The SA Army Reserve looks set to grow by 500, possibly more, personnel as the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) plans to cut its part-time component.
A SAMHS Information Bulletin dated 19 October has it that the transfer is mandated by a verbal instruction from Surgeon General, Lieutenant General Zola Dabula. It reads: “the Director Reserves must identify as many as 500 or more SAMHS Reserve Force members interested in a transfer to SA Army Reserves. The SA Army Reserve has identified as need to expand capacity”.
The Bulletin gives no indication of mustering or specific medical discipline, saying military medic reserves “not utilised in the last five years or more, as well as those interested in a permanent transfer to SA Army Reserves” should contact the SAMHD Reserve Force nodal point (012-671-5153/5178).
Ranks, according to the Bulletin, are from private to the junior leader group.
Part-time military medics whose transfer applications are successful will be assigned to Army Reserve units and/or regiments for additional training.
They will “augment” Army regulars “in the execution of daily defence commitments” the Bulletin states.
With the national defence force’s commitment to the national state of disaster officially over as of mid-last month, the major tasking utilising Reserves locally is border protection (Operation Corona) while elements of the Army Reserve are also called up for continental peace support duty in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of MONUSCO. This is a single largest UN mission worldwide and is in the throes of planning a drawdown which could see its personnel and equipment numbers cut.