Infantry HR interviews successful MSD applicants

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Scaling back recruitment for the military skills development (MSD) programme in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) to an intake once every two years has not deterred the SA Army Infantry Formation to “be part of the action to help curb unemployment” in South Africa.

That’s according to formation communicator Magauta Mokonenyane who reports human resource personnel and “infantry specialists” were at Personnel Services School in Thaba Tshwane interviewing candidates who made it through the recruitment process. Interviews took place in the first week of this month (May).

Recruitment for next year’s intake of MSDs closed in February with the Department of Defence (DoD) Human Resources Division the lead. It appears the four services – SA Air Force (SAAF), SA Army, SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) and SA Navy (SAN) – have been allocated their respective quotas for the two-year programme. The number of successful applicants is not known.

Mokonenyane writes: “This programme (MSD) will have a positive impact on many South African households. In the eyes of all the candidates there was excitement and relief. Some of these candidates may become breadwinners within their families as they volunteer to serve the country”.

The Infantry Formation, according to her, “anticipates a number of candidates” for next year’s MSD intake. The 2022 intake saw landward force personnel numbers boosted by 1 350 MSDs.

All told the 2022 intake numbered 1 997 with 270 going to the SAN, 227 to the SAAF and 150 to SAMHS.

Next year’s MSD intake will be number 20 for the SANDF as one of its contributions to the National Development Plan (NDP) which, among others, seeks to cut unemployment.

There were two intakes of around five thousand a year in the early years of MSD implementation. This dropped to around the two thousand mark once a year.

The MSD system accepts volunteers, now called recruits, into either the SANDF’s four services for two years. Basic military training (BMT) is first up followed by specialist mustering training, dependent on service and then deployment to a division, unit or base.

When the 24 month MSD period is up, a limited number of MSD recruits are offered short-term contracts in the full-time force (usually for 10 years) with the remainder expected to put their military skills to use in the Reserve Force.