But the SAF combat medic cannot claim to be able to carry an SAF medical centre outfield. Pity.
Lack of proper equipment can be partly compensated by competent immediate response skills which can rapidly come to grips with a medical emergency.
A competent medic can either administer life-saving treatment on the spot or alert the next level of medical intervention of the type of emergency situation they should brace themselves for.
When your medic lacks both equipment and training, this is indeed a sorry state of affairs and a tragedy waiting to unfold.
A year after full-time National Serviceman Private Lee Rui Feng Dominique Sarron died during urban assault training, his family sat in for the Coroner's Inquiry today to hear how the young soldier spent his last moments on earth.
Earlier this month, they marked his birthday in quiet reflection.
Last week, they marked his first death anniversary.
His fellow soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (3 SIR), who served alongside PTE Dominique, paid for a newspaper obituary last Wednesday to mark the first year of his passing.
Having interviewed many next-of-kin of SAF servicemen who died during training, I can tell you the heartbreak never leaves some families, even years after the fateful incident.
For PTE Dominique's loved ones to listen to his officers' version of events today must have opened painful wounds and unearthed memories that his family cherish and treasure deeply.
As someone with more than a passing interest in the SAF and what it stands for, it came as a surprise to learn from the television news that the SAF medic on the scene was neither trained nor equipped to handle asthmatic cases. I am hoping I got it wrong.
That revelation was all the more stunning, considering that the SAF medical professionals (regulars and NSF) I accompanied on four overseas operations to Taiwan, Timor Leste, the Northern Arabian Gulf and to post-tsunami Indonesia, accomplished their mission under austere conditions admirably.
To be sure, a person can die of more causes than most laypersons can imagine.
But are there not certain causal factors that medical science, forensics records and past tragedies would have red-flagged as areas to watch out for?
Sudden cardiac death is one. Uncontrolled bleeding from penetrating or non-penetrating trauma is another.
We lost a number of SAF personnel to lightning strikes in the 1970s and 1980s before the Cat 1 weather warning regime finally took root.
Then there is heat exhaustion to watch out for and allergic reactions attributable to assorted causes.
One wonders why asthma, which is somewhat commonplace among our young today, apparently failed to register as something our combat medics should be trained and equipped to handle.
If the answer doesn't surface during the Coroner's Inquiry, one would expect the Ministry of Defence and SAF
My thoughts and prayers go out to PTE Dominique's family.
* The phrase was coined by me in a commentary published by the 90 cents newspaper. It was picked up by DM's speech writers who used it during an SAF Day interview. At the time, I felt it was a well-earned moniker after the SAF showed what it could do with its battlefield management system during one of its war games.