The family of late full-time national serviceman Dave Lee is calling for a thorough investigation into the guardsman’s death.
The 19-year-old suffered a heat stroke after a fast march during training, and died in hospital 2 weeks later.
Said his aunt, Cecilia Yeo:
“We demand full explanation from SAF to the public, who trustingly sent their children to serve the nation. I hope you share our pain and support that SAF must release full investigation and identity of all culprits to the public.”
Yeo shared this anonymous letter that has been making the rounds on social media.
The letter, supposedly written by a squad-mate of Lee, details gross lapses by army commanders allegedly led to Lee’s death.
It also lists names of some of the army sergeants who were allegedly “talking cock and laughing” because they thought Lee was pulling a stunt to slack off.
This is the letter, reproduced in full:
“I am a soldier from 1 guards. One of our fellow soldier is currently in critical condition heat stroke (possibly brain dead) due to the reckless behavior of my fellow commanders. I want to bring this to light so that the commanders involved are duly punished and nothing gets hidden as part of the investigation.
Dave is still in critical condition in the hospital, and it has almost been one week since the incident. But there has been rumours that his condition has worsening.
The night before a 8km fast march (an activity considered high key) our entire recce platoon was turned out after lights out by our sergants, forcing us to bear crawl to the SOC grounds at bedok camp, doing thier usual tekan of making us roll in the sand and have water poured on us, to satisfy their own sadistic pleasure. Asa result we did not have the adequate 7 hours of rest mandated by the traning safety regulation required for our fast march the next day.
**Commanders forcing trainees**
During the fast march, Dave struggled to complete his fast march and was dragged by senior commanders, forcing him to finish the fast march even though he was showing signs of extreme physical exhaution.
Dave collapsed after collecting his timing chip at our company line. We saw Dave breathing frantically, going through delirium, with his tounge out and only the white in his eyes visible. he was not articulate.
**inability of commanders to spot heat exhaustion**
It was obvious that even to an untrained soldier, especially commanders who went to OCS / SCS, that dave was going through Heat Exhaution or even heat stroke. yet they still acted as though there as nothing severe or that he could even be acting “keng”
**non-administering of ice packs / BCU / water mist**
The commanders did not follow the proper protocol for a soldier in heat exhaution. His cloths were not removed, no ice pack were place at the vital heat dissapation points in his body and the medic was even blur not knowing what to do. The safety officer was nowhere to be found during this whole time and the commnders left his body under the hot sun instead of bringing it to a shaded area. it took them almost 30minutes to an hour before they even stretched him away to the medical center before he was even transported to a hospital using the Military ambulance.
**Lack of seriousness towards the incident**
To add insult to injury, the sergeants were just surrounding him, talking cock and laughing and cracking jokes around him, obviously thinking the soldier is trying to keng. I hope sgt Justin, ren zong, nich, ren jie and jonas is punished for this. I really hope the army safety throughly investigates this incident and punishes the people involved. It’s no point doing lip service to “safety” by adding it as a core value when safety is not given heed.
If anything happens to him, I believe it’s the fault of the commanders who did not know eve how to administer the proper procedure for Heat Stroke, wasting vital time before his temperature reached 42deg. As well as commanders who don’t understand the seriousness of the uninterrupted rest that is required as per training safety regulation, especially for high key activities.”