2018 MSDs have reported for duty


The SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) contribution to national job creation – its military skills development (MSD) programme – got underway at the weekend when 1 552 recruits reported for duty.

The number of successful recruits for 2018 is down by 514 on last year’s MSD intake and, as has become the norm, the SA Army as the largest component of the SANDF, takes in the largest number of MSDs – 1 200. All SA Army MSDs were due to report for duty at the Infantry College in Oudtshoorn on Sunday, 7 January.

The next biggest number of MSDs, but a long way behind the landward force, is 202 and they reported at the SA Navy’s Saldanha base on the Cape west coast, also on Sunday.

The ranks of the SA Air Force (SAAF) and SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) will each be strengthened by 150 MSDs for the coming two years with the successful SAMHS volunteers reporting for duty in Pretoria on Sunday.

SANDF Director: Corporate Communications, Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi did not provide details of when and where the 150 successful SAAF MSDs will start their tour of duty apart from saying they would report in the new financial year.

On successful completion of basic military training the 2017 intake of MSDs will undergo further training in particular mustering ranging from fire and emergency services through to chefs and other support functions. Combat musterings in both the landward and maritime services are also possible.

While MSD is no guarantee of further – permanent or semi-permanent – employment in the South African military, there have been instances where those who made it through the recruitment process and completed their two years voluntary services have been offered short term employment contracts in the defence force’s full-time component. The Reserve Force is generally the repository for MSDs who find themselves outside the full-time force.