It was in 2005 that a Cedric fool, as Minister of State for Defence, who bought treadmills to run the 2.4 km Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) in air-conditioned environs of the Safra National Service Association clubhouses at Tampines and Toa Payoh. Instead of pounding six times round an outdoor track with the wind and sun on their faces like real soldiers do. Other tests - chin-ups, sit-ups, shuttle run and standing broad jumps - were also conducted in the comfortable cool of the multi-purpose halls. No pain, no gain, must sound so alien to these wussies.
Now the softness has gone to the heads of the generals. The military is buying 8,000 iPads at $668 each to "harness our advantage of today's technologically savvy servicemen." Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Neo Kian Hong said troops can use the iPad's built-in camera to take photos and video clips in the field, and send questions to their commanders through a live messaging system and group chat discussions. No longer will commanders have to rough it out with the men in real-life outdoors with the heat and the humidity, virtual reality is the new cool. Last year, BMT recruits were issued with laptops, maybe those didn't come with built-in cameras. Taking photos during field training was once banned for security reasons, same reasons why mobile phones had to be camera free. You know the SAF has way too much taxpayers' money to blow when they splurge on i-toys, what with the Defence Budget creaming off the largest cut of the national budget.
One can understand that arming the F-15SG Eagles and Apache helicopters with AIM and Maverick missiles cost big bucks (why we need all that fancy gear when we don't even have sufficient flying space is a separate question altogether), but how do iPads help to fight battles? Can you defeat an enemy by smashing him over the head with an iPad? Is there a private contractor designed app that will zap a combatant at 100 meters? Maybe they plan to lob iPads loaded with the mee-siam-mai-hum podcast, and attack while the enemy is ROTFL. One wonders how the Auditor General will look at the frivolous expenditures. What next, camouflaged OSIM massage chairs for the hard working generals?