SCDF’s CNY Film About NSman’s Relationship With His Father Reminds Us To Appreciate Family

“The Epaulette” Film By SCDF Is A Touching Tribute To National Servicemen For CNY

Chinese New Year (CNY) reunion dinners are special occasions for national servicemen (NSmen) who have to spend time away from their loved ones.

On Thursday (23 Jan), the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) released a CNY tribute to NSmen to commemorate the sacrifices they have made.

The film features a father and a son whose strained relationship improved because of an epaulette, or shoulder piece.

You may view the short film on Facebook.

Here’s a summary of the heartwarming video.

Father and son’s strained relationship

The film begins with a mother cooking CNY dinner for the family. Once the son arrived to the dinner table, he immediately grabbed some food and started eating.


Disappointed, his mother said,

Ah Yu, shouldn’t you serve your elders first?

The tension between the father and son is evident from the beginning, and carries on till the end of the film.

Struggles of an NSman

The scene switches to a year later, with the young man sound asleep in bed, until his father barges in and says,

It’s late, don’t you need to book in.

The son hurriedly puts on his SCDF uniform and asks his father for money so he can take a Grab ride to camp. His father, unfortunately, rejects his request.

epaulette 2Source

Just as he steps out of his room, however, his father hands him a $10 note, though what he may have used it for is unclear.


He arrives in camp 30 minutes late and gets reprimanded by the Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM). Afterward, the RSM asks the whereabouts of his epaulette and the young man admits that he left it at home.

epaulette 3Source

Since the whole platoon is punished for every individual’s mistake, the RSM ordered them to drop down for some notorious push-ups.

epaulette 4Source

Father delivers epaulette

The next day, unbeknownst to the son, the father travels to the Civil Defence Academy by bus to deliver the forgotten epaulette.


Meanwhile, his son continues to encounter various struggles in camp.

Like the day before, he wakes up too late and the RSM reprimands him for still being dressed in his Physical Training (PT) kit.


The RSM proclaims he would confine the NSman for the weekend, before asking everyone else to fall in and begin the day.

Several hours later, the warrant officer arrives and asks if he plans to return home for a reunion dinner.


Referring to his father, the young man replies,

It’s not like he’d care.

The warrant officer urges him to sit down and hands the epaulette the NSman had left at home, which his father had brought over.


The young man who thought that his father didn’t care, suddenly cries over the simple gesture.


Reunion dinner with father

At the end of the video, the father and son sit down together for a reunion dinner.


Unlike the beginning of the video, the son serves his father first before eating, hinting at his realisation of his father’s unspoken love for him.


The video ends with the Chinese proverb,

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.

A touching CNY tribute to SCDF NSmen

As families come together for CNY, the opportunity for such quality time is especially valuable for NSmen, be it from the SCDF or other vocations.

Kudos to the SCDF for producing the moving short film, and Happy Lunar New Year to all those celebrating.

Do you have any heartwarming CNY memories with the family? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image from Facebook. 

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