I received the prestigious SAF NSMan of the Year award from the hands of the Minister for Defence. It is awarded only to 17 national servicemen this year, a tri-service award that I later learnt that was extremely difficult to get.

I was also blessed to be nominated for various awards in my workplace and among it was also another prestigious one. What made it different was that I was pretty involved in part of the nomination process. And having gone through the nomination process made me understand a very important fact:

Your award does not belong to you (only). It belongs to everyone who supported you.

~Flex Tio~

It was not my boss alone who cared enough to nominate me for the award.

I believe he had summoned a big team of fellow lecturers and students behind me to support this nomination.

Not forgetting that someone needs to write the nomination paper. I knew that there was a team behind him in putting the nomination paper together. Tens of pages.

The senior management also have to support my boss. With their support and blessings, the people who are working on my nominations will then find the courage and meaning in the additional task they carried with them.

They are also placing their trust on me.

I’m very sure the same had happened for this current award I’m getting. More complicated for the military, a service that is filled with protocols.

In addition, now that I’ve won it, my unit had to get my uniform tailored.

The eMart auntie (the lady who is in charge of the personal issue items from the military) had to indent the accessories for this uniform I am getting.

The event organisers who work closely with us to ensure that we receive the award with dignity and that we are properly recognised.

***

I’m very pleased to receive the award, to know that I have an entire machinery standing behind me and giving me their blessings. It gave me the opportunity to meet one of the officers who took care of me more than 15 years ago.

I just got myself the chance to thank him properly now that I have matured.

This one belonged to the Navy family.