Have you ever felt the urge to research about Special Forces in South Africa? There is a wave of interesting information from which you can learn more about them. South African Special Forces are among the most powerful militaries in the world. It ranks second in bush warfare after the British SAS and 46th generally in the world. Precisely, the Special Forces have excelled in its role in containing insurgencies in South Africa. It is said that only around 8% of recruits finish the training successfully.
The South African special forces, which is also known as Recces, is a unit under South Africa National Defence Forces (SANDF). Their responsibilities involve a comprehensive combination of civilian and military efforts to contain insurgency and its root causes. This unit also has other secondary roles which are the ones most of us know from watching movies. They include; high-value targets and manhunting, hostage rescue, intelligence gathering, and unconventional warfare. Most of us fail to research on Special Forces maybe because we do not interact with them on our day to day lives. Below are insights into interesting details you may not know about the South African Special Forces.
What does it take to join the South African Special Forces?
Are you interested in joining the Special Forces? Allow us to enlighten you on the process. First, there are requirements by the recruiting and training unit that you need to meet. The South African special forces recruitment conditions include:
- You must be a South African citizen
- Your age should range between 18 and 22 years (26 for university graduates)
- You should have a National Senior Certificate or have Grade 12
- You should not be restricted from any area
- No record of serious crime should be credited to you
- You should be preferably single
- Your medical fitness should comply with the requirements in the SANDF
If the requirements are met, you must then complete the first year of training of SANDF’s military skills development system (MSDS) programme. The second year of training involves Special Forces Basic Training Cycle. Once you are done with the above requirements, one is required to enter a short-term contract with the SANDF and serve in the Special Forces. It is surprisingly said that only 8% of the recruits make it to the end of the training.
You will agree with us that due to the selfless nature of this job, money cannot make up for the dedication and hardship they face in the course of their work. Salaries in this special unit differ depending on the rank. A Colonel in South African Special Forces earns as much as R648,000. Below the colonel is a Lieutenant Colonel who earns about R466,000. A Major is paid R360,000. On the other hand, officers under the special service receive compensation for their commitment towards protecting lives and serving the country.
Does basic Special Forces training pay?
Yes, basic training in the South African Special Forces pays. The cash is deposited in your bank account on a monthly basis. Many people complain that the pay is too little as compared to the hardship encountered. Despite the low training salary, proper food, housing, and medical services are provided for free. A much more rewarding salary follows after successful training and a number of allowances.
What did South Africa do in World War II?
South Africa, like many other states, significantly played a role in World War II. Many South African young energetic men were recruited in military service. They manned ships against the Japanese while the 6th Armoured Division fought numerous actions in Italy between 1944-1945. About 334,000 men volunteered for full-time service in the military. According to records by the Commonwealth War Graves, 11,023 known South Africans lost their lives during this war.
Judging from the nature of their work, weapons are their tools of trade. The soldiers need to be well equipped during the fights. The secret service, in case of a mini operation, carry kits weighing 60-80 kg, while in a long distance operation, kits of 100-130 kg are carried. The weapons are classified into infantry weapons and vehicles. Special Forces in South Africa harbour the most recent deadliest weapons for operations and missions. Armoured cars, aircraft, and fighter jets are some of the vehicles possessed by the special unit.
In reference to geographical factors, natural factors, and the local industry, the South African Special Forces have a high rank compared to other divisions. It is ranked 46th in the world. This special unit has the highest decorations of bravery medals, yet their standards of awarding the medals are higher as compared to other countries. This Special Forces unit is very popular for its never die’ attitude. Before embarking on a mission, the soldiers are mentally examined while under intense pressure. This ascertains their mental stability status. The strength of this task force can further be measured by the fact that they fought in the CAR and did not incur any serious injuries.
Although it is unofficial, a soldier receives bragging rights after completion of the Gunston 500. The completion involves carrying out an operation against the enemy lines. This is a tough undertaking requiring the operator to walk 500 or more kilometres with a full kit. Many brave soldiers during the Angolan war received these bragging rights after the mission.
Since its establishment in 1972, the South African Special Forces have come a long way to ensure peace and stability in South Africa. Their role cannot be questioned because they were very instrumental in the 30 year-long war. Although their resources were limited and the numbers were against them, they still made a difference. The South African Special Forces loyalty is unquestionable. We should always acknowledge their efforts for the mere fact that we enjoy peaceful coexistence. This should be highly credited to those dedicated selfless men and women.