The SA Army’s mandate centres on the provisioning of combat-ready forces and the leading role it has to play in the development of the Army component of the landward defence capability. The SA Army, its members one in spirit, has the commanding presence and the power of a pride of lions, forever professional and ready, making a difference in serving South Africa, no matter where and under what circumstances.
The Military Skills Development System (MSDS) programme is a two-year voluntary service system with the long-term goal of enhancing the SA National Defence Force’s deployment capability. Recruits are required to sign up for a period of two years, during which they will receive military training and further functional training in their first year of service. During the second year of service, depending on the duration of their functional orientation, they will be deployed where needed and given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and develop their skills.
This MSDS programme serves as an introduction to the military way of life for all members who are joining the SA Army for the first time. Towards the end of the second year, members can be offered the opportunity for further service in the SA Army or be required to serve in the SA Army Reserve Force. The opportunity for further service will depend on the member’s performance over the two year MSDS serves, the availability of posts in the relevant functional field and whether a member has been recommended for further service depending on the organisational needs. Members not recommended for, or who do not wish to continue serving in the Regular Force, will be required to serve in the Reserve Force after the completion of the initial two-year period. This entails 30 days service per annum over a five- year period.
(Information - www.careers.mil.za)
- South African citizen
- age between 18 and 22 (Graduates up to 26)
- currently busy with the National Senior Certificate (GR12) or completed
- not area bound
- no record of a criminal offence
- preferably single
- comply with medical fitness requirements for appointment in the SANDF
- be prepared to Basic Military Training, Functional Training and to serve in uniform
- Applications will be divided into three groups:
Applicants in possession of a recognised university degree / 3-year diploma (MSDS Graduates)
The nature of the degree will be evaluated against the need of the Army for such skills at the given time. Applicants will be informed as to whether they will be invited for further selection. These applicants will be earmarked for leadership development and or non-leadergroup training. Leadership potential will be assessed as part of the selection process.
Applicants with above average school grades and leadership potential A (MSDS Applicants)
These applicants will be earmarked for training that will focus primarily on developing their leadership potential during the second year of utilisation. After successful completion of these training courses, members can be selected for further service in the Core Service System (CSS) studies at the Military Academy, or receive further training and fill leadership positions in one of the many functional fields in the Army. Only candidates with Grade 12 exemption can be considered for studies at the Military Academy.
Applicants with Grade 12 (MSDS Applicants)
Applications will be screened according to a CV, focussing on educational performance, participation in sport and community involvement. Further selection will mainly focus on cognitive ability, motivation and determination to join the SA Army and to be appointed in a corps specific field. MSDS candidates will be appointed in a specific corps and will be called-up to an operational unit where members will complete their Basic Military Training and Corps Functional Training in the first year and be utilised and deployed in the second year in the MSDS.
Depending on the requirements of the SA Army, you may be selected for further training in one of the following:
Military engineering is as old as war itself. Throughout centuries sappers, or Military Engineers as they are commonly known, had to make paths, build bridges, erect and breach obstacles during the conduct of war. Engineers help the Army to move, to fight and to survive. The SA Army Engineer Corps system consists of the Combat Engineer, Engineer Intelligence (which includes terrain intelligence, surveying, cartography and printing), operational construction as well as engineer logistics components. The corps is responsible for engineer support to all types of forces during all types of operations and under all circumstances.
This corps have various duties. They build bridges, demolish bridges and structures, lay and lift mines, build roads and airfields, produce maps, etc.
Candidates must be in possession of Grade 12 Mathematics. Subjects such as Geography and / or Physical Science are preferable
The infantry is the nucleus of any army and as a result it is the largest fighting corps in the SA Army. The infantry is expected to attack the enemy under any conditions; this requires courage, fitness and initiative. In order to attack the enemy with confidence, weapon training and field craft are the most important parts of training. An infantry member is usually a foot soldier, although it is not uncommon to fight from infantry combat vehicles. Infantry soldiers can also be transported by helicopter, aircraft, parachute and a multitude of other methods. Versatility is an important characteristic of the infantry.
The aim of the SA Army Intelligence Corps is to prepare and provide combat ready intelligence functionaries and user systems for deployment, and to forecast what the enemy is planning, where and how they execute their task, at what time or period and with what strengths they can accomplish this.
Intelligence is the product resulting from the collection, evaluation, analysis, integration and interpretation of all available information regarding the enemy and its environment. The information obtained is immediately or potentially significant for military planning and operations. The collection of information is mainly conducted by means of battlefield surveillance which is the continued and systematic guarding of the battlefield to gather information timeously for tactical ground actions against the enemy, targets and for the conquering of terrain.
Battlefield surveillance is conducted by well-trained surveillance teams that deploy close to the enemy positions by means of specialist skills.
Dedicated well-trained crews in tanks and armoured cars form the Iron Fist of South Africa. Members are trained in a variety of areas such as Mobile Long Range Anti-Tank weapons, Olifant Tank, Rooikat armoured car crew members) as well as truck drivers and administrative personnel.
