Ah Boys to Men is a Singapore-Malaysian 2012 comedy-drama film by Jack Neo about National Service; the two-year mandatory conscription period for all male able-bodied Singaporean Citizens and Permanent Residents. This film is the first of a two-part movie within the Ah Boys to Men film franchise. The film begins with an action-packed hypothetical invasion of Singapore by an unknown enemy (designated as OPFOR for this page) before moving on to a much more light-hearted main plot. Ah Boys to Men and its sequel mainly follows the story of Ken Chow, a rebellious youth who finds himself in Basic Military Training with several other fresh recruits such as Aloysius Jin (Maxi Lim), Bang Lee Ong (Wang Weiliang) and Man In Ping (Noah Yap) in N (Ninja) Company, Platoon 2, Section 2. Led by tough and stern commanders such as 2nd Sergeant Alex Ong (Tosh Zhang), they will learn to overcome their differences and discover what it really means to grow up serve their nation.
This film is notable in Singapore to be the highest-grossing locally-made movie of all time, having made over four times its SGD$3 million budget. The series was filmed with the full cooperation and assistance of Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF); the Singapore Armed Forces provided access to vehicles, equipment and weapons as well as military consultants. This was also the first time MINDEF had allowed Jack Neo to film within Pulau Tekong, a island used by the SAF for Basic Military Training for new NS recruits, also home to BMTC HQ and Ladang Camp, where most of the filming venues took place.
This film was followed by a direct sequel: Ah Boys to Men 2, which has since spawned a third movie: Ah Boys to Men: Frogmen and a fourth: Ah Boys to Men 4.
The following weapons were used in the film Ah Boys to Men:
Taurus Model 85
Taurus Model 85s are seen in the holsters of police officers. The Model 85 revolver with 5" barrels were once the standard service sidearm of the Singapore Police Force until they gradually began phasing them out from 2021 onwards in favour of the newly-adopted sub-compact Glock 19 semi-automatic pistols.
Newest incarnation of the Taurus Model 85 (New Model) in Blued Finish and factory rubber grips - .38 Special
A pair of SPF Sergeants confront Ken Chow (Joshua Tan) after the latter publicly vandalizes a dustbin. The black rubber grips of the Model 85 can be seen in their belt holsters.
The M16A1 appears in the prologue wielded by OPFOR troops. Presumably they are locally produced and licensed copies (designated as 'M16S1'), which is still in use today by SAF reservist forces. First-generation Singapore Armed Forces recruits are also seen carrying their M16S1 service rifle during the flashback sequences to the 1970s. Some of the rifles appear to be rubber-cast props.
Colt M16A1 with 30 round magazine - 5.56x45mm
An OPFOR trooper fires his M16A1.
Another OPFOR soldier raises his M16A1 to commit more blatant war crimes by shooting wounded civilians.
Several OPFOR soldiers with their M16A1s survey the war-torn street.
In a trademark Jack Neo comedic imagination sequence, Ken's mother Mary Chow (Irene Ang) and grandmother (Yoo Ah Min) are seen dressed up in Standard-Battle Order (with some personal, flowery liberties) wielding M16A1s.
In a 1970s flashback, first generation SAF recruits assemble with their rifles. In this shot, the recruits appear to be carrying various rubber props of varying quality based on the different colours of the rifles in-question.
First-gen SAF recruits sitting down with their M16A1s while being briefed on the infamous "CB Leaves" (a common simpoh ayer leaf - its base, when slightly torn open and exposed, crudely resembles a certain sensitive female anatomical structure). Based on the bent carrying-handles, it can be assumed that all of the rifles in this shot are rubber props.
M16A1 (with A2-style handguards)
Rubber props with A2-style handguards appear in the prologue wielded by OPFOR troops as well as first-generation SAF recruits.
M16 (or Colt AR-15 SP1) with A2 style handguards used to resemble the M16A2 - 5.56x45mm
An OPFOR soldier casually hipfires his rifle with one hand. This M16 is clearly a rubber prop with a mirrored receiver.
ST Kinetics SAR-21
The SAR 21 is the most frequently seen firearm in the movie, being the standard issue infantry rifle for the Singapore Armed Forces since 1999. Singaporean Army soldiers in the opening prologue, as well as Basic Military Training (BMT) recruits are seen using their service rifles in numerous configurations.
