A soldier never knows where he may
fight, or for how long. His rations
may run out. Thus survival training
is important, not only to ensure that
troops can live off the land if need
be, but also to toughen up soldiers
and increase their confidence in their
own abilities. One unit which receives
such training is the Guards.
kinds of survival training are given
in the SAF, and perhaps the most dramatic
phase is when a snake is killed and
trainees drink the blood. This is done
in jungle setting, for example, in the
Mandai Forest of Singapore.
The art of trapping wild animals for
food is also taught. Various traps,
made with wire, rattan, string and other
materials, have to be constructed quickly.
In the wild, animals abound. Snakes,
monitor lizards, birds, fish, rodents,
snails, ferns, edible roots, fruits,
berries, bamboo shoots and many other
things are not only nutritious but can
be delicious too. Most of the SAF soldiers
have already eaten sharkfins, fish maw,
sea cucumbers, fish head curry, turtle
soap, snow fungus, ear fungus and other
exotic foodstuffs, so it is just one
more short step to eating the other
for yummy python in banana leaf, anyone?