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Old 23-05-2014, 03:13 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,310
Hi bros,

In Oct. 2013 last year, I asked my NS Unit how many ICTs I have left before I can be phased into MR (Mindef Reserve). It turned out that the folks in my unit were blissfully unaware of the policies. So I escalated to NS Portal, and they sent a girl who was equally unclear about the policies and she even gave me the wrong info!

So I happily went back to do my Make Up Training in April this year, thinking that it was my last ICT. Turned out that it wasn't the case! I again had to write in to seek clarification.

After countless emails, I finally had my reply.

This info is not clear on Mindef's website, so I thought I would post the official response here for the benefit of all NSMEN.

NSmen have to complete 7 High-Key In-Camp Training (ICT) and 10 years of Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) before they are posted to the MINDEF Reserve. For an NSman to be deemed as having completed an active ORNS year, he will have to perform an ORNS activity (e.g. ICT, mobilisation or briefing) during the work year. If the training activity happens to span two work years, the activity is counted towards the first work year. We note that you have served 7 High Key ICT and 9 years of ORNS. You will need to complete one more ORNS year before you are eligible to be posted to the MINDEF Reserve.

To etch this out a little bit more, in order to qualify for MR, there are 2 conditions to be met.

1) At least 7 high keys.
2) 10 years ORNS cycles.

For the first condition, the 7 high keys need to take place in 7 different work years (1st April).

That means if you go for two high-keys within the same work year, that will only count as 1 high-key. Mindef can call you up to max. of 40 days within a work year.

Many of my NS friends didn't know about this, and they happily attended the high key ICTs, thinking that they are counted. I kena twice and had 2 high key ICTs discounted.

For the second condition, there has to be at least 1 ORNS activity within the work year (e.g. ICT, mobilisation, briefing). Even 0.5 day briefing is counted. Note that IPPT, medical related activities like FFI and RT are not considered ORNS activities. That means if your unit did not call you up for the work year for at least 0.5 day briefing, that ORNS year is NOT COUNTED as an ORNS cycle.

On Mindef website, it says typically, to phase into MR, one needs to complete 7 high key + 3 low key. This can be confusing for some. 3 low keys are NOT mandatory. The only 2 conditions that needed to be met are stated above.

So it can be something like:

A) 10 high keys over 10 orns cycles.
B) 7 high keys over 10 orns cycles.
C) 7 high keys + 3 low keys, spanning 10 orns cycles.
D) 8 high keys over 10 orns cycles.
E) 9 high keys + 1 low key over 10 orns cycles.
etc....Hope you get the idea.

Please note that your own NS Unit may or may not be aware of the above. So you should keep track of your own records. Don't assume that they know, or they will track for you. There is staff turnover every 2 to 3 years in every unit. So the new personnel may not be clear about the policies. If in doubt, just ask your NS Unit or send an email to

Don't blur blur go attend so many high key ICTs. Some may end up not counted. If you don't track, and end up serving double high keys within the same work year, you may end up with something like:

A) 8 high keys but two not counted. So left with 6. Cannot MR.
B) 12 high keys but 6 not counted. So left with 6. Also cannot MR.

That time you object also no use, because Mindef states this is policy. In my case, I ended up with 9 high keys but 2 not counted, so left with 7. Still qualify. But end up still need 1 more ORNS cycle.

Hope the information is useful to all.

Take care, and enjoy NS!
Thanks for the information !
Happy MR !
Hajime no Ippo : Rising
My punch is the punch that will pierce the heavens !
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