New Reserve Force insignia still on the to-do list


All is not smooth sailing when it comes to the new names of 52 SA Army Reserve Force units, with old insignia and uniform, in some cases, declared off-limits on parade grounds and no changes yet made to cap/beret badges, shoulder flashes and other identifying insignia.

When the name changes were announced in August 2019, it was made clear established uniforms such as the Transvaal Scottish kilts would not be part of the “new order” of the landward force’s part-time component. Renamed regiments and units would have a three-year window to come up with new badging and identifiers, including unit colours. Colours and battle honours would go into regimental and unit museums.

defenceWeb knows of at least one Reserve Force unit in Johannesburg where soldiers have been instructed not to wear the “old” ceremonial uniform. This is because it apparently is in conflict with the unit’s new name.

The window for new insignia and regimental accoutrements closes, according to the Directorate: Corporate Communications (DCC) of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) on 31 April 2023.

“This,” DCC said in response to a defenceWeb enquiry, “will allow for proper consultative and administrative processes such as the design of new badges, emblems and unit accoutrements to compliment (sic) and be in line with SA Army dress regulations”.

DCC further indicated “all renamed units have commenced reviewing and re-aligning unit insignias and regimental colours for compliance with SA Army regulations”.

Once this is complete a start will be made – and approval granted – for acquirement of new colours, insignias and flags, according to DCC director Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi.

Regiments and units in the infantry, artillery, air defence, armour, engineer, signal and support formations of the SA Army now sport new “indigenous” names.

Twenty units in the SA Army Infantry Formation are renamed. They are Natal Carbineers to Ingobamakhosi Carbineers (IC); Cape Town Rifles to Chief Langalibalele Rifles (CLR); First City to Chief Makhanda Regiment (CMR); Prince Alfred’s Guard to Chief Maqoma Regiment (MR); Cape Town Highlanders to Gonnema Regiment (GR); Transvaal Scottish to Solomon Mahlangu Regiment (SMR); Witwatersrand Rifles to Bambatha Rifles (BR); Regiment Botha to General Botha Regiment (GBR); Regiment de la Rey to General de la Rey Regiment (GDLR); Regiment de Wet to Chief Albert Luthuli Regiment (CALR); Regiment Westelike Provinsie to General Jan Smuts Regiment (GJSR); South African Irish Regiment to Andrew Mlangeni Regiment (AMR); Regiment Christiaan Beyers to Mapungubwe Regiment (MAPR); Regiment Piet Retief to Nelson Mandela Regiment (NMR); Regiment President Kruger to Lenong Regiment (LR); Regiment Oos Rand to OR Tambo Regiment (ORTR); Durban Regiment to King Shaka Regiment (KSR); Regiment Bloemspruit to Mangaung Regiment (MAUR); Regiment Noord-Transvaal to Job Masego Regiment (JMR) and 2 Parachute Battalion to Bagaka Regiment (BAGR).

The six Artillery Formation units with names are Cape Field Artillery to Nelson Mandela Artillery Regiment (NMAR); Natal Field Artillery to King Cetshwayo Artillery Regiment (KCAR); Transvaal Horse Artillery to Sandfontein Artillery Regiment (SAR); Vrystaat Artillerie Regiment to General Dan Pienaar Artillery Regiment (GDPR); Transvaal Staatsartillerie to State Artillery Regiment (SAR) and 18 Light Regiment to Steve Biko Artillery Regiment (SBAR).

In the Air Defence Artillery Formation, five units have new names. They are Cape Garrison Artillery to Autshumato Anti-Aircraft Regiment (AAAR); Regiment Vaal Rivier to Galeshewe Anti-Aircraft Regiment (GAAR); Regiment Oos Transvaal to iWombe Anti-Aircraft Regiment (IAAR); 6 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment to Sekhukhune Anti-Aircraft Regiment (SAAR) and44 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment to Madzhakandila Anti-Aircraft Regiment (MAAR).

The six SA Army Armour Formation units with new names are Natal Mounted Rifles to Queen Nandi Mounted Rifles (QNMR); Light Horse Regiment to Johannesburg Light Horse Regiment (JLHR); Pretoria Regiment to Pretoria Armour Regiment (PAR); Regiment President Steyn to Thaba Bosiu Armour Regiment (TBAR); Regiment Oranjerivier to Blaauwberg Armour Regiment (BAR) and Regiment Mooirivier to Molapo Armour Regiment (MAR).

The SA Army Engineer Formation Reserve Force component has three new names:  3 Field Engineer Regiment to Ihawu Field Engineer Regiment (IFER); 9 Field Engineer Regiment to Umkhonto Field Engineer Regiment (UFER) and 44 Parachute Engineer Regiment to Ukhosi Parachute Engineer Regiment (UPER).

Similarly, three Signal Formation units changed. They are 71 Signal Unit to Western Cape Signal Unit (WCRSU); 7 Signal Group to Gauteng Reserve Signal Unit (GRSU) and 84 Signal Unit to Kwa-Zulu Natal Signal Unit (KWSU).

Nine name changes were made in the SA Army Support Formation. They are 30 Field Workshop to Doman Field Workshop (DFW); 31 Field Workshop to General Sipho Binda Field Workshop (GSBFW); 32 Field Workshop to Sabelo Phama Field Workshop (SPFW); 71 Field Workshop to Chris Hani Field Workshop (CHFW); 37 Field Workshop to Sekhukhune Field Workshop (SFW); 7 Field Workshop to Ngungunyane Field Workshop (NFW); 4 Maintenance Unit to Logistical Support Unit (LSU); 11 Maintenance Unit to General Andrew Masondo Maintenance Unit (GAMU) and 19 Transit Maintenance Unit to Madiba Bay Maintenance Unit (MBMU).