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Friday, March 31, 2023


Pending pes F but my mother wants me to serve.


I’m pending pes F from the army but my mother keeps asking me to serve.

I was diagnosed with severe adjustment disorder and just cannot deal with being in the army and being around people that clearly also hate their own situation.

So should I continue to serve or not?

I can definitely continue to serve but I know if I do my mental health will continue to worsen.


Netizens’ comments

Fellow PES F here. Finance industry. You’re scared about the uncertainty ahead, there are so many what-if’s and I am here to answer that.

Most of the commenters here obviously did serve NS and know nothing about PES F.

I’ll just share with you what I have encountered.

Job application, this may affect if you are applying for government-related job in both public sector or GLC. You will have employers raising your eyebrows at the fact that you’ve been exempted from army. They WILL ask you for reasons. So go think of a convincing story, and don’t tell them “oh it was in a different environment and hence i developed severe adjustment disorder” because they can form the impression that you may also undergo the same situation as you did when you were in army. Something like “I was being bullied in army…etc but I have since been certified by a specialist that I no longer suffer from adjustment disorder and that I have been functioning well. The diagnosis is no longer in the system, etc”. You need to make sure that you convince them that your adjustment disorder happened because SOLELY of army. Army environment is not for everyone after all. Of course if you’re interviewing for a SME with a very strong hierarchy and “yes-man” culture like army then please go cook up another reason.

I applied for 5 roles previously a year ago. 1 government/GLC and 4 private sector. I got offers from all 4 private companies. Government outright rejected me the moment they heard of the word “exempted”. Some commenter mentioned that it is against TAFEP tripartite guidelines to ask or to be rejected based on NS or PES-related matters, but seriously TAFEP is nothing in Singapore. They don’t give a f. They just churn out guidelines and occasionally official circulars. Yes, they are an outright arm of the Ministry of Manpower but they’re just like a toothless tiger, similar to CASE.


After discharge, please make sure you go back to the same specialist and get him to write a memo that you are no longer suffering from adjustment disorder and you are well and functioning in school/work. Do make sure that he writes that you were suffering from adjustment disorder with army as the stressor. You will need the memo not just for jobs, but also for insurance.

Private sector doesn’t give a crap about army, provided that you don’t act like a screaming creep plagued with insanity. As long as you can convince them that you’re an asset to the company, you’re hired. Public sector can be very conservative. The one I interviewed at even asked me to write down my PES status.

On to the next, insurance. PES F will have dire implications on insurance application in the near future, and it is because of the diagnosis, not too much on the PES. No one will even know what is PES status if you’re applying for insurance overseas. We’re not in Western countries where policies are too liberal and insurers are not allowed to discriminate based on disabilities/illnesses or get a hefty fine. In SG, no insurer will underwrite someone with severe adjustment disorder as it is too risky. Just think about it, if you’re an insurance company, will you insure someone with severe adjustment disorder with scientifically-studied high risk of self-harm/suicide? What if the insured starts self-harming like starvation and it leads to other implications that require treatment? You will need to pay for their treatment if this happens, or if death occurs, you will need to give a huge payout that consists of hundreds of thousands of dollars if that happens. Of course not.

You will need the specialist memo to even get insured, but you will need to be off-meds and wait 1-2 years before they will even consider underwriting you. Do keep in mind that you may have exclusions on your insurance policy or even additional loading (so e.g other people pay $100 but you pay $150, an additional of $50).

All in all, just ask yourself. Do you still want to serve? If the answer is an resounding no, then just PES F. That’s about it. Mental health is as important as physical health.

Just make sure you plan your route well. Think about what do you want to do after PES F. Uni? Work? Take a short break before you start hustling? You gotta think about all these before you go down the road of PES F. It is irreversible. There is no point PES F-ing if you’re just gonna be useless and do nothing at all at home with no goals and aim, because trust me that will make you feel way worse than now.

Keep in mind, always have a goal. It doesn’t have to be some extremely high-flying goal like “wow I want to be earning $20k/month once I get out of army” because you’re still young and that goal is unrealistic. Something as simple as “I will go to the gym 3x a week and make it a habit to watch Bloomberg 30 minutes every morning” will suffice for your age, at least you have something to work towards and make sure you better f-ing stick to it and don’t give yourself excuses.

Your PES doesn’t define you. I used to believe that PES F is absolutely shit and I will not make it in life because I look around me and everyone served NS except for me and no one will want me, but I always had a goal and I was disciplined to stick to it. And today, I am in the process of moving into an investment role in one of the F500 companies. Believe in yourself, always remember that and good luck.

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