“Recruit I want to see black specs or you jolly well cover your frames with black tape!” is one of the infamous lines our platoon sergeant yells at us on our enlistment day, once we’re in our bunks. Of course, we’re either forced to purchase a brand new pair of plastic, black-framed spectacles, not before the thought runs through our heads: “Why must be black?”
Firstly, black is the recommended colour for frames as it is not easy to spot. Our infantry soldiers, if need be, may need to wear their spectacles during jungle scouts or simulated warfare. Imagine a being in perfect camouflage, hiding from an enemy ambush, only to see your platoon mate trying his best to keep still in his shiny yellow spectacle frames! Black frames are harder to spot especially in such scenarios.
Secondly, given the regimen-based nature of not just the SAF, but almost about any other Army in the world, it’s important to be disciplined in basic standards. When a soldier puts on his uniform, he is representing his nation, along with his battalion. Imagine an entire squadron, lined up perfectly in battle formation, only to see shades of blue, green, red, purple from different parts of the formation. Not garang right?
Thirdly, plastic frames are absolutely essential in a daily soldier’s life. Although we may not look as stylish in comparison to thin, metal frames, plastic frames help reduce injuries by a lot. When the going gets tough, metal frames may twist and bend. In the unfortunate event that they do break, the sharp edge of the frame may injure your platoon mates!
Although you may not understand now, there are many other perfectly sound reasons as to why National Service sets a strict regulation on black plastic frames. We understand that the pain of purchasing a basic-looking pair of black plastic spectacles may not just hurt your wallet, but your sense of style too. And what if that breaks? You’d find yourself going through the same routine again. We suggest checking out COOSH. It has immense durability and was designed with the focus of the rough and tough our NSFs go through on a daily basis, as demonstrated here. What more, we understand that NSF’s pay may not be high, which is why we’re here to help with COOSH with our NS-exclusive plan as seen. Interested? Find out more here!