standards set by OCS, then they won’t pass. We never compromise our standards,” he said.

Of the 31 officer cadets, 14 will join the Royal Brunei Land Force, 11 will serve the Royal Brunei Air Force and six will be with the Royal Brunei Navy.

A ceremony to mark the start of military training for the 15th intake was held at the Defence Academy, where RBAF Commander Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major General Dato Paduka Seri Mohd Tawih Abdullah placed the rank insignias on the officer cadets.

The Brunei Times