This year’s Military Skills Development (MSD) system intake is three short of the two thousand mark.
Unlike previous intakes where reporting for duty was normally in January, this year’s intake will have its first post-recruitment contact with SA National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel on 4 March. That’s the reporting date set by the SANDF Human Resource Division for the new recruits to undergo an “administrative process”. This will, the SANDF Directorate: Corporate Communication (DCC) said, be conducted by the Directorate: Human Resource Acquisition (DHRA) and the four services of the SANDF between 7 and 18 March. Once complete the new additions to the ranks will be “transported from various assembly points to their training units”.
The SA Army traditionally takes the lion’s share of MSD recruits with the SA Air Force (SAAF), SA Navy (SAN) and SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) sharing the balance.
Once basic military training (BMT) is completed the new recruits will be assigned musterings and undergo specialist training. Musterings can range from combat, for example infantry or artillery, to support functions such as firefighting, emergency medical technicians, warehousing, logistics and catering.
On completion of their two-year MSD service period in early 2024, a number of the 2022 intake will be offered contracts, mostly short-term, with the remainder generally expected to join Reserve Force regiments and units. Training and duty call-ups will see them retain their military skills for use when on active duty call-ups. Reserves are utilised on internal and external deployments which last year and in 2020 included Operation Notlela to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Indications are, from a presentation to Parliament last year, the MSD intake will be done away with annually as part of cost-cutting efforts, with applications to enlist for the two-year service only offered every second year.
Advertisements for the 2022 MSD intake were published in mid-June 2021 with an application closing date of 30 July.