ST Kinetics SAR 21 - 5.56x45mm NATO
An armoured infantryman dismounts a Terrex ICV and takes position with his SAR 21. Trivia: The soldiers in this sequence are played by then-active servicemen of the 2nd Singapore Infantry Regiment
A rifleman section take position on a balcony. The two rear-most rifles are equipped with Round Corner Firing (RCF) modules, which are used in urban operations in a similar, but crude application of the CornerShot
Ninja Company recruits with their newly-issued rifles as they take the Singapore Rifleman's oath. Trivia: This sequence was filmed while an actual BMT recruit rifle ceremony occurred around the actors platoon.
Platoon 2, Section 2 recruits with their slung SAR 21s attempt the Standard Obstacle Course.
Recruits Aloysius, Lee Onn and Ken prepare to clear a room with their SAR 21s during their Urban Ops training session. Despite the lack of blank-fire adapters, the recruits have brass-catchers installed on their SAR 21s, presumably as part of non-live firing acclimatisation for future use.
Ken Chow (Joshsua Tan) and the rest of his section-mates are sent into a panic when Ken performs a classic, yet fatal recruit mistake: losing one's flash-hider for his SAR-21 rifle.
The SAR-21 flash-hider in question when Sgt. Ong dresses him down post-exercise.
Several SAR-21s are seen in the Modular Mounting System (MMS) configuration, with digital camouflage covers and numerous accessories. Such variants are usually issued to section commanders and officers in the field.
ST Kinetics SAR 21 MMS with EOTech 551 holographic sight - 5.56x45mm NATO
A section commander in the prologue with his SAR 21 MMS, equipped with a ITL MARS Reflex sight, foregrip and a flashlight.
Another section commander with his SAR 21 MMS. His section-mates behind have the aforementioned RCF modules attached.
The section commander with his SAR 21 MMS while clearing an apartment complex.
Images of FN P90 submachine guns are seen on Singapore Army recruitment posters at Ladang Camp Ferry Terminal on Pulau Tekong.
FN P90 with suppressor - 5.7x28mm
A recruitment ad displays several troopers from the SAF Commando Regiment emerging from the sea, all carrying suppressed P90s (circled in red).
FN MAG GPMG
The FN MAG (designated in the SAF simply as the 'GPMG') appears in the hands of both SAF and OPFOR machine gunner squads.
FN MAG 58 - 7.62x51mm NATO
A SAF MG team suppresses targets at a balcony with their GPMG.
An OPFOR gunner returns fire with his FN MAG GPMG while his assistant feeds the belt from behind cover.
STK Ultimax 100 Mark 3
SAF Section Automatic Weapon gunners are seen carrying Ultimax 100 Mark 3 SAWs (designated in the SAF simply as the 'SAW') into battle during the prologue. All of them are fitted with modified 30-round STANAG magazines.
CIS Ultimax 100 Mark 3 with full stock and bipod - 5.56x45mm NATO
An activated SAF reservist checks and clears his issued SAW, then squeezes off the trigger.
Reservists report to their vehicles, some holding their issued SAWs by their carrying handles.
A wounded soldier with his SAW.
The SAW gunner on the right fires his Ultimax 100 Mk 3 while clearing a room of OPFOR.
Another SAW gunner scans a room with the rest of his section.
Several MATADOR launchers are seen throughout the prologue used by SAF and seemingly OPFOR soldiers as well. These are dummy training launchers due to the markings as well as obvious CGI used in firing sequences.
MATADOR HH with stand-off probe extended for anti-armor mode - 90mm
A soldier carries his issued MATADOR on his back while advancing on an objective. Note the white "INERT" markings on the tube, which denotes this as a deactivated training launcher.
A pair of soldiers, one carrying a slung MATADOR uselessly dive on a staircase landing when OPFOR troops lob grenades onto their position.
A SAF soldier raises his MATADOR to fire on an enemy position.
M203 Grenade Launcher
Several SAR-21s are equipped with M203 Grenade Launchers and are designated as the "SAR 21 GL".
RM Equipment M203PI - 40x46mm. Export M203 designed to be fitted to weapons other than just the M16 and M4 Carbine.
