MSDs at CTC for specific skills training

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A group of 60 military skills development (MSD) recruits done with basic military training (BMT) and associated mustering training reported at the SA Army Combat Training Centre (CTC) for their final hurdle – specialist training.

They will be the responsibility of 16 Maintenance Unit and its Commanding Officer, Major Jike Somdada, until demobilisation and clearing-out toward year-end when their two year MSD stint is done.

They, according to Somdada as reported by Lieutenant Selogile Leshage, were the cream of the crop that started their military lives at 3 SA Infantry (SAI) Battalion in Kimberley.

The group will be on the receiving end of skills training in disciplines ranging from chefs through to human resources practitioners and logisticians while at the Northern Cape training centre.

On arrival at what is fondly called “The land of diesel and dust” by soldiers, the MSDs were told by Somdada: “It is not by mistake you were selected to be part of this operational unit. You are going to learn a lot and when the time comes and you look back, you will realise how much you learnt from 16 Maintenance Unit”.

“Remember, soldiers are made in Lohathla!”

She gave the new unit personnel an insight into 16 Maintenance Unit and CTC saying: “I was once a troop at 16 Maintenance; I am now the Officer Commanding. I am living proof that when you are placed in a small corner, you will shine. This is the right place for you to grow and reach your goals”.

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) this week made public recruitment for the 2024 MSD intake with applicants having until the end of next month (February) to submit applications. Until last year the system took in the region of two thousand recruits into the four SANDF services annually, down from two intakes a year some time ago with financial constraints again cited as the reason for further cutting back on the national defence force contribution to government’s 2030 National Development Plan (NDP).