Thirsty Singapore commander in trouble over army pep talk with mask off

Photos taken of the commander not following safety protocols at Pasir Ris Monday. Photos: Ivan Ho/Facebook
Photos taken of the commander not following safety protocols at Pasir Ris Monday. Photos: Ivan Ho/Facebook

A Singaporean commander crossed the line when he was caught talking to recruits in public with his mask off.

The Singapore Armed Forces, or SAF, said yesterday that they will discipline the unidentified commander, who was filmed not wearing his face mask properly while addressing recruits outside Pasir Ris MRT station on Monday. That’s the location where recruits normally gather before making their way to the camp on Tekong island. 

“The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has completed investigations of the SAF commander who did not comply with Safe Management Measures (SMMs) while addressing BMT recruits near Pasir Ris MRT station on 26 July,” SAF said in a statement. “The commander was found to have breached SMMs and will be disciplinarily dealt with.”

The response came after videos and pictures were posted online by eyewitness Ivan Ho and have since been shared over 1,500 times. They showed the commander in a white shirt holding a drink and speaking to recruits who were seated before him. Ho said that the commander spoke for about half an hour around noon, which is roughly how long the man waited for his friend. 

“I noticed [an] Army instructor talking to recruits, having a drink on one hand, with no mask on. He spent about half an hour [talking] without [a] mask on. I know [because] that’s how long I was being stood up by my friend,” Ho said. The 20-second video showed the commander wearing his mask below his chin. 

The video ended after the commander spotted Ho filming him and subsequently pulled his mask up. Ho said that he later confronted the man via his colleague, saying that he should set a good example for his recruits. His advice was not well-received. 

“I decided to approach his colleague to ask if he can mask up, and not be a bad example to the younger ones. Upon hearing this, he walked over and retorted back ‘WHO R U,’” Ho wrote, adding: “Really a disgrace to the soldiers he is training.”

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