The first time she entered the indoor gun range at the Aetos Complex in Corporation Drive, the sound of gunfire and smell of gunpowder scared her.
But Madam Janna Rahiman, 48, a grandmother of four, was determined to be an armed auxiliary police officer.
It was the job she wanted after stints as a factory worker, cashier, cabby and freelance property agent.
Thanks to Workforce Singapore's Professional Conversion Programme (PCP), Madam Janna is now a gun-toting guardian of our borders.
Madam Janna started training as an armed auxiliary police officer in September last year.
Last week, she told The New Paper: "When I shot my first live bullet, I trembled. I couldn't talk to people after that."
For the first two weeks of the three-month residential training course at Aetos' training academy, she kept falling sick.
She said: "My body ached and I had fevers. I cried behind the scenes."
Now stationed at Woodlands Checkpoint, Madam Janna cuts a sharp and confident figure in her Aetos uniform. She never thought she would become a security officer.
She said: "I like to try many things. I want to try out everything while I'm still alive."
It was her son, 26, who suggested she consider joining Aetos as a security officer.
'I LOVE IT'
She was cleared by the police and passed a health examination. Madam Janna then enrolled in the PCP for Auxiliary Police Officer (Armed).
She said: "Now at Aetos, I help many people. I am now protecting my country and my loved ones so they can sleep peacefully at night. I love it."
Her Woodlands Checkpoint posting is her first since completing her PCP in December. Her tasks include making sure there are no unattended bags, controlling traffic at the vehicle clearance counters and patrolling the area.
She said her job has given her a newfound respect for those in the security business.
"Previously, I didn't know what they did, what their job scope was," Madam Janna said. "They really sacrifice their time to protect our country. It is not easy. We have to be vigilant, we have to stay alert."
The oldest in her batch of PCP enlistees, Madam Janna never felt like her age was a barrier.
She credits the support from her family in helping her become a uniformed officer.
Her son would help rub ointment on her, and her husband, a Grab driver, takes her to her workplace and brings her back home.
Her daughter, 32, who has four children, packs food for her.
Madam Janna is relishing her new job and skills.
She said: "Previously, I never had all these experiences, like using a baton and learning self-defence. I'm looking forward to what we can learn tomorrow."
This article was first published in The New Paper.