ST Kinetics SAR 21 with M203A1 grenade launcher - 5.56x45mm NATO
A SAF reservist with his issued SAR 21 GL carries an explosives crate alongside his buddy.
A grenadier breaches a room with his SAR 21 GL at the ready.
A fallen soldier with his SAR 21 GL over his chest.
Mk 2 hand grenade
An OPFOR solder tosses what appears to be a Mk 2 hand grenade during the urban combat sequence.
Mk 2 "Pineapple" World War II-made High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade (sometimes written Mk II).
A primed Mk 2 grenade is tossed outside the apartment to a squad of SAF soldiers. The distinctive pineapple shape of the grenade's body can just barely be made out in this image.
The SFG 87 is the standard-issue fragmentation grenade of the Singapore Armed Forces. OPFOR is also seen using such grenades in urban combat scenes.
A SAF soldier tosses a SFG 87 into an OPFOR-occupied apartment.
A primed SFG 87 drops on the floor in slow-motion after a dying OPFOR soldier releases the safety lever.
FN MAG (coaxial)
Singapore Army Terrex AFVs have FN MAG machineguns mounted coaxially alongside the STK 40AGL. Leopard 2SGs (a export variant of the German Leopard 2A4) in Singapore Army service also have FN MAGs mounted coaxially, replacing the German-made MG3.
M240C vehicle coaxial-mount version for comparison - 7.62x51mm NATO.
Several Leopard 2SG tanks prepare to move out from Sungai Gedong Camp, the gun port for the coaxial FN MAG visible. The 2SG variant have AMAP composite armour upgrades meant for urban operations.
The fleet of Leopard 2SGs moves out. The commander hatches do not have the standard mounted FN MAGs, which are absent during non-vital exercises such as filming.
The mounted 40AGL alongside the coaxial FN MAG fires several 40mm grenades to suppress targets.
M230 Chain Gun
M230 Chain Guns are seen mounted on OPFOR AH-64 Apache helicopters.
Hughes/Alliant Techsystems M230 chain gun - 30x113mm B
An OPFOR Apache looms over the street, firing its M230 Chain Gun as well as a salvo of Hellfire missiles at a Terrex. The helicopter is rendered in CGI.
The OPFOR AH-64 Apache still firing it's chain gun at the Terrex.
Republic of Singapore Air Force F-16C/D Fighting Falcons with mounted M61 Vulcan cannons are seen engaging OPFOR fighter aircraft during the opening battle scenes.
GE M61 Vulcan Cannon - 20x102mm
Several RSAF F-16s, one with it's M61 Vulcan gun port visible on the tarmac as they prepare to sortie. Note that these are real, actual serving aircraft from the Singapore Air Force.
Several flights of F-16s fly in formation as they prepare to engage OPFOR aircraft over MacRitchie Reservoir. These are rendered in CGI.
The locally manufactured STK 40 Automatic Grenade Launcher is seen mounted on a Terrex AV81 AFV remote-operated turret system.
The mounted 40AGL alongside the coaxial FN MAG fires several 40mm grenades to suppress targets.
The turret then rotates to face an OPFOR AH-64 Apache flying at a tactically-unsound altitude and range. Both the turret and the attack helicopter are rendered in CGI.
A standalone remote-operated STK 50MG turret variant of the Terrex AFV is seen alongside SAF armoured infantry.
A Terrex AFV with a mounted 50MG stands by as SAF troops occupy a war-torn Robinson Road.
The Terrex elevates and fires its remote-mounted 50MG at rooftop targets.
Ah Ma's Floating Armoury
In one of director Jack Neo's many signature imaginary sequences, several weapons float up behind Ken's mother before "firing" upon a hapless government official during Mary Chow's angry tirade. Amongst the assortment of guns, several Colt M4A1s, Bushmaster ACRs, Barrett M82A1M anti-materiel rifles and later, a pair of fictional rocket launchers can be seen, all rendered in CGI.
An imaginary wall of rifles rises behind Mary Chow (Irene Ang) as she unleashes her fury. Mommy > Army indeed.
The gunpowder-fuelled Gate Of Babylon
fires on all cylinders, with two fictional-looking launchers rising up to fire their payloads, before retreating off-screen and repeating the process again.