Reservists need to keep their uniform and personal items

The Ministry of Defence has said that national service personnel may return their uniform and military personal equipment upon completion of their active service ("What do I do with my old national service gear?"; Jan 7).

This would mean reservists would not have any uniform or personal equipment, for example helmets, boots, Standard Battle Order (SBO) and so on, if there is an emergency which requires them to report immediately for active service.

It would be too time consuming to re-equip them with such basic items.

Currently, the practice is for reservists to report in their uniform and basic equipment upon the start of the mobilisation exercise.

At the reporting centre, they are then further equipped with their weapons.

I would expect that all reservists would be required to hold on to their uniform and necessary basic personal items at all times.

Ideally, they should also be required to exchange their uniforms and personal items for more fitting sizes, say every five years.

In fact, in Switzerland, reservists are also required to keep their weapons at home at all times.

Lim Chong Leong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2017, with the headline 'Reservists need to keep their uniform and personal items'. Print Edition | Subscribe