The main equipment of the armoured corps is the tank. The armoured car is usually used for reconnaissance. Crew members must be technically inclined, display innovative thinking and action as well as fast, yet aggressive reaction. The armoured corps offers various opportunities and challenges to persons with an interest in heavy weaponry and technologically advanced equipment.
Air Defence Artillery Corps
The aim of the Air Defence Artillery Corps is to provide combat ready Air Defence Artillery forces for the SA Army, whilst playing the leading role in sustaining credible, cohesive, joint landward defence capability. The Air Defence Artillery is responsible for protecting our troops, supplies and important installations like airports, power plants and dams from attack by enemy aircraft.
Experience the adrenaline rush while firing a 35mm gun at 1050 rounds/m with an effective range of 4000m, while making use of the most advanced radar system in the world, or fire a Starstreak Missile moving at a speed of Mach 3. Candidates who have passed Mathematics and or Physical Science are preferable.
It is the role of the artillery to destroy the enemy, preferably prior to contact with own Infantry and Armour, by means of firepower. Successful candidates will be employed in a digital and technologically advanced environment. Employment in leader and non-leader group posts will give the member access to state-of the-art training and personal development. Non-leader group members can expect to be trained as Drivers of artillery specialist vehicles, Rocket, Mortar, G5 and G6 gun crew members, Artillery Surveying Assistants and Artillery Regimental Signallers. Members selected as leaders can be employed as Rocket, Mortar, G5 and G6 gun commanders, Artillery Surveying Assistants, Artillery Fire Control Officers, Artillery Observation Officers and Instructors of artillery specialized equipment. Members with cognitive as well as physical perseverance may apply for employment.
Leader group candidates must have passed Mathematics and / or Physical Science in Grade 12.
Ordnance Service Corps (OSC)
The primary role of the OSC is the effective acquisition, receipt, storing, safekeeping, preservation, maintenance, accounting, distribution and disposal of clothing, accommodation, ammunition, vehicles, fuel and spares within the SA Army. The OSC also delivers specialised services to the SA Army, which includes computer services, Air Supply and Nature Conservation. The OSC keeps the forces moving!
Technical Service Corps (TSC)
The Technical Service Corps (TSC) provides technical support in the SA Army that includes integrated technical maintenance, e.g. mechanical, electrical and electronic repair, as well as the recovery of vehicle casualties, to ensure a specified state of combat readiness. The TSC consists of learners, qualified Artisans and Officers, each specialised in a specific mustering. Learners must be at least in possession of a NSC and have passed Mathematics.
SA Ammunition Corps (SA AMMU C)
The role and function of the SA Ammu C is to ensure that only safe and effective ammunition is supplied to the DOD and other users. Their functions include participation in research and development, quality assurance, unit inspection, maintenance and disposal of ammunition. Candidates must have a sound psychological profile exhibiting a high degree of intelligence, steadiness and an aptitude for innovative technical thinking.
Learners must be in possession of a Grade 12 certificate and must have passed Mathematics and Physical Science.
SA Catering Corps (SA CAT C)
The SA Cat C is there to assist the SANDF operationally regarding hospitality services. They are also responsible for improving the management and control of hospitality functions in the SA Army. A high standard in the preparation of food is set, with the emphasis on nutrition. Candidates must be medically fit with a basic knowledge of cooking skills as well as a keen interest in working with people on all levels.
Personnel Service Corps
This corps is primarily concerned with all aspects relating to personnel administration and support. This includes career planning, promotions, transfers, pay, leave etc..
SA Army Women’s College
The SA Army Women’s College at George offers military training to approximately 200 women each year. Selection boards are held annually during the winter school holidays, to select suitable candidates.
Applications should reach the college before 10 June in the year preceding training.
- National Senior Certificate
- not more than 20 years of age
- medical fitness is essential.
The duration of the training is 39 weeks and it is divided into three stages, namely basic training (12 weeks), learner training for officers and non-commissioned officers (18 weeks) and corps training of 9 weeks. After completion of the initial training, women are assigned to various citizen force units.
- emotionally mature and stable
- able to work well under stress
- responsible, honest and have integrity
- calm and patient
- able to give and execute orders
- able to make appropriate decisions quickly
- desire to help others
- able to maintain the highest form of discipline
- physically fit
- willing to work irregular and long hours
How to Enter
Schooling & School Subjects
National Senior Certificate (matric), or equivalent (or currently busy with matric)
Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: None
- South African citizen
- Aged between 18 and 22 years (graduates up to the age of 26 years)
- No criminal record
- Comply with medical fitness requirements for appointment in the South African National Defence Force
What to Study
One of the advantages of joining the SANDF is that selected members with the required academic qualifications are also sent to universities or the Military Academy.
There are two intakes into the SANDF, one in January and one in June. There are career centres set up around the country and the SANDF do undertake careers exhibitions.
Physical Address (Walk in Centre):
Bank of Lisbon Building
Walk in Centre
c/o Paul Kruger & Visagie Street
Department of Defence Information Centre
Private Bag X161
Tel: (012) 355-6372/3
Make enquiries with the SANDF and requrest application forms and recruitment dates in your area.
Programmes by Study Institutions